A weekend story in the Capital Gazette, the Maryland newspaper that experienced a mass shooting incident earlier this year in which five staffers were killed, featured an interview with perennial anti-gun Democrat U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen that illustrates why gun control is doomed to failure.
Proponents just don’t get it, and if they could listen to themselves talk, that much would be quickly evident.
Van Hollen is delighted that he gets a failing grade from the National Rifle Association. He told the newspaper that so-called “universal background checks (and) reducing access to semi-automatic assault weapons” could reduce, while not eliminate, “gun violence.”
But the man accused of shooting up the newspaper offices back in June didn’t use a semi-automatic of any kind. The murder weapon was a pump-action shotgun.
Likewise, just over five years ago—Sept. 16, 2013—Aaron Alexis used a 12-gauge pump shotgun purchased legally in Virginia to kill a dozen people and wound three others at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. He passed a background check.
Pressed on what other schemes might reduce “gun violence,” Van Hollen “pointed to Maryland’s permit laws that require homeowners have a permit before purchasing a handgun,” the newspaper reported.
But one needs only to look at the body count in Baltimore to see how well that is working. Last year, according to CBS News, Baltimore racked up 343 slayings. Most were shootings, some were stabbings and a few were by blunt force trauma, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Then, Van Hollen offered an explanation that was almost self-contradictory in terms of logic and common sense.
“After Maryland passed its permit to purchase law,” the senator told the Capital Gazette, “you are finding a growing share of out-of-state guns used in crimes. If you are someone who intends to do bad things with a gun, you are a lot less likely to show up at Maryland law enforcement agency and go through a background check.”
This is what Second Amendment advocates often refer to as a “Well, DUH” moment. Laws and regulations that routinely inconvenience—make that “infringe upon” or “impair”—the rights of law-abiding citizens do not prevent guns falling into the wrong hands. Criminals do not comply with the law.
Leap across the country to Washington State, where a 2014 multi-million-dollar campaign resulted in passage of Initiative 594, a measure requiring so-called “universal background checks” to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, thus preventing multi-victim shootings. But in 2016, more than a year after the law took effect, a 19-year-old killed three friends at a teen party that July, after purchasing a semi-auto rifle legally and passing a background check. Three months later, another teen killed five people with a rifle he took without permission from his step-father—thus, no background check was involved—at a shopping mall.
The same group that pushed I-594 is this year behind Initiative 1639, a measure that raises the minimum age for purchasing a semi-auto rifle to 21, thus stripping young adults of a fundamental right. It also mandates annual background checks, defines “semiautomatic assault rifle” so broadly that it applies to all semi-auto rifles, institutes a 10-day waiting period, and requires that gun buyers consent to allowing law enforcement access to their private health information.
There is a strong grassroots effort underway to defeat I-1639 in November. Those activists involved have seen what gun control has failed to accomplish in Maryland and elsewhere, and they want none of it in the Evergreen State.
Do you think there is a political point or message that can be made, which would turn the thinking of a potential anti-gunner? What is the biggest contradiction you have heard gun control advocates make? Share your answer in the comment section.
Dave Workman is the Senior Editor at the Liberty Park Press.
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Ken L says
As someone who started hunting when I was 12 and received a 20-gauge single shot for Christmas when I was 14, I get a little confused by the push for raising the age to purchase a rifle or shotgun from 18 to 21. If we are to believe that a person under 21 is not sufficiently mature to purchase a .22 rifle or shotgun for hunting or target shooting, what would lead us to believe that this same person is sufficiently mature enough to vote? Maybe we need to revise the voting age to 21?
Well, I am a little conflicted with this issue. I am a grandfather with teen grandchildren between 18 and 21. And I can tell you that these are not the teens most if us grew up with. They live in social media with their faces pressed in their phones and go to full on hate with just a few tweets. I won’t even trust my 21 year old grandson with a B.B. gun, because he said he wanted something powerful enough to kill something, like a bird. Kill, not hunt for food. This was the world of our Florida School shooter. I live in Florida where our state legislature has already passed the 21 year old gun law. No politician dared stand against it after what happened here. A lot of failures happened across the board. But if that 19 year old did not own that legally purchased, high capacity similar-auto rifle, things may have been different. Notice that I did not say Assault Rifle. I support protecting everyone’s 2nd amendment rights, but sometimes exceptions have to be made. I would suggest bolt action hunting rifles and low capacity shotguns for 18 to 20 year olds. Also simi-auto rifles in 22 caliber with fixed capacity’s of 18 rounds or less. A lot of tube feed 22 rifles fall in that category. Our Florida school shooting would not have even news worthy if the gunman had been armed with this type of rifle. I do not say this with out having done alot of though on this matter. But if something does not change these school mass shooting will continue and state legislatures will follow Florida’s example one after another. And as for voting age. The vote is a much more damaging weapon than a gun. If you look at what is happening in our colleges with these 18 to 20 year olds, we should all move to change the voting age to 21. One exception, honorable military service should over ride both gun ownership and voting age issues.
Bryant H. Wetzel Colorado says
The underlying logic of all “Gun Control” advocates is that ‘Guns kill people’. Nothing could be further from the truth. People use guns to kill, guns do not use people.
To help understand the underlying logic of “Gun Control” requires that you ask yourself the question: “who does gun control benefit?”. The answer to that is written in the documents outlining the foundation of our country. Gun Control only benefits those seeking to gain control of the people by force. PERIOD.
Ask yourself why people like George Soros are so bent on gun control, and why he supports non logic to achieve those ends.
Why are there suddenly Democrats willing to come forward as “Socialists” and why are they demanding gun control?
Why are our elected leaders willing to ignore the tenents of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, demonize large segments of the population and deny due process? Because they have a unspoken agenda? If you want to be part of a gun control group, you must know the answers to these questions.
IF you follow the news, why do school shootings happen almost on cue?
Peter Stanford says
I have to be honest and say just about everything that is said by an anti-gunner is a contradiction.
No, I do not think there is a political point to be made by the anti-gunners. I genuinely believe that most of them say what they say because some people think that their illogical thinking process is correct.
Robert Irwin says
Just because we know gun control is a failure doesn’t mean the quest for it will subside when the failure is recognized. That would require logic when emotion is the main driving force behind gun control. Facts are irrelavent. Here’s a fact. If Democrats take complete control of DC again, gun control will happen. What are WE going to do to keep any gun control law from being implemented?