Government & Politics

Pay Attention to Reality, Not Politics

The Left's Pavlovian response to mass killings is completely wrong.

James Shott · Jun. 21, 2016

The Left’s Pavlovian response to mass killings is always to blame too many guns, too easy access to guns, and the availability of the “wrong” types of guns. More recently the subject has broadened to include keeping certain types of people from buying guns.

Barack Obama went to Orlando last week to offer “condolences” to the families of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, but, as he always does, he took the opportunity to exploit the victims and their suffering for a lecture about guns. And worse, to blame Liberty itself for the atrocity.

Earlier in the week, three Democrats walked out of the House of Representatives chamber when Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked for a moment of silence in memory of those killed and injured in the Orlando shooting. Later during regular House business when Ryan tried to call up a measure for a vote, Democrats began shouting over the announcement of the bill being voted on.

Favored targets for blame, rather than the actual perpetrators and their motives, are the National Rifle Association (NRA) and all gun owners, conservatives, Republicans and Christians](https://patriotpost.us/articles/43198). None of the killers, of course, were members of the NRA, conservatives, Christians or Republicans. What we realize that liberals refuse to acknowledge is that absent the intent to commit murder, guns — like hammers, butcher knives and motor vehicles — are inanimate objects. Every day tens of millions of guns harm no one, or, it’s worth emphasizing, law-abiding citizens use them to protect innocent people. Guns are not the problem; they are but a tool.

There is also a near-universal misidentification of weapons these killers use: “assault weapons,” or the new favorite, “weapons of war.” True assault weapons — which are fully automatic, or have the capability to be used in fully-automatic mode — are essentially illegal in the U.S. Weapons used in mass shootings are semi-automatic pistols, semi-automatic rifles, revolvers or shotguns. Just because a weapon has characteristics of appearance and similar accessories to assault weapons does not make it an assault weapon. Those using that term are either ignorant about the subject, or are deceptively using it for its emotional value.

We must remember that America is “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” formed to guarantee personal liberty, and America reached heights previously unknown in history due to its singular devotion to Liberty. We shouldn’t trample the rights of millions of Americans in order to maybe discover the relative few who have evil intent.

Thus:

  • Suggesting a total gun ban should be dead on arrival.
  • Trying to limit the types of guns people may purchase opens the door for dictatorial abuse by the politically motivated.
  • Denying gun purchases to people on a no-fly list, terror watch list or who have been flagged for a mental health issue is fraught with potential for errors and abuse. Journalist Stephen Hayes found himself on a terrorist watch list, as did South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and at least two young children. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy was denied boarding a plane back to Washington while in the Senate. What could possibly go wrong?

Americans are supposed to be protected from arbitrary denial of constitutional rights through a legal due process proceeding, where evidence must be offered and a specific ruling made to approve taking one’s rights. Unfortunately, at least West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin certainly seems ready to ditch due process. “The problem we have — and really, the firewall we have right now, is due process,” Manchin said. “Due process is what’s killing us right now.”

Two other factors scream out for attention, things that mass murders have in common. First, all of them have occurred in places that were declared “gun-free zones,” where guns were forbidden. This is an open invitation to someone bent on committing an atrocity.

Second, many/most of them were committed by Muslims inspired by al-Qaida, the Islamic State or some other source of Islamist anti-American fervor. That factor existed in the Pulse nightclub, Fort Hood, Chattanooga and San Bernardino killings, for example.

Obama turns back-flips to avoid using the term “radical Islam” to describe these murders, saying that Islam is a Religion of Peace™. But not all Muslims adhere to that creed, and the killers among them pledged allegiance to Allah during these far too-frequent events.

We cannot eliminate or reduce these atrocities by continuing to ignore reality. Political correctness be damned; our lives are too important for PC.

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