Led by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, recently the Senate arrived at a “bipartisan” deal on still more firearm restrictions, in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting which took place on May 24th. Meanwhile, while everyone is awaiting the once in generation ruling on Roe v. Wade, many Americans are unaware that the Supreme Court has for over a year now been poised to make their first major ruling on the Second Amendment in over a decade with the New York State Rifle & Pistol v. City of New York- which deals with New York’s strict conceal and carry laws and the right to be armed in public in general.
Of course, the legacy media, Hollywood actors like Matthew McCounahay, and the standard retinue of politicians have once again used a mass shooting to push for greater “common sense” gun control. However, we have seen this sort of cynical politicking before where the perennial proponents of gun control are awfully particular about which mass shootings they complain about. After all, since the Uvalde shotting there have been at least 20 mass shootings (using the same definition used to categorize Uvalde) around the country. Yet, how many of those shootings received 24/7 news coverage, had the names and photos of the victims memorialized by the Legacy media, or received a visit from Joe Biden or VP Harris? Answer: None.
Thus, when it comes to gun control, whenever there is a tragedy that fits their political aims, we are presented with what has been called “The Left’s Kabuki Theatre” whereby they can “act out their values in an open representational space” as they fashion an overly-dramatic narrative to their disarm their opposition. Of course, as mentioned before this is a repeat performance, and it is generally just as disingenuous as all the other times we have seen this ploy used. The most perfect recent example was when Senator Chris Murphy, in the wake of the Uvalde shooting addressed Congress and said "I’m begging you on my hands and knees, do something!” Needless to say, he was standing while he said this.
It has often been said that we seem to go through this sort of bloody wash, rinse, and repeat cycle whenever a mass shooting happens, where there is a lot of sound and fury about “doing something” to stop “gun violence” without ever achieving a solution. Eventually the shooting falls out of the news cycle, and we wait for another tragedy to go through the cycle all over again. There is some truth to this observation, but that is because it is a deliberately crafted ploy to rouse the rabble about an issue that is more complicated than any set of regulations is able to control.
As an aside, the term “gun violence” is just another part of the Kabuki ploy that tries to create a form of violence that is separate from other acts of violence simply and solely because it is connected to a much-maligned constitutional amendment. Nonetheless, those politicians and activists who have been in the gun-grabbing business for a long time are well aware of how ineffective enacting more laws and regulations are at preventing these killing sprees. In fact, as has been noted time and again with the Uvalde or Buffalo shooters and many other notorious mass shootings, there wasn’t a law, proposed or existing, that would’ve prevented the shooters from purchasing their weapons. Hence, the reflexive use of theatrics to manipulate specific tragedies to incrementally get what concessions they can (of course while offering nothing in return).
The rest of this article will look at some of the suggestions that have been put forth in the wake of the Uvalde shooting and why they are not only mostly for show, they won't have the desired effect. In part two of this article, we will examine why all of these “solutions” have been and will always be tangential to the real issues that must be addressed if we are serious about curbing the violence that has seen an uptick in the last two years.
Standing Up to the Gun Lobby
In a speech Joe Biden gave after the Uvalde shooting, he went so far as to invoke God’s holy name to (once again) rail against one of the Left’s favorite bogeymen, the “gun lobby.” Of course, to most people this means the NRA, but it is a testament to not only how out of touch gun control activists are with current events but also how ensconced they are in their ideological worldview. First off, for anyone who thinks the NRA is standing in the way of preventing mass shootings, has not been paying attention lately. The truth is that the NRA has for last two decades been racked with lawsuits, financial graft and mismanagement, and has filed for bankruptcy to get out of meeting all of its overspending it did in the last two election cycles. To say that the NRA is the powerhouse it once was and is pulling the strings of pro-2A politicians is to be living in the past.
Secondly, to say that politicians are being controlled by the money spent by the NRA or other gun lobbies is another example of the Left’s projection of their peculiar Marxy worldview onto their opponents. They believe 2A politicians vote the way they do solely because of the money the receive from the NRA, as opposed to lobbyists giving money to those who already support their causes. Of course they never apply this standard to themselves, and if you don’t believe it, simply ask (for example) a pro-choice person how much money it would take for them to support overturning Roe v. Wade. If they respond with "no amount", then ask why do they assume the same strategy is at work with 2A supporters?
