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We’re lead to believe, either through the media our own prejudice, that America has two kinds of domestic terrorists: Crazy right wingers who are Caucasian, or crazy Islamic radicals.
I stumbled across this a few weeks ago. Interesting story and all kinds of screwed up– from the act all the way to the response of the group(s) impacted.
This guy planned to murder as many people as possible in order to send a message. His message: If you oppose gay marriage, you deserve to die a violent death. He planned to litter the crime scene with chicken sandwiches to drive the point home.
Well, that’s a new one. For me at least. So much for it just being “preppers” and “jihadists” causing all the problems.
Some food for thought:
Mr. Corkins broke existing federal gun laws while planning to execute his crime. Existing regulation didn’t work.
Mr. Corkins trained with this weapon with the expressed purpose of executing a crime. We have a training requirement in CA for handgun purchases. Apparently, in situations like this, it actually assists criminals with executing their crime.
Mr. Corkins committed the crime using a standard issue semi-automatic pistol, not an assault weapon. Current legislation, as echoed by Vice President Biden, will do nothing to stop almost all gun crimes.
Mr. Corkins had three loaded 15 round magazines, additional ammunition, but only fired three shots. Restricting magazine size does absolutely nothing to mitigate almost all gun crimes.
Mr. Corkins, a bad guy with a gun, was stopped by a good guy with a gun. (OK, maybe the security guard didn’t have a gun . . . but it’s much catchier to state that he did. I can’t prove it either way and it doesn’t really matter.)
So what are the lessons learned here?
1) You can’t predict crazy. Crazy people can pass a background check, they come from all walks of life, and they have diverse political, social, religious, and personal beliefs. They can buy a gun six months from now or maybe they bought one fifteen years ago. Background checks are not a panacea to ensure that lethal weapons do not get into the wrong hands.
2) The assault weapons ban would have done absolutely nothing to prevent this crime from occurring. Nothing. How a weapon is used and who is using it determines the lethality of the device. Whether or not the weapon has an adjustable stock or a specific type of hand grip has negligible impact when compared to the user’s skill, willingness to kill, or even luck.
3) Individuals seeking to commit a crime often aren’t deterred by the law. Someone willing to commit murder is more than likely willing to break the law to secure a weapon. In this case, the perpetrator stated he would have built a bomb, but getting a gun was easier. (<– That’s a valid point for discussion on it’s own.) New laws proposing to add additional minor crimes to major crime events have no consequence to criminals. They won’t work.
4) Posting the contact information of your political enemies may have disastrous consequences. Solving differences by intentionally provoking conflict will, eventually, lead to a violent resolution. Acting like a vigilantly under the guise of the public’s right to know will only encourage vigilantism.
5) The police cannot be everywhere at the same time. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own security.
6) WE ARE FOCUSING ON THE WRONG SOLUTION TO THE WRONG PROBLEM.
We have a moral responsibility as a modern society to provide a path towards de-escalating conflict. Unfortunately, we have a culture that thrives on the opposite.
Are our leaders discussing the problem and debating a solution? No, they’re fixated on demonizing each other around gun control. Why? Because the public wants someone’s butt on a plate, they want an enemy to blame, and the NRA is too stupid to understand that it’s going to be them so long as they can’t keep their trap shut.
In other words, it’s not that one group doesn’t like guns and the other group does– it’s that one group doesn’t like people who like guns and the other group doesn’t like people who don’t like guns. That’s how you get a picture of the President shooting a shotgun at Camp David: Like ME because I like guns, too!
Does owning an AR-15 add substantive value to a productive society? Probably not. Does it take away from it? Well, there are millions of them and we’re pretty productive, so also probably not.
Does the political environment of provoking confrontation, refusing to cooperate or compromise, and demonizing the opposition take away from a productive society? Oh, you bet it does.
It’s not video games and it’s not guns. It’s about our leaders and our role models. People get blown up on a daily basis in the Middle East. They don’t have violent video games and in many cases they don’t have guns. They also have crappy leaders. It happens in Europe, it happens in Africa, it happens in Asia, and it happens in South America. It happens on every continent and it happens because we tolerate . . . no we encourage . . . winning at all cost. We think it’s OK to send a message to your opponent in a sporting event, a competitor in the marketplace, the opposition in the legislature, or to the defendant in a courtroom. We believe in winning and this is the cost we pay.
What will we get out of an assault weapon ban? We’ll get one group who feels good about winning and we’ll get a bunch of pissed off losers. Do we really expect violent crime to fall as a result of escalating this political conflict? Maybe some of us do. I don’t.
Show me an America were leaders compromise for the greater good, know how to lose, who give their constituents a voice– even those who didn’t vote for them, and who accept responsibility for being wrong and I’ll show you a world without mass murder.
This isn’t about abuse of the second amendment; it’s about not understanding how to use the first. As long as our leaders continue to abuse their first amendment rights, we can expect those misguided individuals who follow them to act out accordingly.