SINCE THE SANTA FE, TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTER DID NOT USE A SEMIAUTOMATIC WEAPON TO KILL OR INJURE HIS VICTIMS, WILL ANTIGUN GROUPS NOW SEEK TO BAN ALL FIREARMS?
Antigun groups must be throwing a temper tantrum. When the Santa Fe High School shooter committed his horrific act of murder and mayhem in May 2018, he had the temerity to use the wrong weapons. Antigun groups fully expected the shooter to destroy innocent lives utilizing a semiautomatic long gun— a firearm often referred to by the politically charged but specious expression, ‘assault weapon’—thereby keeping with the antigun zealots’ running narrative. But the shooter killed or seriously injured innocent students, teachers, and a police officer, with a shotgun and with a revolver, not an “assault weapon.” Moreover, the weapons utilized by the shooter did not belong to the shooter and the shooter did not procure them from a gun dealer, through the internet, or through a third party at a gun show. No! The weapons belonged to the shooter’s father who had failed to properly secure his weapons from his severely mentally disturbed son. The failure of parental responsibility, here, is, in the first instance, where blame for the tragedy rests and where blame should properly be placed.
WHAT WEAPONS, SPECIFICALLY, DID THE SHOOTER USE IN COMMITTING HIS HORRIFIC ACT?
Specifically, the shooter utilized his father’s Remington model 870 pump action, manually operated shotgun, along with his father’s .38 caliber revolver to maim, injure, and kill innocent people. The police have not, apparently, identified, or otherwise officially released the specific make and model number of the .38 caliber handgun utilized by the gunman as of the posting of this article. No matter. It is clear enough that the weapons the gunman utilized were not the typical firearms of choice for committing murder and mayhem—semiautomatic long guns—as antigun proponents and their echo chamber, the mainstream media, constantly and erroneously, maintain. But, that fact didn’t stop some individuals from surmising, without bothering to first verify, the nature of the weapons used.
Apparently, in an attempt to get ahead of the curve, John Cornyn (Senator-Texas) said, as reported by the Houston Public Media Service, that, “. . . the 17-year-old student accused in a fatal shooting at a Texas high school used a semi-automatic pistol and a sawed-off shotgun to kill 10 people. The Republican from Texas says investigators are still determining whether the shotgun’s shortened barrel is legal.”
Well, contrary to Senator Cornyn’s conjecture, which he asserted as fact, the American public quickly learned that the shooter did not use a semiautomatic handgun, after all, and that the shooter likely did not use a so-called “sawed off shotgun” either. The killer used a common revolver handgun as mentioned above. And, as for Cornyn’s ludicrous, off the cuff remark about the shooter having used a “sawed off shotgun,” if that were the case, how long would it take “investigators” to determine whether the “shortened barrel is legal?”
It is, of course, possible, but highly, and presumptively, unlikely, that the Remington Model 870 pump action manually operated shotgun the shooter’s father owned had a barrel length less than the limit prescribed by the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. A cursory check of the Remington website does provide the prospective buyer of the popular Model 870 pump action shotgun with in depth data about the shotgun along with substantial graphics. The Model 870 shotgun is available in a myriad of configurations and in several barrel lengths, from 14 inches to 30 inches, to meet a user’s specific needs, whether employing the weapon for sporting uses or for self-defense.
DID THE SANTA FE TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTER USE A SHOTGUN WITH A BARREL LENGTH LESS THAN 18 INCHES—A SO-CALLED “SAWED OFF SHOTGUN”—AS U.S. SENATOR, JOHN CORNYN, MAINTAINS?
If, in fact, the shooter’s father’s Remington Model 870 had a barrel length of less than 18 inches, then ATF approval for a shotgun with a barrel length of 18 inches, or less, would be necessary. As pointed out by the ATF, in the atf.gov website, “A shotgun subject to the NFA [National Firearms Act] has a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length. The ATF procedure for measuring barrel length is to measure from the closed bolt (or breech-face) to the furthermost end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device.”
The website, gundata.org discusses, assiduously, the matter of barrel length of both rifles and shotguns.