The AR-15 is a Weapon of War
The term “weapon of war” in regards to the AR-15 is another example of the Kabuki theatre being played out. It is an emotionally-charged phrase created by gun control activists to shame their critics into compliance. However, it only takes a modicum of rational thought to see through the deception. While 2A supporters are correct is saying that no soldier has ever been issued an AR-15, we have to be honest and say that it uses the same ammo. So if an AR-15 is considered a weapon of war, then so are 9mm and .45 caliber handguns, so are 12 gauge shotguns, and so are knives (which according to FBI stats were responsible for twice as many deaths as “assault rifles” in 2020).
Furthermore, even if Congress was able to ban what is arguably the most popular style of rifle in the country for hunting, sport shooting and self-defense, there are a whole host of other styles and calibers of rifles out there for Americans to choose from. Some of which are chambered for the .308 or the 30-06 and are far more lethal than the AR-15’s .223 round. Which, by the way, is why Biden’s moronic statement about “deer running around in kevlar vests” just shows how befuddled and ignorant this man is. For not only does he wrongly talk about hunting in connection with the Second Amendment, but for those who don’t know, unless you are wearing a metal or ceramic trauma plate on you body armor, a kevlar vest will not stop a .223 or any other rifle round. Nor do the majority of the “bullet proof backpacks” that have seen a spike in sales by parents in the wake of the Uvalde shooting. Yes some protection is better than none, but it is better to be well-informed about what you are assuming.
Bring Back the Assault Rifle Ban
Joe Biden has always been a proponent of bringing back the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban which ended in 2004, and has even made statements about the drop in mass shootings during the ban and their rise after the ban lapsed. As with most issues, the truth is far more complex than can be semantically loaded into newsbyte talking points. According to columnist and statistician Aaron Brown, one has to be wary of most statements made by gun control activists and 2A supporters when it comes to citing studies or statistics on gun control. He cites a Rand meta-analysis that examined 27,900 gun control studies that found that only 123 of them (.04% ) offered any usable data, and of those even fewer answered the question everyone wants answered, do gun control laws reduce gun violence? The answer of which is that there is no firm answer because of the difficulty of separating correlation and causation, random chance, and errors in use of terms and definitions.
Secondly, if you want to ban something, you first have to define what it is you are banning. So when it comes to banning “assault rifles” (or the more loaded term “assault weapons”), this has been notoriously hard. The U.S. Army defines an “assault rifle” as a rifle that has a select-fire capability, but the anti-gun crowd deliberately dilutes the term in order to encompass the most amount of firearms. This has lead to the situation where you have two identical rifles that only look different or have various accessories, but one is banned and the other is not. Thus any such ban would be ineffective until such nuances are worked out.
Finally, the anti-gun people have recently been stating that “there are more guns in this country than people”, which means that even if "assault weapons" were banned, what are you going to do about all the firearms that are already in private hands? A buy-back? Not gonna happen, and when it has been tried people turn in old junky firearms. And even if you could entice or coerce people to hand in their firearms, it would take a decade or more to reduce the number of guns in the country, so what are you going to do in the meantime to reduce "gun violence"? Plus, with 3D printing and private machine shops, trying to restrict firearms in the future will be about as effective as the drug war has been for the last half century.
Red Flag Laws
So called “Red Flag Laws”, which already exist in 17 states and in Washington D.C., are supposed to be a means where people can petition the court to disarm someone who poses a threat to themselves or others. However, as noted over at Legal Insurrection, as with most laws or acts the term “red flag” is another Orwellian euphemism,
“These are not 'Red Flag Laws' or 'Extreme Risk Protection Orders”' (ERPOs), they would more accurately be called 'firearm seizure laws.' The idea behind these laws is to take firearms out of the hands of people who might present some form of danger to themselves or others.”
While the laws vary from state to state, the bone of contention with all of them (let alone having a single federal law) is whether or not someone is afforded their due process rights and given their day in court before their Second Amendment rights are curbed. Moreover, considering the tenor of our current fightgeist, you are playing with fire when you are asking police (who make mistakes and have shown an ever-increasing willingness to use deadly force) to confiscate someone’s firearms- before or after a court order.
