When Existing Gun Laws Aren't Used, Why Pass New Ones

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

In the wake of Lewiston, I have a lot of thoughts.

One of those involves just how often we see these awful tragedies play out in places that have gun laws on the books meant to prevent such things from happening.


Even when you take mass shootings off the table–they really do only account for a small number of so-called gun deaths–you still find numerous cases of gun laws accomplishing nothing.

Yet the Lewiston shooting shows part of why that happens and why people often favor enforcement of existing laws over new ones.

A recent Rasmussen poll found that nearly half, 49%, of likely U.S. voters “don’t think stricter gun control laws would help prevent such shootings.” Conversely, the survey also found that 44% of all likely U.S. voters believed that stricter gun laws would help prevent mass shootings such as the one in Maine. It represents a shift of sorts away from the left-wing narrative about how gun control can prevent mass shootings.

Interestingly, this sentiment was found in answers to other questions from the survey. The poll also found that most voters want better enforcement of the existing laws rather than creating new ones. Rasmussen found that 57% of voters believed that “stricter enforcement of existing gun control laws” would be more beneficial in preventing mass shootings such as the one in Maine. Conversely, only 30% of voters felt that “passing new gun control laws would do more to reduce gun violence in America.” The remaining 13% were unsure either way.

Both results were arguably a shocking revelation for such a plurality, given the rampant propaganda by Democrats and their supporters in the media and entertainment who repeatedly call for gun control. Moreover, if one objectively analyzes the facts of the case, it’s understandable why most support enforcing existing laws. If existing laws were enforced and everyone did their job, the shooter, [name redacted], most likely would have been prevented from carrying out the attack.

Jody Madeira is an Indiana University law professor with a background in researching gun laws. She emphasized that [the killer’s] case should have resulted in any weapons he had being seized upon his return home from the psychological facility. Many people dropped the ball, Madeira told ABC7 Chicago.

“He slipped through the cracks,” Madeira said. “There were warning signs.”


Yet what bothers me is that when someone like the killer slips through the cracks, there’s often very little time spent questioning why that happened. Oh, we can point it out until we’re blue in the face, but we know who our readers are. We’re preaching to the choir here, and the choir’s voices are dismissed and silenced throughout social media.

But how does it makes sense to talk about new laws without at least an examination of why the previous ones failed to do anything?

Take Lewiston, for example. The yellow-flag law didn’t get used despite him having been evaluated by a mental health provider. No one even thought about it.

Yet that gets glossed over as if it’s nothing and the subject shifts over to things like assault weapon bans or universal background checks. Never mind that the Lewiston killer could have done just as much damage with handguns–Virginia Tech is still the deadliest school shooting on American soil and not a single AR-15 was used–all that matters is new gun control.

Our mainstream media is notoriously incurious about the systemic failures that often surround these shootings. They might report it but then forget it, never bringing it up again. It’s clear they only do so out of duress, fear that someone like us would find out and report it first.

They’re more focused on how they can restrict your rights, not how the system already there broke down.


And when you look, there’s rarely a case of a mass shooting where everything was looking good until suddenly it wasn’t. There seems to always be some kind of a breakdown.

That won’t stop the calls for us to give up our rights as if that’s really the only logical solution.

But what good with it do when even the new laws will go unenforced?


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