The Umpqua Shooting

There is a part of me that wants to say it didn’t used to be like this. We used to wait before politicizing a tragedy. But in reality, that is bull-crud. Tragedies have always been immediately politicized. The difference, I think, is we used to at least wait a short but respectful period of time as a token of respect to the victims of the tragedy. Now we don’t even do that anymore.

So before we go any further, I want to express my condolences to the families of the victims of Thursday’s Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon. I cannot begin to imagine the grief they must be feeling or how their entire world has just been demolished.There are no words to can waive away the grief and anguish.

For the rest of us, can we stop with the knee-jerk demands to do something, anything after a tragedy? Consider, in his twelve minute speech to the nation following the shooting at Oregon’s UCC, the President of the United States, instead of trying to comfort a grieving nation, decided to be the Scold in Chief and blame the American people and their adherence to the Bill of Rights for the tragedy. Not only that, but he referred to himself twenty-eight times. Approximately every twenty five (25) seconds, or twice a minute, Obama referred to himself in talking about the Oregon Shooting. It wasn’t about what happened to the victims of the shooting, it was what happened to him that mattered.

Of course, there was no substance to the President’s speech. It’s not that surprising given that 1) the facts were still developing as he spoke, 2) Obama’s speeches are never about substance, but emotion, and 3) he has no need for facts because he is always right. Thursday’s speech was another of the “We have to do something. Now” variety, ripped directly from the Rahm Emanuel political playbook, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste. Once again, there was the call for “sensible gun control”. And once again, no “sensible gun control” legislation was announced. Nor did the President explain how “sensible gun control” would have stopped this crime.

So what could the “sensible gun control” legislation be? The weapons, based on the initial reports by law enforcement, were legally purchased through licensed dealers over a period of three years. So, the shooter went through the legally mandated background checks and nothing was flagged. (Either he had no previous record or the government screwed up, again). It cannot be a proposal to pass the warmed-over so-called “assault” weapons ban. Given that the media is reporting the shooter was carrying two pistols and a long rifle, a ban on so-called “assault” weapons would have done nothing to stop this attack. So clearly, that can’t be it.

Simply put: The American people overwhelmingly oppose new gun control. Since the Sandy Hook shootings, legal gun purchases have skyrocketed and support for gun control legislation has plummeted. Any attempt at such legislation would be dead on arrival in Congress. Even if the Republicans didn’t have majorities in both houses, such a bill would never pass.

Now, the President mentioned Australia. That country passed gun control legislation in 1996, following the Port Arthur Massacre. That law effectively confiscated every gun privately owned in Australia. So, is this the “sensible gun control” the President is advocating? If it is, why doesn’t he just come out and say it?

Of course, there is still that pesky Second Amendment which guarantees the right to bear arms. I realize this administration likes to think of the Constitution the way some people think of the 10 Commandments: they’re not directives, more like suggestions, but the Constitution is pretty clear that a total gun ban is not going to happen.

Of course, one could always amend the Constitution, but I don’t see the Community Organizer in Chief, or any of his lackeys, expending any political capital to repeal the Second Amendment. So until Bloomberg opens his wallet, it doesn’t appear anyone is going to follow Charles W. Cooke’s advice on what to do to repeal a part of the Bill of RIghts.

So instead of being honest in their intentions, “sensible” gun control advocates hide their true intentions. No, they do more than that. They are lying about what they want to do: confiscate all guns. Is it any reason to wonder why gun advocates distrust the other side?

Other than the Constitutional issue, absence of any evidence to justify it, and total lack of public support, the other problem for advocates of “sensible gun control” is the fact that gun violence is decreasing. According to FBI crime statistics, not only are homicides decreasing, but so are gun-related homicides. And for those clamoring for the so-called “assault” weapons ban, very few murders are committed with rifles. And the FBI can’t even be bothered with creating a separate category out of rifle homicides for those killed by so-called assault weapons.

In fact, looking at the most recent homicide data (the most recent FBI data always seems to be two years old) it appears more people were killed in 2013 by personal weapons (i.e. someone’s hands, fists, feet, etc.) than by rifles. Twice as many were killed by blunt objects than rifles. In fact, there were almost as many justifiable homicides by private citizens as there were criminal deaths by rifles. It’s almost as if there is no pressing need to ban so-called “assault” weapons.

As we wait for the facts to come out, a few other questions:come to mind. Why isn’t this being classified as a “hate crime” The shooter’s victims were specifically target because of their religious beliefs. That’s pretty much the definition of a hate crime. And along those lines, in the aftermath of the shooting of then Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords, a lot of people on the left ranted and raved that Sarah Palin other so-called “right wingers” were responsible for the shooting because they created the atmosphere that justified it. Using the left’s peculiar brand of logic, does that mean they are responsible for the Oregon shooting? After all, they have been rather incendiary in their denunciations of Christians following the Obergefell Supreme Court decision.

The mainstream media seems to be under-reporting the racial background of the shooter. For some reason, it doesn’t seem important that he was bi-racial. Which is odd, given how important the shooter’s race was in the aftermath of Charleston shooting. The Narrative is having trouble gaining traction. Already, we are hearing the media Talking Heads saying things like, “we shouldn’t focus on the shooter but the “possible” motives that would make him do something like this.” Nothing says the facts are against you like trying to reframe the debate mid-stream.

And speaking of ignoring facts, the media also seems uninterested in the fact that the shooting occurred in a gun free zone. I’m not sure why they are having trouble with this fact, seeing as it is in the student handbook. The fact that the media is publishing stories that deny what is in the handbook tells you all you need to know about the media and why it is held in such low regard by the American people. (The Federalist‘s Sean Davis’s take down of Think Progress’s refusal to acknowledge this is direct to the point)

Let us mourn the dead. Let us have a debate on guns and their place in society. But let us  all at least be honest as to what we want and how we wish to achieve those ends.

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