Well, this was sadly predictable, even when the day started with a lot of people calling on their fellow citizens to not jump into politicizing the Las Vegas shooting while the injured were still being tended to. NBC News is reporting that some of the usual list of Democratic suspects have taken advantage of this tragedy to immediately call for new gun control laws.
The worst mass shooting in modern American history was met with immediate calls for action on gun control Monday from some Democratic lawmakers.
While most of their colleagues on both sides of the aisle stuck to sending condolences to victims and their families in the Las Vegas shooting, Connecticut’s senators expressed outrage that Congress has not done more to restrict access to deadly firearms five years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown.
“Nowhere but America do horrific large-scale mass shootings happen with this degree of regularity,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a statement.
“This must stop,” Murphy continued. “It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.”
Murphy was joined by his Connecticut partners, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes. Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren quickly got in on the act as well.
Okay, then. Fine. Since we apparently have to go through this exercise every time there’s a tragedy, let’s talk about it. Right out of the gate I would ask these Democrats the same questions we need to wrestle with after every shooting. First of all, what went wrong in this instance and what specific laws would you like to suggest which might have prevented it and will hopefully prevent something like this from happening again in the future?
Thus far we don’t have much in the way of rock solid details as to what weapons the shooter used. Allahpundit laid out pretty much all the possibilities in an earlier post and the raw laws of physics dictated that it was going to wind up being one of those options or possibly a combination of a couple. More details are leaking out and it now sounds as if there were, in fact, one or more fully automatic weapons along with a bunch of semiautomatics, but the police aren’t providing an exhaustive list. Let’s go on the assumption that we won’t know for sure for a while and move forward from there. The path leading us to how the shooter and the firearms wound up in that hotel room should be able to guide you in your answers for what sort of new gun control laws you’d like us to consider.
Let’s say it’s the most obvious choice based on the sounds we heard in the many witness videos… one or more fully automatic machine guns of some sort. If that’s the case, the shooter either purchased it legally prior to 1986 or he obtained it illegally by stealing it or buying it on the black market. If the former, then he passed one of the most rigorous federal background checks imaginable and was already on the radar of the FBI just for owning the weapon or weapons. He was also pretty well off since they would have cost him upwards of $10K each. (Though he had two really nice cars, so maybe he could afford it.) That means that someone who passed those most brutal of background checks went off the rails, became insane or developed some other issues later in life. What law would you propose to prevent that?
Perhaps he stole them or bought them on the black market. Then no amount of background checks in the world would have stopped this because people dealing in illegal weapons don’t do background checks.
Perhaps, as Allahpundit speculated, he had a brace of ten or more AR-15 style semiautomatics which he modified. Well, modifying them in that fashion is illegal already. If you’d like to suggest tougher penalties for people who do that, I suppose I can get onboard with the idea, but somehow it doesn’t seem like it would have stopped this guy. If your solution is to once again ask to ban all of the millions of legal owners of semiautomatic rifles from owning them in response to someone who broke the law by modifying them you’re not solving a problem, you’re creating a bigger one.
Beyond that what would you suggest? Smaller magazine capacities? (Nevada doesn’t have a very restrictive limit.) The guy had ten or more rifles lined up by the window. And anyone with a day or so of practice can swap out a magazine in under three seconds. You might have slowed him down a fraction, but not much.
That’s all I’ve come up with. So, dear Outraged Democrats, let me know if you’ve thought of something else. If your plan is to simply repeal the Second Amendment, bring that fight on. But I do have one actual solution you never seem to want to talk about. If, as it’s not unreasonable to suspect, the shooter got his guns illegally, why don’t you consider new or enhanced laws and more resources to crack down on the illegal gun market? Rather than chasing around and harassing the hundreds of millions of legal gun owners who don’t commit acts of violence, unleash the power of the legislature and law enforcement on improved ways to get illegal guns off the streets and lock up the people using or dealing in them for longer periods of time.
Gee… what a novel idea, eh?