In their editorial today that should surprise nobody, the New York Times calls for more gun control. Additionally, they call out Congress for not doing anything by saying,
Still, Republicans leaders in Congress do nothing. Or, really, so far they’ve done the same thing they have always done: offered thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow, then, will surely bring warnings not to “politicize” a tragedy by debating gun controls that might prevent such mass killings from happening again.
When Republican leaders have responded to past killings, their response was to block sensible, useful gun control. They should not be allowed to delay effective legislation any longer.
They fail to mention what “sensible, useful” measures “might prevent” similar mass shootings in the future. They also fail to point out how such measures would work. Instead of being making productive suggestions, they show a bunch of live-updating clocks that display the time since several previous mass shootings, arguing that “now is the time” to have such debates. They fail to grasp that the country has already had such debates and the ideas proposed by their side have been found wanting.
I suspect their suggestions, if stated, would be similar to the standard gun-controller wishlist: banning popular guns and magazines, restrictions on ammo, banning private sales, restricting carry, licensing, registration, and insurance.
In short, useless measures that would only affect lawful gun owners and have absolutely no effect on criminals who already violate a host of laws to commit their heinous crimes. Unlike many criminal acts, these types of mass killings are usually meticulously planned, with the attackers willing to go to great lengths over long periods of time to acquire what they need.
Making an already illegal action (i.e. murder, attempted murder, assault, not to mention a host of other crimes the perpetrator no doubt committed in the course of his spree) slightly more illegal isn’t going to deter such people.
The correct course of action is not to seek to restrict tools used by bad guys (and a vast number of ordinary people), as the number of tools that can be used for bad purposes is limited only by the imagination, but rather to ensure that a rapid, armed response can be made against the bad guy. This role typically falls to the police, though the police cannot be everywhere, nor can they respond instantly to the scene of a crime, individuals should be prepared to defend themselves. Laws that restrict the lawful carriage of arms for self-defense are monstrous and should be called out as such.
In the case of Sutherland Springs, the heroic actions of an armed bystander and a passing motorist (well done, you two!) served to disrupt the attacker’s escape. It’s too bad that such a response was not available a few minutes earlier before the killer racked up such a body count.
In response to the New York Times’ call for more gun control, not to mention similar calls from various legislators, public figures, media, etc., I think I’ll complete one of the 80% AR-15 lower receivers I’ve been meaning to work on. Another AR is always fun, and it’s nice to make something that points out the folly of gun control.