Frankly, I find it unconscionable that before we even knew the most basic facts about what happened during the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas – who did it, his motivations, what weapons he used or how he obtained them - some were already rushing to demand more gun control laws. Instead of concentrating on the victims, offering prayers and comfort or even just a respectful silence, they sought to exploit their pain for partisan gain. I resent that I have to respond to this, but when political operatives on either side start making questionable claims, I’ve always held it as my responsibility to find out the facts and present them to you. So here is a roundup of just a few of those who couldn’t even wait for the blood to dry before launching into the infamous practice of “never letting a crisis go to waste.”
One of the first out of the gate was Hillary Clinton, who said we “must put politics aside,” then in the very same sentence tried to blame the killings on the NRA for opposing regulations on silencers. She claimed that if the gunman had used a silencer, that would have made it impossible to hear the shots and more people might been killed. This was stunningly ill-informed on several levels. First, the idea that a mass killer would be deterred by a silencer law seems highly unlikely, to say the least. Secondly, as even the Washington Post’s fact-checker pointed out, a silencer reduces by only a few decibels just one of the noises that a gun makes. It doesn’t actually “silence” a gun. Hillary’s rush to regulate something she doesn’t vaguely understand is reminiscent of the gun laws that brand certain rifles as “assault weapons” if they have any of several random features that make them look scary but don’t make the gun any more lethal (some are even safety features, like a barrel shield that simply prevents the user from burning his fingers on a hot barrel.) This school of gun control activism falls under the “Do something even if it’s wrong” category.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren also leaped onto the gun control bandwagon…READ MORE
…As did, of course, Nancy Pelosi…READ MORE
…And John Kerry…READ MORE
Kerry’s Facebook statement started out focused on the victims and their families, but quickly veered into a pitch for more gun control laws to prevent mass shootings, without which, he wrote, “we have to reckon with the fact that it happens here in the United States with a frequency that the rest of the modern world can't imagine.”
Any killing of even one innocent person is too many, but is it really true that the United States is a hotbed of mass killings the likes of which the rest of the world can’t even imagine? In a ranking by Insider of the 20 most dangerous nations on Earth, the US didn’t even make the list. The top five were Colombia, Yemen, El Salvador, Pakistan and Nigeria. But wait, Kerry said the “modern world.” So let’s look at Europe, which we know Kerry loves and wants the US to emulate, and which already has the same strict gun laws many want to impose here.
The Crime Prevention Research Center reports that in 2015 alone, France (with a population about 1/5th that of the US) suffered 532 casualties from mass shootings, or five more than the US experienced during Obama’s entire presidency. As gun researcher John Lott notes, in France, even semi-automatic weapons are illegal, yet all four mass shootings there in 2015 involved machine guns (fully-automatic weapons have already been heavily restricted in the US for many decades, but that apparently didn’t stop the Vegas shooter from obtaining one.)
Lott points out that the Las Vegas attack is the worst in US history, but only the 14th worst worldwide. Also, last year, a jihadist terrorist in Nice, France, didn’t even need a gun: he used a truck to kill 86 people and injure 458 more.
And if you think those laws would work better here, Chicago already has some of the toughest gun laws in the US. Last weekend in Chicago, four people were killed and at least 29 more injured in shootings, bringing the 2017 total so far for Chicago gun deaths to a staggering 474. A recent survey of Chicago convicts found that virtually none obtained their guns via legal methods that were subject to those laws.
Just to be crystal clear: none of this is to argue that there should be no firearms regulations or to seek to downplay the heartbreaking horror of mass shootings. But if we’re serious about preventing such attacks, we should approach it realistically. Passing fantasy-based feel-good laws that disarm law-abiding citizens while doing nothing to impede murderers is not merely useless, it’s counterproductive. No law can block evil from entering the heart or mind of a would-be killer.
So what can be done? Better vigilance of mental disorders would help. Less political correctness that forces authorities to deny the source of threats. And better security at large scale events like concerts, whether Jason Aldean or Arianna Grande.
Aaron Cohen is a former member of Israel’s Special Ops terror unit. He told Fox News that Israeli authorities understand that you can’t guarantee complete security, so they institute layers of security so if one fails, the next might not. In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, he said there were bag checks to keep guns out of the event, but the surrounding hotels didn’t check guests’ bags for guns – understandable, since this has never happened before. But in the future, for events with a large crowd near a hotel or other tall building, maybe they should scan guests’ baggage or have undercover officers inside those buildings. Those are “common sense” measures that might actually work. So why aren’t we talking about doing that?