“Simply put, on the whole, a rifle barrel should be no less than 16″ and a shotgun barrel should be no less than 18″. While the overall gun length for either a rifle or a shotgun has to be 26″ according to the ATF, paying extra for an exception can make a difference. Even though black powder guns don’t have this limitation, guns that fire ‘smokeless powder’ do have to adhere to ATF and federal guidelines.
That’s why shotguns like the modern Mossberg 500 and 600 series riot shotguns will measure out to these specifications. While sawing off a double barreled shotgun or cutting a M1A1 to lengths as short as 12″ is possible to make them a lot more cancelable, especially under a dustcoat, the government says that a short shotgun or short rifle isn’t legal unless you apply for a specific license.
It is possible to apply for a license for a short rifle or short shotgun with the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms). The fee is either $200 or $5 depending on circumstances and the way the gun is manufactured, but owning a gun shorter than the ‘standard’ legal limits is possible. For a gun manufacturer, adhering to the legal limits is mandatory and if you find a shortened gun at a gun show or even at a private sale, be aware of your rights and the applicable laws.”
A QUANDARY FOR ANTIGUN PROPONENTS
Unlike sophisticated semiautomatic weaponry, manually operated pump action shotguns and manually operated revolver handguns have been around for a long time, approximately 130 years. The pertinent question is this: how have antigun proponents and the mainstream media spun the narrative in the call for further gun restrictions since the Santa Fe, Texas school shooter, here, didn’t use what antigun proponents, along with the mainstream media, often refer— contemptuously, pejoratively, slyly, and clearly erroneously—to as an “assault weapon?”
It should be abundantly clear to anyone with half a brain, that, for your average, garden variety killer, who desires to create carnage, any weapon at hand will do. Unless a killer happens to be a psychopathic “professional” assassin or a psychotic member of a drug cartel, either of whom would likely have the contacts, wherewithal, and grim determination to acquire access to specialized, unlawful weapons, the kind of weapons that fall in a domain well beyond those weapons commonly available to the law-abiding American public—an American public that generally acquires firearms through a licensed firearms dealer—a killer will use whatever weapon he is able to get his hands on. That was certainly the case with the Santa Fe Texas shooter. But, given the circumstances of that recent school shooting incident in Santa Fe, Texas, antigun proponents are in a quandary as to whether to stay with their present running narrative—that non-semiautomatic weapons only are okay for law-abiding, rational, average American citizens to possess because semiautomatic weapons and full auto or selective fire weapons are weapons of war that have no place in a modern civilized society—or to sharply alter the current narrative, admitting to the American public, at long last, what it is they are truly after: a ban on civilian ownership and possession of all firearms—to turn the entire Nation into a “Gun-free Zone.”
Clearly, antigun proponents’ calls for increasingly tight restrictions on civilian access to so-called assault weapons—meaning, of late, virtually all, not merely some, semiautomatic weapons—suggests a marked reluctance on their part to show their hand too soon, by calling for a total, or, otherwise, comprehensive ban on civilian ownership and possession of firearms of all types. Antigun proponents and zealots have traditionally preferred an incremental approach to gun bans and gun confiscations—one category of firearms at a time, and ever widening the domain of Americans who are precluded lawfully from owning and possessing any firearm—in order to slowly acclimate the public toward acceptance of a gun-free Country.
In fact, antigun proponents—a few of them, ostensibly gun owners, posturing as supporters of the natural, fundamental, and unalienable right of the people to keep and bear arms—disingenuously claim by mere assertion, and rarely if ever by hard argument—that some firearms are specifically designed for self-defense, and so, are deemed the good weapons; and that other weapons—various kinds of semiautomatic firearms, the so-called “assault weapons”—are designed for war; and that this latter category of firearms therefore fall, presumptively, into the bad kind of weaponry that, as antigun proponents vehemently exclaim, civilians should not have access to.
