The Orlando shooting and the predictable response of President Obama have brought the gun control issue to the front pages – again. And Congress failed to pass any of five proposed bills – again. And the President and most of the media have missed the point – again. If gun control is the solution to avoid future massacres like Orlando, ask yourself six questions.
1. Why is Chicago a killing field? There is not a major city in America that has stricter gun control laws than Chicago. And there is not a major city in America that comes close to the nearly 300 shooting deaths recorded in Chicago so far in 2016. Chicago is mostly a gun-free city (on paper). And their prosecution rate is low, as they don’t want to overcrowd jails. The result is predictable.
2. Why did the Orlando shooter pick that particular club? He had been there several times. He knew the place was gun-free. And we know that the first gun didn’t stop shooting until the second gun showed up. If banning guns, as they did in the Orlando club, worked, why did the shooter successfully and mercilessly execute more people that night than have ever been shot on any occasion in the history of the United States? Or asked another way, if you wanted to shoot innocent people, would you pick a place where other guns were present?
3. Why does the Secret Service carry guns? Some of the very leaders and candidates who slam the NRA and demand a gun-free environment are protected by guns. Everywhere President Obama and Secretary Clinton go, they are accompanied by armed agents. I don’t remember hearing either of them asking the Secret Service to disarm.
4. Which proposed new gun law would have mattered? Even those recommending the new gun restrictions admit that not one of the recent mass killings – Sandy Hook, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando – would have been addressed by these new laws. Not one.
5. Why would terrorists and other killers obey new laws? The idea that passing new gun laws will deter would-be murderers from carrying a gun into a newly designated gun-free area is laughable. Yet we are basically told, “These radical terrorists are willing to die for their cause, and willing to shoot 100 innocent people, but what they will never do is use a gun that is not legally registered, because that may carry a five-year prison sentence.”
6. Why don’t you put a “Gun Free” sign in front of your house? If guns aren’t a deterrent to criminals, tell the world you are unarmed. The fact is that only three homes in ten have guns. But the bad guys don’t know which three those are. Imagine that every home was required to put up a sign out front that either said “We Have Guns” or “No Guns Here.” If you were the bad guy, which home would you choose to vandalize?
I am not a gun owner. I have never owned or shot a gun. I’m not a member of the NRA. I don’t see a reason for assault weapons to be available to common citizens. But I do know this. If someone breaks into my home, I’m probably not going to say, “Just so you know, I don’t have a gun.” None of the proposed new laws would have saved a single life in Orlando. In Boston they didn’t use guns at all. But that won’t stop the tirades. The anti-gun lobbyists will continue to rant and half of Congress will fall in step. They will continue to propose bills that have nothing to do with the actual killings. And half of America will agree with them because it makes them feel better about themselves.
And the terror will continue, because those guided and inspired by ISIS really don’t care about our gun laws anyway.