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The Santa Clarita shooting doesn’t support liberal's gun control agenda

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 11/15/2019 Brad Polumbo
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Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Tragedy struck again Thursday morning.

A 16-year-old at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, killed two of his classmates and injured three more. According to the New York Times, the shooter opened fire around 7:30 a.m., sparking terror in the community and causing irreparable damage before attempting to take his own life. This was yet another irrational shooting shocking the country. And, as is so often the case, liberals politicized it almost immediately.

The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times called for Second Amendment restrictions right after the news of the shooting broke, writing in a Thursday editorial that “There will certainly be an investigation... [b]ut in the end, the availability of the gun remains, and that is the root of our gun violence problem.” And an NBC News opinion piece took this one step further, shamelessly citing the incident — the bodies practically still warm — as an opportunity to “defeat the NRA.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal wasted no time before exploiting the tragedy, immediately invoking it in real-time after learning of the shooting halfway through a stump speech for gun control on the Senate floor. The Connecticut Democrat said, “As I speak on the floor right now, there is a school shooting. How can we turn the other way, how can we refuse to see that shooting in real-time, demanding our attention, requiring our action?” Sen. Kamala Harris echoed his sentiments. The California Democrat and 2020 contender called the tragedy “preventable,” as part of her broader push for Second Amendment restrictions.

Yet the immediate calls for gun control aren't just distasteful, they're entirely unsupported. It’s early, and more details are sure to emerge, but nothing about this shooting appears to support or vindicate any part of the Democrats’ gun control agenda.

For one, the shooter was only 16. That means it was illegal for him to purchase or own a firearm. The idea that more laws would have prevented a crazed actor from doing something, even though they already clearly evaded and trampled on the law, is simply nonsensical.

How would he have been stopped by a background check?

There’s no way a sick, disturbed, determined person would have been stopped by expanding background checks (which are already quite robust and cover almost 90% of gun purchases) when it would still inevitably be easy enough to have someone else purchase a firearm on their behalf, steal one, or buy one illegally on the black market.

So, too, the shooting, in this case, was carried out using a handgun. Bans on “assault weapons” wouldn’t have even made the gun in question illegal, let alone stopped the shooter from carrying out the attack. Unless Democrats are seriously willing to cross the bridge into banning all handguns, using this shooting to push their agenda is just shameless politics.

Plus, the Santa Clarita shooting happened in California, not exactly a Second Amendment free-for-all state. The Los Angeles Times almost reached self-awareness and realized that perhaps a shooting in the state with some of the most restrictive gun laws doesn’t quite support the addition of more gun laws … but ended up apparently not noticing this massive contradiction.

Their editorial noted, “This is the 39th mass shooting (that is, a shooting in which at least four people were wounded) in California this year, bringing the statewide total to 53 people killed and 158 injured. And this in a state with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country.” It’s stunning to witness the number of mental gymnastics required for the Times to not realize they’ve just undercut their entire argument.

Let’s be clear: Liberals are telling you that more gun laws — which don’t actually apply to the specifics of this case at all — would have stopped a shooting in the state that already has one of the strictest gun control regimens. Right. They’ll have to do better than that if they want to make the case against our Second Amendment rights.

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