Antigun proponents evidently like to recruit and trot out seemingly avid “antigun gun owners” who, in accordance with the central theme and narrative, argue for reinstating a national ban on “assault weapons,” a catchall expression that is increasingly becoming synonymous with all semiautomatic firearms, not merely some semiautomatic weapons. Antigun proponents falsely assert that no one is trying to take all firearms away from the civilian population of the Country, just some of them—the bad sort, the ones they have corralled under the brand of “assault weapons” or “weapons of war.” They assert that banning such weapons of war is okay because, after all, law-abiding, rational Americans can still keep true self-defense weapons, like .38 revolvers and shotguns handy at the ready, at home.
But is that assertion true, especially when it is clear that so-called weapons for self-defense, or for sport, or for plinking at targets, like revolver handguns and shotguns, are capable of offensive use, as well, and with devastating effect, when in the hands of irresponsible individuals; or in the hands of gangbangers; or in the hands of the common criminal; or in the hands of severely disturbed individuals, such as the shooter who murdered, maimed, and injured several innocent individuals in a Santa Fe, Texas high school? Do not these self-described antigun gun proponents, after all, deviously, deceptively, insidiously, mislead the American public by proffering a seeming reasonable compromise solution to curtailing gun violence and at once “permitting” lawful gun ownership? Are American gun owners expected, honestly, to suspend their skepticism? How many times in the past have American gun owners heard antigun proponents and antigun legislators preface their antigun diatribes with the assertion that they do, of course, support the Second Amendment, when clearly we know that they do not? So, whom are these antigun proponents and antigun legislators really fooling?
LET US TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT A COUPLE OF SEEMING “PRO GUN” ANTIGUN GUN PROPONENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT CIVILIAN GUN OWERNSHIP AND POSSESSION AND CONSIDER THE EFFICACY OF THEIR REMARKS, CONCERNING REVOLVERS AND SHOTGUNS IN LIGHT OF THE SANTA FE, TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL INCIDENT.
Consider the assertions of one antigun zealot, Ashley Addison, who claims, incongruously, to support the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Addison refers to herself as a definitive gun owner. In the weblog, scarymommy.com (an obvious antigun forum, merely masquerading as a weblog supportive of the Second Amendment), this self-proclaimed gun owner claims that she owns only the right and proper sort of weapons—that is to say, weapons for self-defense. Addison says:
“I’m a gun owner. I have two pistols, a rifle, a shotgun . . . and a (now-expired) concealed carry permit. I’ve been shooting since I was a kid. I also support every single gun control measure out there. . . . But an AK-47 (and other assault weapons) is not an ideal weapon for personal defense, and it serves no purpose for “home protection.” It was designed for military use. A a [sic] 12-gauge shotgun is a better, more realistic choice for home defense. I’ve never seen any peer-reviewed study/expert/article anywhere that can refute this. Bottom line: Assault-style weapons should never be in the hands of civilians.”
Would Addison be so quick to assert that she does, in fact, “support every single gun measure,” as she bluntly says in her blog post if that means having to relinquish her shotgun, since, as anyone with any knowledge of the operations of firearms knows that a “self-defense” weapon can be used offensively and that a self-defense weapons, namely a revolver handgun, and a shotgun were in fact utilized by the Santa Fe, Texas shooter to murder, quite effectively, several innocent young people, and in short order? Would Addison continue to suggest that a 12-gauge shotgun is somehow a good weapon—a safe and humane kind of weapon—one particularly suitable for civilians to wield, but that a semiautomatic “assault-style weapon” is not, when considered in light of this recent mass shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. Is the distinction that Addison draws a sound one? One website, internet armory.com has this to say about the shotgun:
“The shotgun is, by far, the deadliest and most formidable, effective firearm ever created for short range personal defense. No other firearm will devastate, disable, or discourage an aggressor as reliably as a shotgun. No other firearm is as likely to obtain decisive hits on an assailant as a shotgun loaded with buckshot.”
When used at shortrange—for example, a school room—Addison’s remark about shotguns (for civilian use) versus assault-style weapons (for military or other non-civilian use is not only patently ridiculous but truly bizarre. One must ask: Does Ashley Addison know what she is talking about? And, by the way, Ashley, shotguns have been and continue to be used by the military and by the police.
