When I woke up Monday morning and turned on the television, I was horrified, along with most of the nation, to learn of the mass shooting tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas. As I watched the news shows to get more information, shocked that this madness had visited our country once more, I had another sinking feeling come over me. I knew that I would not get a chance to mourn the event very long before the gun debate would invade my reality. Sure enough, as soon as I checked my facebook page, there it was – the pleas for gun control.
Let me make something clear. I am a moderate on gun control. Right now Republicans are pushing a bill to make it easier to buy gun silencers. That is nuts!!! On the other hand, I am realistic that we cannot have the same sort of gun bans that works in other counties. In theory I would love to have such bans, but I live in the real world. Furthermore, I philosophically am opposed to having a 6’3” black man tell a 5’0” woman that she does not have the right to have a gun so that she feels protected. So in my estimation that makes me a moderate on gun control. I would like regulation if I can be shown that this regulation would be effective.
And this is what troubles me about the immediate rush to push for gun control before the bodies from the latest shooting are even cold. We do not know most of the facts. Clearly many individual are using the mass shooting to legitimate their calls for gun regulations. So they have to answer the question of what kind of gun regulation would have stopped the latest, or any, mass shooting. The hasty proposals rushed out to take advantage of the latest emotional state of Americans are not useful to someone who strives to be rational in his approach to life. Therefore such proposals are not convincing.
I want to be convinced that there is good gun regulation that can reduce the chances of such mass shootings. I want to feel that we can have some control over this situation. But I refuse to blindly support something baked up while we are caught up in the emotion of another shooting. If you want me to support some new regulation, which I am really willing to do, then gun control advocates need to make better arguments and not merely try to shame individuals into accepting their political agenda. Expecting gun control advocates to show how their policies would stop the mass shooting that is on everyone’s mind right now does not mean that I do not care about those killed. But if we are going to do something about making sure that it is less likely to happen again, then enough with guilt inducing arguments and instead produce logical assessments of how certain regulations may help.
Thus, I have two challenges for those who are pushing gun control regulation right now. First, tell me how your regulation would stop this particular, or another particular mass shooting. Once again I will not be emotionally persuaded or guilted into accepting some proposed regulation. But if you can make a reasonable argument for why this regulation would have had a chance to stop this, or another mass shooting, then I want to listen to you. Since so many want to use mass shootings to promote gun control, my interest is on whether your proposal would stop a mass shooting, and not the overall state of gun crime in the United States. If you pick mass shootings as the way to legitimate new regulations then you better be ready to show that you have answers to those mass shootings.
For example, one of the regulations that is commonly proposed is closing the gun show loophole. In theory, this regulation makes sense. Gun shows may be a factor in dealing with gun violence in general. But, I cannot remember a mass shooter who received his (I think all of them are men) weapon from a gun show. In reality, I need to be shown that if we had a gun show regulation, it would have at least slowed down, if not stopped one of the potential killers in mass shootings. So if you propose a regulation, then be ready to show me, and document the case, where this regulation could have had any effect.
By the way, the latest killer was not on any lists of domestic abusers or airport list or list of the mentally ill. So proposals that we should have background checks would not mattered for him. If you can find a previous case where it would have mattered then once again, I am all ears. But I will ask for specifics and details, so be prepared.
Okay, here is my second requirement. If you propose something, I want to know if you are willing to enforce it. If you want to take out high magazine guns, then you will need a more aggressive and proactive police force. In the days of BLM, are you willing to initiate more confrontations with blacks and police? At a time where BLM is demanding that the police stop surveillance of blacks and are demilitarized, are you willing to go against that grain? Because if you are not, then any calls for combating illegal weapons is hollow as you will not also support a police force strong and aggressive enough to enforce those calls.
What I want to know, and what I think I have a right to know, is just how serious those who want gun regulations are in creating specific workable solutions. I am not an NRA member. I am a winnable vote and potential voice. I have no fear blogging support for a regulation in a way that pisses off my conservative friends. I have already supported ideas that they do not like in the past and will do so in the future. But I will not do so on this issue based on emotional hysterics. Provide me with a common sense regulation that would stop one of the mass shootings we have had and show me a willingness to use our resources to support that regulation. Is that too much to ask?
Postscript: I will be on and off the internet sporadically over the next few days. I will try to interact with proposals as best I can but if I am slow in posting and responding to your comments, please know that it is not because I am avoiding those comments. My activities the next few days are unavoidable and just part of my job.
Update: Since writing this someone has made a really good argument about the use of bump stocks. It seems to me that those bump stocks did enable the murderer to kill more than he could have without them. And this not the usual unsubstantiated claim I hear after these shootings. So I will stipulate that I do support the regulation or even outlawing of bump stocks subject to whether I learn additional information indicating that they are not as bad as I think.