In the wake of the tragic shooting that occurred in Parkland last month, the liberals are back to doing what they do best – calling for more gun control, and specifically, demanding that our country demonstrates “common sense” by banning the AR-15. If we could just get rid of these scary, powerful “weapons of war,” they tell us, then our schools and public institutions would be much safer than they are now. There’s just one problem – such a ban wasn’t able to stop one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
In 1999, reporter Lesley Stahi appeared on 60 Minutes just four months after the Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, and declared that then-President Clinton’s 1994 assault weapons ban did nothing to prevent the Columbine shooters from using those weapons to kill innocent people on that fateful day.
“When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot their way into Columbine High School in Colorado a few months ago, one of the guns in their arsenal was a powerful pistol called a TEC-9,” Stahi explained. “That’s one of the guns supposedly outlawed by the assault-weapons ban, passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton back in 1994. So how were they able to get ahold of a banned gun?”
What a deep and sophisticated question that is. Maybe it’s because criminals, by definition, don’t follow the law. Maybe it’s because if someone is crazy enough to walk into a high school and shoot up a bunch of innocent people, they’re going to find a way to do it one way or another. Maybe it’s because simply piling on more and more restrictions on firearms is not a legitimate answer to gun-related violence.
Consider a story that was published by Breitbart News last August: “Gun-Controlled Chicago: at Least 63 shot, Eight Killed over Weekend.” Breitbart noted that, according to the Chicago Tribune, over half of the shooting occurred in a time span of just “13 hours from Saturday to early Sunday.” This horror was followed by the shooting of 16 people throughout the day on Sunday, including three shootings that occurred on the same street – South Austin. These shootings brought the number of homicides in Chicago up to 451 for the year, and notably, the windy city ended the previous year – 2016 – with nearly 800 homicides and around 4,400 total shooting victims. (Related: Chicago had 362 gunshot victims and 59 murders… in a single month back in 2015.)
As we are all well aware, Chicago isn’t exactly known for respecting its citizens’ right to keep and bear arms; as a matter of fact, it is one of the most anti-Second Amendment cities in the entire country. How is it possible, then, that a city that has essentially outlawed the personal ownership of firearms has so much gun-related crime? Based on the liberal philosophy that fewer guns equals less crimes, shouldn’t Chicago be a crime-free utopia?
The fact of the matter is that, as Lesley Stahi said on 60 Minutes back in 1999, more restrictions on firearms like the AR-15 simply does not deter gun-related crime. Rather, the only thing that excessive gun laws do is disarm law-abiding citizens and put them at a significant disadvantage, because while they may surrender their firearms, would-be criminals will not. (Related: A rampaging knife murderer in a Minnesota mall was stopped by a man with a concealed gun.)
It’s time for our society to accept the fact that guns in the hands of good people is the best and most effective defense against guns in the hands of bad people. Until we come to terms with that simple truth, these horrible shootings like the one in Parkland will sadly continue.