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James Shott / Sep. 1, 2015

Virginia On-Air Murders Are Opportunity for Gun Control Demagoguery

Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has again demonstrated the poor judgment for which she has recently become so well known with her efforts to be the first to jump on the gun control bandwagon following the on-air murders of two WDBJ-TV journalists and the wounding of a person being interviewed. After a brief expression of shock and sympathy, she then said, “We must act to stop gun violence, and we cannot wait any longer.”

What most of us see as a tragedy Mrs. Clinton used as a campaign opportunity, strictly adhering to former Obama White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s advice, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Her statement “We must act to stop gun violence” contains one wrong word: “gun.” Missing the point, like so many demagogues and people-control enthusiasts on the left, she would like nothing more than a nation where there are no firearms in the hands of citizens.

The truth is that an idiot or a maniac like the one at Smith Mountain Lake last week, or the vicious savages who commit violent acts, will kill or assault with or without a gun, and a determined person who wants a gun badly enough will find a way to get one.

The gay black former employee of WDBJ and other news departments had significant behavioral problems that caused him to lose his job in Roanoke and then blame everyone else for his problems. He filed unfounded charges against the TV station after being counseled for shortcomings on the job, losing that job and having to be escorted from the building.

He didn’t have a gun problem; he had a head problem. We now know he had problems with previous employers, residents of his apartment building and a local restaurant, displaying mental instability in each circumstance. That, Mrs. Clinton, is what you should care about, instead of knee-jerking to the wrong conclusion.

A new piece of information that is highly inconvenient for Mrs. Clinton and the gun control fanatics is that on August 26 Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman Thomas Faison confirmed that the Virginia gunman legally bought his gun weeks ago and that “he apparently passed a background check” to get the gun. What happened to the much vaunted background check process put in place to control gun sales?

Matching Mrs. Clinton’s failure to focus correctly on the real issue is President Barack Obama, who commented after the shooting: “What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.” Perhaps he forgot about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people, the jihadist Army doctor who killed 13 people at his clinic at Ft. Hood, TX, and the Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City, OK, that killed 168 people.

Mr. Obama yet again demonstrated that how he reacts to a shooting situation depends upon who shot whom. In Ferguson, MO when a white police officer shot and killed a black criminal who attacked him, the president blamed the police officer, not the criminal. But in this instance, a black man shot and killed two innocent white people, and he blamed the gun, not the shooter.

Folks like Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama see additional and more restrictive laws that affect law-abiding citizens as the solution to shooting deaths, without any apparent recognition of other factors that are at least as important as guns and usually, as in this case, more important.

Given that the laws we have didn’t work, what additional law would have prevented this murderous act, and still comport with the unequivocal right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment?

Surprisingly, The Washington Times reported Friday that the White House conceded that new gun regulations probably wouldn’t have prevented this shooting. “White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it appears that a proposal championed by President Obama to require background checks on purchases at gun shows ‘would not have applied in this particular case.’”

Perhaps those on the left might want to look at their efforts to create victims at every turn and to make victimhood an excuse for people to do pretty much anything they want. The Mountain Lake murderer apparently believed his fellow workers at two or more TV stations where he had worked disliked him because he was a black man, or because he was a homosexual. Apparently, he viewed even the counseling by management about his job performance as racist or homophobic, not legitimate job improvement counseling.

Society’s problems won’t be solved by using tragedies to advance political agendas, as Mrs. Clinton did with this horrible, inexplicable murder. We can only solve them by focusing on the actual problems. Guns are only a problem when people who have violent intent deliberately use them illegally to commit violence. We will not reduce those incidents by restricting the ability of law-abiding people to protect themselves and their families, or to use firearms for other legal purposes.


James Shott is a columnist for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and publishes his columns on several Websites, including his own, Observations.

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