The mass shooting at an Orange County biker bar just happened a couple of days ago, but there will undoubtedly be a lot of questions left to be answered.
Some, however, already have.
For example, it’s now been confirmed that the killer was a retired police officer, but that’s only one of the details that’s emerged.
[The killer], who was killed in an exchange with sheriff’s deputies outside the Trabuco Canyon landmark, went to his truck after the initial shootings to get two more guns: a handgun and a shotgun, Barnes said in his description of events.
The sheriff said that all four of [his] guns were purchased legally.
Barnes listed the weapons – and when they were purchased – that Snowling brought to the scene:
—A .380 pistol, 2014; (Barnes clarified that it wasn’t known if it was purchased before or after Snowling retired.)
—A .38-caliber five-shot revolver, 1987;
—A .25-caliber pistol, 1997;
—A 12-gauge shotgun, acquired after Snowling’s retirement, in 2016.
Barnes said it wasn’t clear which two handguns [the killer] took into Cook’s Corner and which one he retrieved when he returned to his truck. He did not use the shotgun until he was at the truck, though, Barnes said.
Now, I’ve got to be honest, that’s a rather strange assortment of firearms for a mass shooter. While two of them are semi-automatic pistols, both are fairly small caliber. A five-shot revolver isn’t typical for a mass shooting at all, and while we’ve seen 12-gauge shotguns used, the killer didn’t use that one until he was at his truck, not in the bar itself.
However, it also seems clear that there’s no amount of gun control that would have stopped this shooting from happening.
For one thing, as a retired police officer, the killer would likely have been exempt from many of the laws that others have to endure.
Additionally, these guns are generally not weapons that would have been restricted.
For example, I’m not familiar with any .25-caliber pistols that hold more than 10 rounds as a general rule. While there are .380s with higher-capacity magazines available, most come with around six rounds. As such, there’s no reason to think a magazine limit would have done anything.
In fact, when you get right down to it, none of the weapons used were subject to any kind of restrictions, even in the very gun-controlled state of California.
There will be a lot of lessons to learn from this incident, though it remains to be seen if the powers that be there will look at this shooting as anything other than an excuse.
What happened is an awful tragedy, one I suspect we’ll be hearing about for a little while. It shouldn’t have happened, which we can say of all mass shootings.
Yet we all know that some in California are already considering what new restrictions they can pass in the wake of this shooting despite all their previous measures being useless.
Then again, when you’re convinced gun control works, you’re going to keep pushing it no matter how often it fails.