Here is Senator Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) moments after a suicidal 16-year old murdered two of his classmates in Santa Clarita, California:
At the very moment I was on the Senate floor making a motion to force a vote on universal background checks, news of the Santa Clarita shooting broke. Republicans objected, my motion failed, and now, as a consequence, the slaughter of our children will continue. Devastating.
California has already passed a “universal background check” law. California, in fact, already instituted a 10-day waiting period, a limit to handgun purchases, a microtracking system, a personal safety test, an “assault weapon” ban, an age hike on the purchase of shotguns and rifles from 18 to 21, “red flag” laws that allow police to confiscate guns without genuine due process, among many other restrictions. And none of those laws stopped the “slaughter” of children in Santa Clarita.
It’s illegal for a teen to walk around with a handgun anywhere in the United States. It’s illegal for a California teen to go to Alabama or Arizona or Virginia to buy a gun. It’s illegal for any teen to purchase a gun through the mail or at a gun show or be gifted one from his dear uncle. It is illegal for parents to allow their kids to procure their firearms. No state or federal regulation now being championed by Senate Democrats would have stopped this teen, which is the case for the vast majority of mass shootings.
Murphy knows this. Kamala Harris and all the others leading Democrats who try to emotionally manipulate Americans to support their restrictions know this. All those who smear the NRA as a terrorist organization know this. All those who claim that Mitch McConnell has blood on his hands for failing to convene the Senate pass a Democratic bill that has absolutely nothing remotely to do with the Santa Clarita shooting know this.
The reaction of Murphy and others reminds us of two things: 1) Stricter gun laws don’t stop mass shootings. 2) There will never be enough laws to satisfy Democrats. But it’s a waste of time to continue to push policies that do nothing to mitigate a unique social problem (gun homicides overall are still at historical lows). Not only is the Democratic party’s obsession with creating barriers to gun ownership an attack on the individual rights of peaceful law-abiding citizens, it undermines any possibility of a productive conversation about the actual problem of mass shootings.