SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Dec. 3, 2015 – Once again, mass killings in the United States have brought the gun control debate back into the national focus. In a state that has already passed the most restrictive gun-control legislation in the nation, shooters armed with assault weapons and handguns entered a roomful of the most peaceful public servants one can imagine and gunned down dozens of people.
Initial forensic analysis of the weapons seized by law enforcement after a shootout where the only possessors of assault weapons were the police and the bad guys revealed that two of the guns were illegal. It is apparent that, despite California’s ban on assault weapons and clips that hold more bullets than state legislators felt to be appropriate, no law can prevent the unlawful acquisition of guns or their infliction of death and mayhem upon America.
A husband and wife dropped their baby daughter at Grandma’s home, strapped on black tactical gear and grabbed their assault weapons, along with a bomb that they had apparently constructed in a room of their home while their young child slept in her crib.
There is no logic attached to mass killings. There are only delusion and a total disregard for the sanctity of human life. While rational, moral Americans of every faith and creed ponder why someone would slaughter innocent people in the interest of a cause, the immediate reaction of President Obama is to call for gun control. Here is the reality: No law preventing the acquisition of guns could have prevented the tragedy in San Bernardino. Law enforcement found 12 pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of bullets in a house where a husband and wife lived with their infant child.
It has been estimated that there are enough legal guns in the United States of America to arm every man, woman and child. If we counted the illegal guns within our borders, we could probably arm every American to shoot from both hands. All of the legislation proposed is intended to prevent gun sales. Here’s a news flash: The guns have already been sold, legally and illegally.
The suspects shot their guns 76 times in their attack; their SUV held another 1,600 rifle rounds and hundreds of 9mm rounds destined to be shot from their handguns. Another 5,000 rounds were found in their rental home. In minutes, they killed 14 unarmed innocent people who had devoted their lives as social workers for the disabled. Why?
The irony of gun control is the reality that gun control measures won’t work. The agony of gun control is that we feel helpless to fix the problem.
Why would a young couple with a baby daughter, with no record of terrorism or radical ideology, want to sacrifice their life for a cause? They obviously knew they would die and leave their child an orphan. That is the scariest side of radical terrorism. They were trained to die, they were ready to die and nobody knew. The family went before the cameras in utter disbelief. People who knew them expressed the same. They were a normal couple who had radicalized undercover. The difference between them and their neighbors was that they spent their spare time acquiring weapons and ammunition and building bombs at home.
Political candidates have clamored to get their opinions before the cameras, and the deception continues. The push is to ban guns, make them more difficult to attain. The claim is that if we do this by federal legislation, it will somehow end gun violence. The message to politicians is to do something, anything, to make our national agony go away.
Gun violence will not end or even be diminished, by more laws. We have a multitude of laws pertaining to guns. We have few laws that increase penalties for crimes committed with illegal guns or those committed with a gun that is not registered to the shooter.
Even these laws ignore the problem.
American politics has a bad habit. Candidates (and the already elected) feel that they need to direct the voters away from the problem in order to disguise the fact that they have no solution.
While we sit at home, watching CNN, FOX and the rest of the spin doctors, so do the politicians. They are no better informed, and no better qualified, to offer a solution to our national problem. The difference is that we elected them, they will stand in front of the cameras whenever the lights go on, and they know we count on them to lead us. Leading the uninformed through the fog of misinformation is easy. Leading the nation from the problem to the solution is infinitely more difficult.
Where we go with gun control at the federal level is anyone’s guess. The end result is predictable. No new law will change a thing. The shootings will continue, a new era in our lives as Americans. We will continue to demand solutions, while those we elected to public office can only pass more laws. The challenge for those we elect to public office is to take the difficult path.