Political Editors / April 23, 2018

Left Blames Lack of Gun Laws, Not Mental Illness

Man who attacked Waffle House and murdered four was known to authorities as mentally unstable.

Another mass shooting attack and a government official calls for limiting Americans’ Second Amendment rights, even as information comes to light showing that the attacker was neither legally allowed access to firearms nor mentally sound. Sadly, on Sunday an individual attacked patrons at a Waffle House in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, killing four and injuring several others before a heroic man wrestled the rifle from his hands, ending the attack.

Nashville’s recently sworn in Democrat mayor David Briley responded to news of the attack with typical anti-gun rhetoric: “For a moment, let’s be honest about what happened. Last night, innocent Nashvilleans were terrorized by a man with an AR-15. Let’s be honest. Some people see these weapons as having a purpose of terrorizing other people. It’s happening too much. Enough is enough.” He continued, “It’s been only seven months since we had another mass shooting here in Nashville, and that is far too frequent. We need comprehensive gun reform to address mass shootings, domestic shootings, accidental shootings and homicides. If we can all just come together for this and for the greater good, we can take these weapons of war off the streets of our country.”

If he thinks an AR-15 is a weapon of war, he’s either ignorant or not being honest.

Once again, as more details have come to light, the narrative of lack of gun-control laws fails to match the reality on the ground. The 29-year-old individual responsible for the attack was a known problem to law enforcement. In fact, as clear signs of his mental illness began manifesting in 2014 (he believed he was being stalked by singer Taylor Swift is one of several examples), he began to have several run-ins with law enforcement. That led in 2017 to him having his guns confiscated by authorities in his home state of Illinois. However, it appears that those firearms were later returned to his father, who then evidently allowed his son to access to them.

So here we have another incident where the attacker showed clear signs of mental illness, was deemed ineligible to possesses firearms by the authorities due to his run-ins with the law, and yet minimal steps were taken to ensure he didn’t get his hands on them. Finally, laws are effective means of controlling the behavior of law-abiding citizens, but they clearly lack power for controlling the lawless. Why would heaping more laws upon the backs of the already law-abiding be considered a reasonable solution when applied to those who are already bent on breaking the law?

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