The Sutherland Springs shooting has immediately spawned a predictable call for gun control from the left. Many people take a dim view of when a tragedy is politicized like that, but mostly when it’s the other side doing it. There is every reason to discuss tragic events, even in the heat of the moment and shortly after they happen, just like the right insists we do after Islamic terror attacks. Tragedies leave people looking for someone to blame and for solutions to a problem. When one feels proven right by current events, and more so on a heavily disputed topic, it is logical to point at those events and let people know that you were right (but keep it respectful). When Muslim extremists commit an atrocious crime, the right will reiterate its calls to curb Islam in the West. When a mass shooting occurs, the left will reiterate their calls for gun control. Sadly for the left, their feeling of vindication in the gun laws debate following the Sutherland Springs shooting is utterly misplaced, as it pretty much always is.
Banning the tools
Shooter Devin Kelley was already banned from owning guns. Shooter Devin Kelley was stopped by a good guy with a gun. These are facts the leftist mainstream media will try hard to keep away from the public. While it seems strange that someone who is banned from owning a firearm can apparently bypass the background check and purchase one anyway simple by lying on a form – and if true, that should be looked into – this shooting proves one thing about gun laws above anything else: they don’t work. Madness, evil, or whatever you want to call it, will find a way.
This call to ban the killer’s tools distracts from the underlying problem. The truth is there is no simple answer; bad people will do bad things. We can and must do whatever we can to stop that from happening, but banning guns is not going to achieve that. The only thing banning guns is going to achieve is that peaceful, law-abiding citizens are left with no effective way of protecting themselves against people like Devin Kelley.
Another way in which the left attempts to muddy the waters of public discourse after attacks like these is by insisting that they should be considered terrorism. No, not all acts of seemingly random mass violence are terrorism. And no, that doesn’t mean one is more tragic than the other or the victims of one event are more important than the other. But if we are to come to any sort of understanding of the reasons behind these different types of attacks, and if we are to come closer to preventing them from happening, we must be clear and reasonable about the terminology we use, rather than letting the emotional-ideological hysteria of the left guide us into linguistic chaos.
The notion that these deranged shooters are lone wolves is derided by some on the left, essentially because they desperately want to equate the danger of white male gun owners to radical Islamists. “If Muslim terrorists are not lone wolves, then certainly these shooters cannot be lone wolves either”, they proclaim out of sheer ideological desire, but without any relevant comparison between the two.
Let it be clear: if the shooter has the intent of destabilizing society, of they are using their violence as a means to attain political or societal goals, to intimidate people into changing their beliefs or behavior, that could be considered an act of terrorism. If it happens multiple times, at the hands of different people who are connected by some ideology, then let that ideology be looked into. If that ideology (by its authoritative voices) turns out to call for violence against specific groups of people and that is the justification being used by large numbers of attackers, then that ideology should be scrutinized, and its place in our civilization discussed. But with these mass shooters, no such connection exists. No such ideology exists. And no, lefties, “whiteness” doesn’t fit the description.
By the way, I have to assume that those on the left calling for #GunControlNow, also call for #QuranControlNow after every Islamic terror attack. Like guns are to mass shooters, the Quran is a tool to Islamic terrorists. For both guns and the Quran we can say that without them, the attacks would not have happened the way they did. And for both we can say that banning them won’t change anything. Banning guns is not the way to solve gun violence, just like banning the Quran is not the way to solve Islamic terrorism.
Muddying the waters
People who ignore the facts to insist that gun laws could prevent a disaster like this, or who equate deranged individuals with a large movement and network of violent fanatics, are either badly informed to the point of idiocy or deliberately and maliciously misleading. Either way, they disqualify themselves from further discourse on the matter. Their attempts to strip millions of law-abiding citizens of their rights and to confuse the public debate on both gun safety and terrorism are purely ideologically motivated. Their actions make it more difficult than it already is to come to an understanding of the threats we face and to find possible solutions. Whether they are too blind to see the consequences of their actions, or they don’t care – it is their politics that are getting in the way of their judgement.