The tragic events in Uvalde, Texas are impossible to ignore. All of us are horrified by this tragedy. No one pretends this is remotely acceptable. Sadly, the knee jerk response by people on the left is to exploit any tragedy to push their dreams of gun control. In some cases, these are true believers, terrified of guns even when used by police. These people long for a world where no one ever has a gun. That is understandable, but hopelessly naïve. And, in some cases, extremely dangerous.
Many people point to Australia as the solution. Australia implemented nationwide gun control after a mass murder in Port Arthur. At the time, it was estimated there was about 3.6 million guns in Australia. Newsweek, hardly a right-wing rag, did an analysis of this and found out that things are not quite what they seem.
It is estimated that while the percentage of people in Australia who hold a gun license is lower, those who already owned guns have bought more, many more. There are more guns in Australia today than there were in 1997.
One factor people ignore is that the bigger the country, the more people, the more likely something like this happens. It is the law of large numbers. In addition, the definition of a mass murder varies significantly. But the following article shows that, despite the reporting, when comparing the annual death rate per million people from mass public shooting the United States ranks only 10th. Norway, Servia, France, Macedonia, Albania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium, and Czech Republic all have higher rates than the U.S. In 2018 another study showed that the United States actually ranked 64th in the world in terms of mass shooting rates per capita. Now some can and will argue that these statistics are misleading, but the point is that it is far from as clear as the usual suspects would like to have us believe. One significant factor is that if there is a mass murder in the U.S. it gets immediate and widespread reporting. That does not necessarily happen in other countries.
Some things are obvious. Preventing criminals from having guns is always a good idea. Preventing honest citizens from having guns, not so much. It is obvious that someone who decides it would be cool to become a mass shooter has serious mental problems. That does not mean that it is always easy to predict this kind of behavior. There certainly have been cases where all the warning signs were present but ignored. There have been other times, such as the Uvalde shooting, where this was not necessarily easy to predict. There is a fundamental problem in setting a standard for deciding who should or should not have a gun. Remember that liberals believe anyone who disagrees with them is a threat to humanity. They would gladly take away your gun, for any reason, because they don’t believe anyone, other than the armed security they employ, should have guns.
In liberal cities, it is extremely hard for an honest citizen to get a gun, unless you are rich, famous, or a security guard protecting a democratic politician. But it is obviously amazingly easy for criminals to get guns. The result is that often the only people likely to have guns are police, and criminals. Earth to liberals, criminals avoid places where police are present. Duh! When the police arrive, the shooting is often over, and the police take their time before moving in. In Uvalde, the police did arrive within 4 minutes, and they were armed, but waited for about an hour, or more, before charging the gunman and shooting him. It is easy to criticize the police for not doing that sooner, but one notes that the hero, a Border Patrol Agent, heavily armed and highly skilled, was shot in the head and nearly killed. Charging a gunman holed up behind a barricade is not that helpful if the only result is an additional victim.
I spend three years flying combat missions. One of the first things we learned is that if there is a gun fight, and you get shot too, you can’t help anyone. While charging that gunman may have seemed like a good idea and might have been necessary those of us who were not there should hesitate before we judge.
One thing we can be sure of is that Democratic politicians will seize the day and demand the problem be fixed by taking action that is proven to be ineffective. While that may help them politically, it is time to stop the role playing and start listening to each other. Banning assault rifles sound great, until you take two seconds to contemplate what this means. According to guns.com the U.S. has 434 million guns, 20 million AR15s, and 150 million magazines.
Tell you want. Let’s let Kamala Harris lead a task force to confiscate all these weapons. Heck let’s make it easy and only go after people with felony records. A lot of honest people will surrender their guns with no problem. But it only takes a handful of people who decide they will let the feds get their guns when they pry them from their cold dead fingers. Do some research on Ruby Ridge and other places and reflect on how much safer you feel. Did we learn NOTHING from prohibition?