The point is that any firearm in the wrong hands is deadly. A psychopath or lunatic can create monstrous horror, wielding any firearm. Moreover, while some firearms or firearm configurations are useful or ideal for a particular purpose, any weapon in the wrong hands can dispatch many innocent people, quickly and effectively, as factual accounts of recent shooting incidents bears out.
In another “scarymommy.com” blog post, a second female, also a self-described “gun owner,” and purported supporter of the Second Amendment, Marissa Bowman, writes: “The fact of the matter is that guns in America are not going to disappear — at the very least not anytime soon. [Is Bowman suggesting they should disappear? If so, she is hardly the supporter of the Second Amendment that she claims to be]. Our Second Amendment rights guarantee that, and more importantly, our social structure is keeping it in place. Until we can guarantee safety for all children — not just our own — parents like me feel it necessary to utilize the right to have added protection for our family. “That does not mean, however, that anyone should be able to own whatever type of gun that they want and without restrictions. As a part-time solo mom whose partner is frequently away for his job, I absolutely feel it’s necessary to own a gun which I keep in my home. My family’s safety is simply not up for political debate. The Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard (.38 Special) that I carry makes me feel as though I can protect and defend my children in a moment’s notice, which in turn makes me feel empowered as a mother.”
In light of the Santa Fe, Texas school shooting, the incongruity of the claims of Addison and Bowman are abundantly clear. The notion that some firearms are acceptable for Americans to own and possess and that some are not is demonstrably weak. The fact of the matter is that, in any confined public area where people are cowering, or even in an open area where people are densely packed and running hither and yon into each other, in panic, a would-be killer can use any firearm, or, for that matter, even a knife, to injure or kill a substantial number of people, quickly, effectively, and unceremoniously. It is therefore dubious for a person to claim that law-abiding, rational Americans have a right to acquire some firearms, but not others–with antigun groups and antigun legislators, along with the mainstream media, being the ultimate arbiters as to what firearms some members of the American citizenry, and, increasingly, an ever dwindling number of the American citizenry–to own and possess. We know where this leads. Given a plethora of ad hoc, inconsistent, and unsound arguments propounded, almost daily, concerning what firearms the law-abiding citizen may own and possess, along with a call for increasing restrictions on one’s use of his or her personal property, and further restrictions on American civilians who are deemed worthy of owning and possessing a firearm what must inevitably come to pass is the virtual extinction of ownership and possession of any firearm in this Country.
HOW HAVE ANTIGUN WRITERS FOR MAINSTREAM PUBLICATIONS RESPONDED TO THE SANTA FE SHOOTING INCIDENT, WHERE THE KILLER DID NOT USE A SEMIAUTOMATIC FIREARM, BUT A BASIC DOUBLE-ACTION REVOLVER HANDGUN AND A MANUALLY OPERATED PUMP ACTION SHOTGUN?
Had the shooter utilized a semiautomatic long gun qua “assault weapon,” the antigun groups would merely claim, as they have been doing for some time, that no one needs such a weapon for self-defense, and that Congress should therefore enact another “assault weapons” ban. Of course, antigun groups seek, ultimately to forbid civilian ownership and possession of any firearm, but they would seek to do so incrementally, and in a linear fashion. As the NFA (National Firearms Act of 1934) operates, essentially, as a practical matter, as a general ban on civilian ownership and possession of fully automatic and selective fire weapons, as well as operating essentially, and as a practical matter, as a ban on civilian ownership and possession of so-called, “sawed off shotguns,” the desire of antigun groups is, as is evident, to see enacted an NFA style set of federal laws applied to semiautomatic weapons, that is to say, “assault weapons”—meaning, an NFA style set of federal laws applied to every conceivable semiautomatic firearm. Once that goal has been accomplished—if it were accomplished—then the American public should make no mistake, as antigun groups would not stop there. They would then go after civilian ownership and possession of remaining firearms: including revolver handguns, shotguns, lever action rifles, black powder muzzleloaders, and any other type of fully functional firearm that the average, law-abiding, rational American citizen, and civilian, may happen to own and possess.
