Relevance of UNC shooting is drastically overstated

Relevance of UNC shooting is drastically overstated
(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

The UNC shooting was going to garner headlines. After all, you have a major university go on lockdown due to what was said to be an active shooter. That’s going to gather attention.


Yet as things died down, we learned more about what happened. It wasn’t a mass shooting where one or two people wanted to kill as many as possible. It was a student who had a beef with his advisor for some reason and used a gun to settle the score.

It’s still an issue and something we should be examining to some degree as a society, but it wasn’t anything more than literally any other homicide, the majority of which go unreported by most in the media.

Yet I keep coming across pieces that are latching onto the UNC shooting as if that really tells us anything.

For example, let’s start with this one:

On Aug. 28, the University of North Carolina changed forever. Graduate student Tailei Qi murdered Zijie Yan in a science building on campus. The fact that some have already forgotten about this tragedy or didn’t hear about it at all speaks volumes about the state of our country. Gun violence is all around us, and we must stop being desensitized to it.

Or, and here me out here, they put it behind them because they realized that North Carolina isn’t a campus carry state, which means Qi couldn’t lawfully have a gun there in the first place, so if that gun control measure failed, what actually would have helped?

Let’s also not forget that the shooting was between two actual mass shootings, one of which never got national media attention of any appreciable sort, mostly because it failed to advance the narrative.


Oh, but this isn’t the only such example from just the last day.

I also came across this op-ed that flows in a similar vein.

The minds of the right’s true believers seem impervious to tragedy. This week’s brutal violation of social peace at UNC has not shaken the conservative commitment to maximal gun rights, despite a death on campus and a wave of trauma devastating the university and the state. These people have proven to be extremely stubborn in their insistence on defending gun ownership from gun safety, and Americans who wish to change this rotten dynamic must appreciate the deep sources of conservative intransigence if they are to save the lives of future generations.

My question to this author is, why would the UNC shooting somehow make us change our belief over guns in any situation?

Again, there were two mass shootings within a seven-day span that included this tragedy, all of which actually combine to make one thing perfectly clear: There is no gun control answer to stopping so-called gun violence.

The UNC shooting took place in a gun-free zone, for one thing, and every single op-ed trying to capitalize on this incident that I’ve come across has ignored that fact. They also don’t seem to have any questions about whether the firearm was legally obtained. After all, due to his immigration status, he may not have been able to legally buy a firearm.


Nor is there any mention of the fact that the professor was legally disarmed, meaning he had no way to defend himself when his murderer arrived. We don’t know if he’d have been armed if campus carry were legal in North Carolina, granted, but we do know he never had the choice.

All of that gets ignored and instead, people make a big deal over this having happened on a college campus.

I hate to break it to them but had this happened in the professor’s home, most of them would never have given two craps about it. They wouldn’t be writing op-eds and lamenting the lack of gun control, using the body of a murdered professor as a soapbox.

What’s more, everyone knows it.

The relevance of this murder to the national discourse of gun control is non-existent, especially as reasons why we should restrict guns, considering that after a deeper look, it’s clear that gun control may well have been the problem in the UNC shooting.

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