Also, what would be the conditions that would have to be met for someone to be labeled a danger to themselves or others? As Donald Trump rightly pointed out in 2019 after Chris Cuomo became apoplectic at being called "Fredo", “Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?” Furthermore, and on a more dire note, is the topic of what is known as “Swatting” which is when a phone call is made to the local police falsely stating that "a crisis, like a shooting or hostage situation, is unfolding." The usual response has been to send in emergency officers (swat teams) to the target’s house, which has resulted in some internet live-streamers getting raided in real time and even to unintentional deaths. With Swatting already a serious problem, what is to prevent a vindictive ex-spouse or any other personal rivalries being dealt with using red flag laws?
This is not to say that red flag laws do not have a legitimate purpose to help and protect people who are undergoing serious mental or emotional issues. However, as with just about everything else in our culture, this process is broken. After all, the most notorious mass shooters- Uvalde, Buffalo, the New York Subway shooter, Parkland, etc- openly displayed signs of dangerously aberrant behavior long before they committed their crimes. The Uvalde shooter posted a video of himself holding a bag with a dead cat in it, the Buffalo shooter posted his rants online and once wore a white Hazmat suit to school, and how many people know that last year it was discovered that the Sandy Hook shooter had his own YouTube channel where he coldly but intelligently talked about his anti-life views? And yet no one did anything, either out of indifference or perhaps out of fear of being called some sort of “-ist” for “stigmatizing” mental illness.
Furthermore, even if a red flag law is legitimately used, there is still the mental health aspect to be dealt with. Leaving aside the fact that many of the mass shooters that you can name off the top of your head, were on psychotropic medications and under the care of mental health professionals, it is clear that the current laws, both federal and local, on involuntary confinement are in need of a long overdue overhaul.
Caring More About Rights than the Lives of Children
Lastly is the catch-all disparaging remark that gun owners care more about the Second Amendment or their "rights" than the lives of children. It is the grand crescendo of the gun-grabber’s Kabuki performance, which is meant to quash any and all rational discussion on the issue. The first flaw to this assertion is that it is a false binary that implies that we can have rights or safety, but not both. This is nonsense. For while this may not be comforting in our current climate, the fact is that we have certain “inalienable rights” that our government was established to protect, and people can use those rights and freedoms to do good things, and sadly to do bad things.
Having a positive right (such as the right to bear arms) exists apart from any laws or court rulings. Thus unlike the made up “right” to an abortion where the Supreme Court giveth and thus the Supreme Court can taketh away, the right to be armed for self-defense cannot be abrogated, whether it would prevent a million or zero deaths. Which by the way, is why raising the age to buy an “assault rifle” to 21 will not work either. For aside from the fact that it will eventually be ruled unconstitutional- you can’t be old enough to be drafted into the armed services where you will be trained to used a real assault rifle but not old enough to purchase one- but there have been plenty mass shootings where the shooter was over 21: the 2007 Virginia Tech shooter who killed 32 and wounded 17 with a handgun mind you was 23.
Thus once again, for anyone who believes otherwise, ask them this question: if it could be shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that engaging “stop and frisk” in the most crime-ridden cities in the country, would reduce gun violence, would they agree to it? And not just people but let's say also cars, bags, and living quarters. Or how about monitoring all online activity or cellphone conversations in order to get wind of illegal firearm ownership or the planning of a crime? My guess is they would say “no”, even if you turned the tables on them and said, “Oh so you care more about your Fourth Amendment rights than saving lives?” They would still find a way to say weasel out of admitting that even they have limits beyond which they will not relinquish their constitutional rights- just not the ones you care about.
In the End it’s Not Really About the Guns
As has hopefully been demonstrated, the idea that when it comes trying to curb mass shootings, adding more laws and regulations are not a viable solution. The issue of violence and the kind of mass shootings we have seen since Columbine are more complex than can be solved by simply trying to restrict the firearms they use. In fact, it is a simplistic and reflexive reaction that demonstrates a vacuous thought process and an unserious attitude toward something as grave as stopping the taking of innocent lives. This is why in part two of this article we shall examine why all of these proposed solutions fail, because they fail to address what is at the root of the kind of mass shootings we are seeing today.
Photo Credit- www.wlrn. com