HOW IS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA DEALING WITH THE SANTA FE TEXAS SHOOTING IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THE SHOOTER DID NOT USE A SEMIAUTOMATIC WEAPON TO WREAK HAVOC IN A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL?
With this latest mass shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, will antigun zealots now call for stringent curbs on civilian ownership and possession of all manner of weaponry? Consider how this is beginning to play out.
A contact reporter for the Chicago Tribune, in an article, caustically titled, “No matter what type of gun is used in school shootings, innocent people end up dead,” Dahleen Glanton, writes,
“This time, the school shooter did not use an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to slaughter his classmates. That must be quite a relief to gun lovers.
This killer’s weapons of choice were a shotgun and a .38-caliber handgun — two of the most common firearms available. What more proof do we need, gun lovers will ask, that the problem isn’t with guns but rather with people? . . .
With so many mass shootings in schools and other public places, there is no question that gun lovers have been feeling as though they are under attack. They have tried their best to fend off arguments by the rest of the country that every gun is not protected under the Second Amendment. With so many people dying, we desperately need them to wake up and join us in the struggle to keep our children safe. Only then will politicians feel secure enough to take action.
We cannot let them off the hook. Guns in general, and semi-automatic rifles in particular, remain the greatest threat to safety in America.
Pagourtzis might not have been armed with a high-powered weapon when he allegedly entered that classroom Friday, but gun laws are so lax in Texas that he certainly could easily have gotten his hands on one. In fact, he could have walked down the street with an AR-15 strapped to his shoulder and likely no one would have thought it was odd.
If anything, the shooting exemplifies what anti-gun advocates in cities like Chicago have been saying too. It is far too easy for a legal gun to turn into an illegal gun.”
We make a couple observations here. Firstly, the reporter for this mainstream Press newspaper is acting in typical lockstep with previous mainstream reports of mass shootings, maintaining a consistent antigun narrative. But, she acknowledges, as she must, that the Santa Fe, Texas high school shooter did not use a semiautomatic long gun. But she then moves to propounding bald counterfactuals, apparently to maintain the consistent antigun movement narrative, blasting the presence of semiautomatic long guns in the civilian population, asserting that the shooter could have gotten his hands on an “AR-15,” given, what the reporter refers to as lax gun laws in Texas—a point the reporter doesn’t bother to clarify and expound upon; nor does this reporter explain how the shooter could have gotten his hands on a semiautomatic rifle, but didn’t. Actually the shooter quite effectively murdered and injured innocent young people at Santa Fe High School with a pump action shotgun and a revolver handgun. He need not have bothered to get his hands on an AR-15 if he had thought about the matter at all. Secondly, the shooter gained access to his father’s firearms because his father failed to properly secure them. Note: This is the same, virtually identical and disturbing scenario, by the way, that played out, tragically, in Newtown, Connecticut, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in 2012.
A mother, Nancy Lanza, failed properly to secure her firearms from her psychotic son, Adam Lanza. Now, no one would seriously suggest that Connecticut has had lax gun laws, either prior to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, or at any time since the tragedy. In both the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting incident and in the recent Santa Fe, Texas mass shooting incident, the primary cause for the tragedy can and should be laid at the feet of irresponsible adults and heads of families who knew or should have known of, and certainly better than anyone else, the dangers posed by failing to properly secure firearms from children or from disturbed family members who happen to be residing in the household, and by failing to properly secure any other object that could be feasibly used as a deadly weapon by children or by severely mentally disturbed family members. What we see instead is that neither the irresponsible adult family member, nor the psychotic son is cast as the principal culprit and villain. Rather, the firearm that an obviously psychotic young man acquired and used to murder, maim, and injure innocent individuals—be it a semiautomatic rifle in one instance, or a shotgun and revolver handgun in the other—is cast as the primary cause for the ensuing tragedies and cast, too, as the basic and principal villain and “fall guy.” The antigun proponent’s narrative can take one of two forms.