Not only would this result in bad unexpected, but predictable consequences, it wouldn’t solve the problem. The problem is that about 16 people, in a country of 340 million people, got their hands on a gun and started shooting people. Seizing 16 million guns to find 16 people is a brilliant strategy, probably from one of the geniuses who want to solve global warming by moving away from clean abundant oil and gas to scarce solar, wind and nuclear power. Spare me.
Police are constantly warned against profiling people. But the alternative to profiling is to treat everyone with the same amount of suspicion. This is the logic that has the TSA patting down 85-year-old grandmothers while ignoring those people most likely to be a problem. If you try to monitor everyone you end up monitoring no one, because the worst offenders are the ones most skilled at avoiding scrutiny. This should be obvious, it is obvious, but it is often ignored. Now liberals have replaced that kind of profiling with their preferred option, profiling anyone who disagrees with them. Silence them and if they still won’t shut up, put them in jail.
It should be obvious that if you rage against police, defund them, provide strict guidelines on when and where they can use deadly force don’t expect them to charge an armed lunatic behind a barricade regardless of the risk of personal harm. In addition, if the person they shoot is the wrong color, they are more likely to be prosecuted than to be praised.
Almost every mass murder happens in a gun-free zone, where the killer is pretty certain he will be the only one there with a gun. Yes, it is sexist, but most mass murderers are male. Duh! When these guys are confronted by someone with a gun, they frequently either commit suicide or surrender. The key factors here are the time delay between them starting shooting people and when someone with a gun intervenes. Even if the person planning mass murder “thinks” there may be someone there with a gun, it is likely to give them pause. If you are confronted with a mass murderer, and you must wait for the police to arrive, and them wait for them to organize a response, you have waited too long.
When someone proposes something that makes sense, he or she is immediately shouted down by the usual suspects. Ted Cruz suggested that just locking the door to the school would have made a difference. Seems obvious. If that door had not been propped open by a teacher, it might have made a major difference in this event. He also suggested hardening school security and hiring armed police officers. John Legend responded by losing his mind and calling this suggestion “evil nonsense.” No, Legend in your own mind, evil nonsense is doing the same thing, over and over again and expecting a different result.
What we really need is a lot less gum smoke. Instead of shrieking out why you and only you have the solution, how about all of us listening to each other. Yes, we should prevent bad guys from getting guns. We already have laws that allow that, how about enforcing existing laws first before passing new laws? We know mental health is a genuine problem. How about training people to identify people who really are a threat.
Don’t fight the wrong battles and don’t depend on people like the leaders of the NRA to lead. For one thing the leadership of the NRA has some serious ethical issues. But more important, a lot of people hate the NRA and they have almost no credibility with the gun control crowd. That may be unfair, but it is still accurate.
Another mistake is focusing on the wrong issues. For example, the AR15 is viewed by a lot of people as an assault rifle. Anyone who is remotely familiar with guns knows that this is not the case. The AR15 just looks scary to someone already terrified by guns. While these feelings are not necessarily logical, the feelings themselves are legitimate. The result is that the AR15 and similar rifles sometimes are more of a distraction and perhaps not worth the effort. It is not important to me that someone can just casually buy an AR15, not because the weapon is particularly dangerous, but because a lot of people think it is an assault rifle and they buy it for all the wrong reasons. But when we argue why anyone should be able to get their own AR15, we just give the anti-gun crowd undeserved ammunition. Ok, no one can buy an AR15, without written permission from grandma, even if she is long since departed. AR15s are fun to shoot, but are they really worth the effort? They certainly aren’t worth giving deranged Democratic politicians the illusion of rationality.
As long as mass shooting continue, and they will, shameless Democratic politicians will seize the day making idiotic arguments sound close to rational. But if you stop selling AR15s tomorrow, it won’t likely prevent one mass murder, but it will silence some really awful people, for at least 15 or 20 seconds.
Stop the gum smoke. Stop giving idiots undeserved ammunition. Find a way to protect our kids. Find a way to protect our public spaces.