If you are actually tired of mass shootings, why do you call for measures that wouldn’t prevent them?
Maryland, the site of the Capitol Gazette murders and the home of the shooter in Jacksonville, Florida, has very strong gun control laws. In fact, Maryland has some of the most restrictive gun laws in America.
Charles Roberts, the murderer of the innocent girls at the Nickel Mines School, had confessed to child molestation to his wife.
Not one of the gun control laws currently being floated would have prevented Adam Lanza from gunning down children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Not background checks, not assault weapons bans (even the one currently being championed by Sen. Feinstein), not restrictions on magazine capacities (Lanza reportedly reloaded during his spree), not waiting periods and not raising the age to buy a rifle or shotgun to 21.
Background checks didn’t stop Lanza, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Stephen Paddock, Nidal Hasan, Aaron Alexis, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Elliot Rodger, Omar Mateen, Robert Bowers, Ian Long or the majority of killers in mass shootings since background checks became mandatory in February 1994.
Raising the age to 21? Nikolas Cruz is the only mass shooter under the age of 21 to use an AR-15 that they had legally purchased - since the rifle was introduced in late 1963. Only two other killers under 21 used “evil black rifles” in mass shootings. One was an ex-airman in 1994, who used a legally purchased AK-style rifle; the other was a deputy sheriff who used a department-issued Colt rifle in 2007.
Assault Weapons Bans? According to the FBI, the average rate of rifle usage in homicides was lower in the ten years after the Assault Weapons Ban expired than it was during the ban. That’s rifles of all kinds, not just “assault rifles.”
The firearms industry estimates there are about 16 million “assault rifles” owned by American citizens. Out of 133 mass shooting incidents since 1964, legally-possessed AR-style and AK-style rifles have been used in 28. In two other incidents, the shooters had legal rifles but did not use them.
Restrictions on magazine capacity? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the solution is simply to have more magazines — or even more guns.
Elliot Roger had acquired three California DOJ-approved semi-automatic pistols with restricted-capacity magazines when he took his drive through Isla Vista, California. After Rodger committed suicide, sheriff’s deputies recovered a number of California-legal 10-round magazines.
In fact, as Mark Glaze, former executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told the Wall Street Journal in June 2014, “Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing you have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting? Sure, it’s a challenge in this issue”
It’s not only a challenge in promoting ineffective gun laws, it’s a challenge in selling those snake-oil remedies to people who know the truth.
You invoke #NeverAgain, but when the state of Florida created a commission to investigate the Parkland shooting, the commission was unanimous in saying that the Broward County Schools, the administration at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office bore more responsibility for the killings than Smith & Wesson or Sunrise Tactical. In fact, Smith & Wesson and Sunrise Tactical weren’t even blamed at all.
Yet David Hogg, Emma Rodriguez and their friends even gave BCSO Deputy Scot Peterson a pass, because Cruz had a rifle.
Sheriff Rick Gualitieri of Pinellas County, the chairman of the commission, called Peterson a “wuss” and the commission unanimously described his response as “abysmal.”
Those 340 “mass shootings” reported by the Gun Violence Archive? You really should take a closer look at them. The two states with the most incidents were California and Illinois, tied with 35 each. Florida was next, so one might think the tallies are related to population size, but then how does one explain Texas, the second-most-populous state, which had fewer than half as many as California or Illinois?
The truth is that when it comes to actual gun violence, which most people believe means injurious force inflicted on one person by another, gun laws seem to have no impact on rates of aggravated assaults, homicides or mass shootings.
So it’s not surprising that studies conducted by the CDC and Rand Corporation were unable to find conclusive evidence that gun laws had a positive impact on violence. That was the same conclusion reached by the FBI when discussions were underway about the renewal of the original Assault Weapons Ban.
To be honest, thoughts and prayers really are insufficient, especially for those whose lives have been shattered by these murderers but somehow must find a way to move on.
But thoughts and prayers are not nearly as callous and unfeeling as using these deaths, injuries and shattered lives to promote measures that would not have saved a single life; prevented a single injury or spared a single broken heart.
I am honestly sorry for your loss, Mr. Gately. But I am even more sorry that you are using that loss to argue for restrictions that didn’t prevent Jarrett Ramos from killing your friend. Mr. McNamara surely deserves better.