Consider: one of two narratives must play out when we see antigun proponents and commentators placing blame squarely on an object, rather than on the sentient entity who wields it, that is to say, when we see antigun proponents and commentators placing blame on an object rather than upon the agent who wields the object. Antigun proponents and antigun commentators tend either to fall back on the same, ever recurring narrative, namely that the primary cause for gun violence rests upon the so-called assault weapon, even if a semiautomatic weapon was never in use by a killer or antigun proponents and antigun commentators must construct a new narrative. If antigun commentators wish to stay with the typical narrative, namely that semiautomatic weapons must be banned even if semiautomatic weapons were never used in the shooting incident, as was the case in the recent Santa Fe, Texas incident, then an argument calling for a general ban on civilian ownership and possession of semiautomatic weapons and mass confiscation of semiautomatic weapons is nonsensical in the extreme, as a narrative that does not fit the factual situation must invariably devolve into a recitation of senseless, hypothetical “what if” scenarios as we see in the Chicago Tribune article, and as we also see in the New Yorker article, infra. The narrative becomes decidedly discordant if predictable; for the proverbial deadly object qua “assault weapon” doesn’t factor into the fact pattern. It cannot. If, on the other hand, antigun proponents and commentators wish to construct a new narrative, admitting to the public what antigun proponents most assuredly discuss among themselves, namely, that firearms of all types must eventually be banned, not just so-called, “assault weapons”—aka “weapons of war, then the antigun proponent and commentator isn’t compelled to resort to spurious and specious hypotheticals, which has not place in a news account anyway; and the narrative is internally consistent. But the true intent of the antigun movement would be laid bare for all to see. The true aims of the antigun movement would be clear and irrefutable. In that case, the “cat” would definitely be “out of the bag,” as the antigun proponent or antigun commentator would be clearly and categorically articulating the antigun movement’s ultimate goal: the disarming of the American citizenry en masse. Neither narrative would sit well with American gun owners; nor should it. For, any attempt to arbitrarily ban civilian possession of firearms–whether a gun ban and gun confiscation scheme embraces one type of firearm or all types–would, in either case, be true folly and wholly unacceptable to the American gun owning public because gun bans and gun confiscation schemes are altogether incompatible with the import and purport of the fundamental right of the people to keep and bear arms as codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Semiautomatic weapons, revolvers, and shotguns are all in common use by millions of average, honest, law-abiding, and rational American citizens. These weapons all fall within the core protection of the Second Amendment and cannot lawfully be taken away from Americans. The late, eminent U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in the seminal Second Amendment Heller case made abundantly clear that, presumed State public safety concerns do not and cannot legally override fundamental, primordial Constitutional rights. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the Land; and basic, natural rights and liberties, as a critical component of the U.S. Constitution, are not and never shall be subordinate to State or Federal Statute, much less to public opinion polls or to orchestrated public demonstrations.
As the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not and never has been a right bestowed on Government to the people but exists forever within the American people, that right cannot be legitimately, legally tampered with. To obliterate the natural and fundamental right codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, by arrogantly attempting to turn a sacred right into a mere privilege, easily dispensed with, is an anathema to our history, traditions, values, ethical sensibilities, and legal, social, economic, and moral foundational understanding. Such an effort would, as well, illustrate the antigun movement’s naked, and absolute, unbridled disdain for seminal Second Amendment, U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Another writer for a mainstream news publication, John Cassidy, a columnist for the New Yorker, in an article titled, “Everything About the Texas School Shooting Seems Horribly Familiar,” makes similar comments to those of Dahleen Glanton, writing for the Chicago Tribune. Cassidy, too, maintains the usual antigun proponent’s narrative, attempting to shoehorn counterfactuals into a factual account of the mass shooting. So, despite the weapons that the Santa Fe, Texas gunman used during his murderous escapade, a shotgun, and .38 caliber revolver, which did not include semiautomatic weapons, Cassidy eschews keeping to the facts, contrary to what a reporter should be doing–recounting facts, not contemplating, “what ifs.” Cassidy argues that the shooter could have used a semiautomatic weapon to seriously injure or kill innocent young people, even if the shooter, as we know, didn’t. The account comes across as weak, even silly. John Cassidy exclaims:
“About the only atypical aspect of the shooting was that Pagourtzis reportedly used a Remington Model 870 shotgun and a .38-calibre revolver, rather than a semi-automatic rifle, to kill his ten victims and wound ten others. This was probably because his father didn’t own an AR-15 or any other weapon of war. (Pagourtzis told police he used his father’s guns. It wasn’t immediately clear whether his father knew that they were in his possession.) Enthusiasts of semi-automatic weapons will presumably use this detail to fortify their case against banning such weapons—the argument being that there are firearms of all kinds (more than three hundred million in private hands across the U.S., according to some estimates) and banning one particular type of gun won’t prevent a dedicated shooter from carrying out a massacre.
