When Politicizing Tragedy Is OK

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

M. Adrian Norman Freelance writer
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This past Sunday, two people were killed and nine others were injured by gunfire after a 24-year-old named David Katz opened fire at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. The suspect committed suicide right after the attack.

Predictably, liberals jumped onto social media to direct their outrage not at the shooter, but at the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) unsurprisingly wrote of the need to “stand up to the NRA and pass meaningful reforms to help prevent these shootings.” Such deflection is political grandstanding. Because the reality is that there is no new law that could have prevented this shooting.

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch was quick to point this out for Sen. Durbin on Twitter, when she responded to his comment, noting that the murderer lived in Maryland, which already has universal background checks, magazine restrictions, registration requirements, firearm qualification requirements, red flag laws and that Maryland is a “may issue” state, meaning that applicants must demonstrate a “good and substantial” reason to carry a handgun.

She also noted that a gun purchase by Katz in Jacksonville, Florida, would have been illegal and asked what laws Sen. Durbin proposed — a question to which there was (predictably) no response. The shooter had already violated multiple federal and state laws, and one more statute written into a revised code that he would never read would not have prevented him from carrying out this attack.

Also, let us not forget that committing murder is already illegal.

After every mass shooting, leftist celebrities and political parasites like Sen. Durbin fail to place blame with the shooter and choose instead to demonize law-abiding gun owners who have already gone through countless background checks and have committed no crime. And they simply ignore the lack of effective enforcement of laws on the books.

Loesch pointed out that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) said the murderer “legally purchased” his firearm and that the State of Maryland gave him a qualification license, even after he was twice institutionalized for mental health and had been prescribed anti-psychotics. She also cited government documents on the ATF’s own website showing that if he was an “involuntarily committed and/or adjudicated mentally unfit he is already a prohibited possessor.”

Maryland has some of the strictest gun control laws in the entire country, and their state officials — not the NRA — provided one to a mentally unstable kid. Additionally, the gamers in attendance had requested additional security on more than one occasion and none was provided.

Political grandstanding on the victims of a tragic murder is a gross and disturbing practice and adds unnecessary noise to an already clamorous conversation between those of us maturely and rationally pursuing solutions to gun violence — and no, stripping away the rights of law-abiding citizens is not a solution.

The loopholes listed above are the kind of loopholes that actively contribute to Americans being murdered, as we just saw this weekend. The Durbin crowd, they prefer to talk about gun show loopholes that don’t exist. Their disconnect from reality is part of the reason these attacks keep happening.

Angry leftists and politicians like Sen. Durbin do not prescribe any real solutions, because they have yet to come to grips with the fact that the focus of this conversation needs to be on securing events and venues.

The government buildings in which they work are secure. The residential neighborhoods in which they live are gated and secured. The stores where they buy their expensive jewelry are secured. The sporting events they attend are secured and protected by SWAT teams that, in most cases, you would never even know are there. Even anti-gun activist David Hogg is protected by armed security. Do mass shootings happen at those places?

The Maryland system of gun control that was meant to protect failed miserably. And this latest shooting happened in a gun-free zone, which highlights a huge problem for leftist gun-control advocates. A large part of the answer to stopping mass shootings is more guns, not less.  

M. Adrian Norman is a freelance writer.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.