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Mass Shootings: Blame the Shooter, not the Gun


A gun is only a tool.

The person using it determines whether it is used for defense or to harm others. Focusing on controlling access to firearms is a counterproductive attack on our liberty and right of self-defense. Most gun deaths are either suicide or gang related, and since criminals, by definition, disobey laws, no laws restricting firearms access are going to reduce these deaths. Someone determined to commit suicide can do it without a gun.

The current background check system is a joke. Many of the recent mass shooters passed the checks, and those who knew they couldn’t, bought their guns privately or stole them. Some people have been denied firearms because of computer errors when they should have been able to buy them, and very few who fail the check are prosecuted for trying to buy when they were not legally allowed to. Some people have even died while waiting for their permit to own a gun. The deadliest cities in this country all have very restrictive gun laws, and violent crime statistics have been declining nationally as more states loosened up on concealed carry and open carry regulations.

Gun free zones tell attackers that nobody there will be able to quickly stop them, so they have time to build up the body count until somebody with a gun arrives to stop them. When an entertainment venue is gun free, the patrons either have to travel there disarmed, or leave their guns in their cars. Criminals love this because it makes it easy for them to steal those guns, and then you have that many more available on the black market.

We don’t blame the tool in any other situation where people are murdered. Did we blame the bomb in OK City at the Murrah Building? Did we blame the airplanes on 9/11 and try to ban them? Did anyone call for pressure cooker regulations after the Boston Marathon bombing? Prosecute the people who misuse firearms, but don’t disarm the responsible law-abiding citizens. Predators will always obtain the weapons they want. Disarming the rest of us only makes us prey.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by


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