A Challenge for the Gun-Grabbers

by Charles C. W. Cooke

Over the weekend, there was a shooting at a mall in Maryland. Two people were murdered, and the shooter committed suicide. This, naturally, prompted all of the usual cries of “do something!” A typical exchange:

CNN personality Piers Morgan has weighed in on Saturday’s deadly shooting at a Maryland mall, posting a series of tweets and declaring himself “furious.”

“Not sad, furious,” Morgan wrote in response to “Roar” singer Katy Perry’s tweet, “Is anyone else really sad about the constant stream of shootings and how normal it’s becoming.”

Morgan engaged Perry again, after the singer tweeted, “Scared to go to school.. to the mall… to the movies? Me too. When will there be ACTUAL change?”

“When Americans say ‘ENOUGH,’” Morgan replied.

Morgan went on to invite Perry on his CNN show to discuss guns, adding, “[N]eed voices like you to effect change.”

The facts:

  • The perpetrator bought a shotgun — a weapon that literally no elected politician in America is proposing banning or restricting. Shotguns are legal in countries such as England and France, both of which have extremely strict gun-control laws.
  • Vice President Biden thinks that shotguns are just ace. Not only does he want Americans to buy them for home defense, but he told a crowd in 2008: ”I guarantee you Barack Obama ain’t taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey.”
  • Shotguns are involved in fewer murders each year than are hands and fists.
  • The shooter bought his shotgun in Maryland, a state with stricter gun laws than the president asked Congress for last year.
  • The shooter had no criminal record. He passed a background check that was conducted by a federally licensed dealer.

These are not my opinions. They are verifiable facts. Keeping them in mind, I have a question for anyone who agrees that “something has to be done,” and who has linked their conviction to this shooting: Specifically, what “change” do you want? I’m talking actual laws that would have changed this event, not posturing or moral position or vague references to “common sense.” 

Here is a press release from the group Moms Demand Action:

Tragedy Highlights Need for Continued Action to Reduce Gun Violence

BALTIMORE, Jan. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In response to the shooting yesterday at Columbia Mall in Howard County, Maryland, that left three people dead including the shooter, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America members renewed their call for political leaders to take steps to prevent gun violence. A Maryland Moms Demand Action member and her 2-year-old child were among hundreds of shoppers who were on lockdown for hours inside the mall as the scene was cleared. This incident happened on the heels of a 10-day spate of six school shootings.

“We live in a time when many American mothers worry about active shooters as we take our children to the mall, the movie theater, or to school,” said Jenifer Pauliukonis, Maryland chapter leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Sadly, yesterday in Maryland, we were reminded that this is not an irrational fear. But, we are resolved to not accept this reality as ‘the new normal in our country.’ Instead, moms will continue to use our voices and our votes to call for sensible gun reform.”

A member of Moms Demand Action who is a Maryland-area pediatrician and was in the mall at the time of the shooting said, “You can only imagine the terror of holding your 2-year-old in a cold back hallway for 2 hours with terrified children, babies and parents, with no idea if you are going to be ok. I am more committed than ever to this important critical movement. This cannot be acceptable as the new normal. The kids are traumatized and I am, too. We have to do something real and change this terrifying reality.”

“Our hearts go out to the families of those lost in the mall shooting and all those who were terrified inside the mall as they waited for the scene to be cleared. In their honor, we’ll continue our work to create safer homes, safer schools, and safer communities,” said Pauliukonis.

You’ll notice that this is heavy on the posturing and conspicuously light on the “action” part. What do they want, exactly?

Anyone?