In the world of Second Amendment devotees, this qualifies as a legitimate case to make. So does the argument, which Donald Trump and the N.R.A. have made, that the real issue with school shootings isn’t the fact that disturbed adolescents have such ready access to deadly weapons but that schools don’t have enough armed teachers to stop gun-wielding intruders, or enough ready escape routes for students and staff to take as they flee the gunfire. ‘We have to look at the design of our schools moving forward and retrofitting schools that are already built,’ Dan Patrick, the Republican lieutenant governor of Texas, said on Friday. ‘And what I mean by that is there are too many entrances and too many exits to our over eight thousand campuses in Texas . . . Had there been one single entrance, possibly, for every student, maybe he’—Pagourtzis—’would have been stopped.’ Rather than descending further into the world of deliberate denial, it is perhaps worth stating a few facts: this was the second school massacre in three months, and the second gun massacre in six months in Texas.”
“Descending further into the world of deliberate denial?” How does fortifying schools against shooters translate into denial. Clearly, John Cassidy is, himself, in denial. It isn’t the millions of law-abiding, rational Americans who happen to own firearms and who strongly support our Bill of Rights—all Ten of them—who are in denial. In fact, in those States that have implemented truly effective school safety plans against shooters, utilizing armed teachers and other armed personnel, there has been not one incident of a school shooting. But, antigun proponents, like John Cassidy choose, apparently, to ignore that fact, assuming he bothered to investigate the matter at all. He presents, as self-evident, true the false and absurd notion that the answer to school safety rests, simply and solely on banning civilian ownership and possession of firearms en masse.
Cassidy’s argument boils down essentially to this: killers murdered young people with guns; so, once Congress bans firearms from the American citizenry, commencing with a ban on semiautomatic rifles, the problem of mass murders in schools will be resolved. Cassidy is wrong. The problem of mass murders in schools or in other public venues won’t end, not by a long shot! Because violence exists in the minds of people, not in objects. That simple truth seems forever to elude antigun proponents who are obsessed with eliminating “The Gun” from society, irrespective of the root causes of violence.
John Cassidy, as with Dahleen Ganlon, seems fixated on the notion that the Santa Fe shooter would, of course, have taken up an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle if the shooter’s father happened to have one. Antigun proponents, like John Cassidy, love to slither here and there—perhaps unaware that they are doing so—from reporting on events taking place in the world to reflecting on possible circumstances that might have, or could have, or conceivably would have, occurred, but didn’t; and they conclude their polemics with express or tacit normative remarks about the way the world ought to be. Since, the antigun movement is hell-bent on removing from civilian possession all semiautomatic weapons, first and foremost, commencing with a broad ban on all semiautomatic weapons that this or that antigun proponent wishes to call an “assault weapon,” the movement’s proponents and the commentators and reporters of the mainstream media who echo the movement’s tactics and strategies, do not wish to muddy the waters by talking about the weapons that a particular killer happened to use, rather than the ones that the antigun proponents’ would have wished for the gunman to have used in order to keep with the “game plan.” Time would come, when, after semiautomatic weapons have been confiscated, remaining categories of firearms can be confiscated and banned as well.
