Inevitably, the shooting that rocked South Carolina last week quickly gave way to a legion of politicians and pundits crusading against guns. The left has a motto: never let a tragedy go to waste. And if it’s a stretch to use the Amtrak crash as a push for more transportation funding, it’s far easier to use a shooting to call for gun control. And that’s exactly what they’ve done, in harsher language than we’ve seen since Newtown.
President Obama got in on the action early, telling Americans that we had to face the fact that these kinds of shootings didn’t happen in other Western countries. He stopped short of calling for specific gun control measures, but he said that we should use this opportunity to determine how to regulate guns so that people like Dylann Roof could not easily get their hands on them.
This inspired South Carolina Senator Tim Scott to fire back. Appearing Friday on The Kelly File, Scott asked, “What type of gun law would have made this situation not occur?” Scott said that Roof was already in violation of existing gun laws when he carried out the shooting. As a felon, he should not have owned the gun to begin with. And even then, he should not have entered the church, which is a “gun-free” zone.
“The laws were already broken,” Scott said. “To suggest that there’s somehow a way for us to specifically stop this occurrence with gun legislation seems to be inconsistent with the facts as we know them on the ground.”
It’s one of the most rational arguments against strict gun control laws, and it is one that Second Amendment supporters have to make again and again. If criminals are willing to break the law to kill, rob, and rape, why would they let a gun law stand in their way? It defies common sense, and it goes against everything we know about street violence.
Perhaps in the wake of such a tragedy, we should wonder why these killers never go after gatherings where people are likely to be armed. Why didn’t Dylann Roof go into one of Charleston’s roughest neighborhoods and shoot up gang members? Why didn’t James Holmes find a local group of sovereign citizens to kill instead of an unsuspecting crowd of moviegoers? Why did Adam Lanza shoot up a kindergarten?
You don’t have to think too hard to figure it out. Mass murderers go where the getting is good. They don’t want to be killed. They don’t want to be stopped. They look for easy targets. That means finding places where people are unarmed and unprepared. Sheep waiting to be slaughtered. Liberals search high and low for an explanation for these killers’ deeds – childhood trauma, undiagnosed mental illness, societal pressures – but they can’t seem to wrap their heads around this simple truth.
Does that mean that the churchgoers should have been armed? Not at all. But they should have had the right to be armed if they were so inclined. Our government should not be able to tell us whether or not we will be able to defend ourselves. Not now, not ever.