As with all or most antigun zealots, John Cassidy knows little if anything concrete about firearms, and likely cares not one whit to educate himself. As for so-called weapons of war, a little history lesson is in order here. Revolver handguns as well as shotguns have seen use in war. Both weapons are used by many police departments and they have use in sport and for self-defense, as are semiautomatic weapons. And, as the Arbalest Quarrel has pointed out in the previously posted article, any weapon can be used for good or ill, dependent on the wielder of the weapon.
The Santa Fe School shooting, the Parkland, Florida school shooting, and the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting were easily preventable. Failures by governmental authorities and/or by parents of shooters led to tragedy. Those who own and possess firearms have the responsibility to properly use and care for them and to properly secure them. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible gun owners. There is no sane reason to target their firearms for confiscation.
In any event, the answer to curbing gun violence does not devolve to imposing debilitating, draconian gun restrictions on millions of responsible gun owners. That would destroy our free Republic and likely led to outright civil war, as the American citizenry would see first hand, an unlawful attempt by Government to wrest control of the Nation from the citizenry.
There is a more direct and effective response to school safety. It is a twofold approach; and it is an approach that does not create havoc with our Constitution and with the natural rights of Americans. First, at the State, County and local Government levels, a clear and honest assessment of school safety must be made. Once that assessment is completed, a plan must be devised and then implemented with proper testing. The New Yorker columnist, John Cassidy, may see this as a trivial matter. We do not. Second, firearms must be removed from the hands of those who act irresponsibly, and there must be a concerted effort to remove firearms from the criminal elements in our society. Laws already on the books need to be enforced. The Nation does not need more firearms’ laws. Unfortunately, the antigun movement in this Country seeks to disarm the vast responsible American citizenry. School shootings serve merely as a pretext for broad-base gun bans and eventual mass gun confiscation. It is the vast responsible, law-abiding American armed citizenry that the antigun movement is truly targeting, for it is the vast law-abiding armed citizenry that those who seek to disarm Americans truly fear, as it is the vast, law-abiding armed citizenry that, as the Founders of our Republic intended, they cannot, ought not, and must not control. For, it is only in an armed citizenry that true Government encroachment on the rights and liberties of the American citizenry is effectively, categorically, constrained and contained. It is not the criminal element, then, and it is not the occasional lunatic that goes off on a shooting spree that the antigun movement and their silent, secretive, ruthless Globalist benefactors truly fear.
It is the average, law-abiding American citizen and gun owner that these anti-American elements fear and therefore seek to control. The banshee shriek and wail calling for a ban, eventually, on civilian ownership and possession of guns generally and a ban on civilian ownership and possession of semiautomatic firearms—pejoratively and idiotically referred to by antigun proponents as “assault weapons” and as “weapons of war”—particularly, at this juncture, and the claim made that only through mass gun control and eventual mass gun confiscation will this Nation, its people, and its children be safe from violence are, on close inspection specious, even ludicrous, pronouncements even if, superficially, these boisterous, obstreperous pronouncements happen to sound palatable and convincing, as, of course, they are meant to. This propaganda—for propaganda it is—is directed to the weak-willed and the uniformed among us—individuals who are looking for a panacea to violence in society, as violence is claimed to be endemic in society, and they are told it need not be, if only the public accedes to giving up their firearms.
Through it all, the American public is being fed a false narrative. It is a narrative carefully crafted and then directed to the American public through mass media organizations, controlled by transnationalist billionaires who seek to alter, forever, the framework of the Nation, a free Republic that the Founders of our Nation, the framers of our Constitution and of our sacred Bill of Rights, bequeathed to us. The transnationalist billionaires seek to destroy our Nation for their own benefit, for their own selfish ends. The goal, of these extraordinarily powerful, insanely wealthy, highly secretive, and absolutely ruthless individuals, is not suppression of gun violence, despite the claims of antigun groups, their willing tools. To the contrary; it is repression of the American citizenry. That, unfortunately, is the sad, but irrefutable truth. The American public should not be deluded to think it not so.
Copyright © 2018 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.