It is astonishing just how liberals will twist just about anything to try to make a point that is completely wrong. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is no exception to that rule; during the most recent round of Second Amendment arguments before the Supreme Court, Brady Center has come out swinging. The slightest knowledge of the facts of some of the events that Brady Center has held up as reasons for stringent gun control – even outright bans – can give one astounding insight to the reality of these claims. Click here and you’ll see a document chronicling a list of “mass shootings” that Brady believes to be reasons to severely restrict Second Amendment rights.
One of the oldest mass shooting incidents on the list is the Pearl High School shooting in 1997. Luke Woodham stabbed his mother and went to school prominently displaying his rifle. He walked in and immediately killed his ex-girlfriend and her friend and wounded seven others before running out of ammunition. What Brady doesn’t tell you is how the incident ended: the principal chased Woodham out to the parking lot and retrieved his own .45 pistol and disarmed Woodham. Had that principal done that today, he’d have gone to jail for having a gun on a school campus. He was a hero, and if he’d had that weapon in the building the incident likely would have ended much more quickly.
Later that year, Michael Carneal walked into Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky and opened fire on a group of classmates in a prayer circle, killing three and wounding one before being tackled by another student. What Brady doesn’t tell you is that the pistol, two rifles and two shotguns – and over 700 rounds of ammunition – were all stolen. Like Woodham, he was a minor and not allowed to buy or carry a gun.
In 1998, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden stole seven guns from Golden’s grandfather and packed the guns along with camping gear in Johnson’s mother’s minivan. The next morning they drove the van to Westside Middle School and pulled a fire alarm before running to a spot nearby where they had set up in camouflage. They killed five and wounded ten. They were minors and not allowed to have guns – they STOLE the weapons. In an added twist of cruelty Arkansas law didn’t provide for prosecuting children as adults in the case of murder. Consequently, Johnson was released from confinement in 2005, Golden in 2007. Since, Johnson has been re-arrested for associating with another felon and possession of a firearm (a 9mm pistol) by a prohibited person. The bad guys get guns no matter what the law says.
A few months later, Kip Kinkel was expelled for bringing a gun to Thurston High School at age 16. His father, despite Kip’s numerous legal problems, had decided that buying him a .22 Ruger rifle and a 9mm Glock would be a great idea. It wasn’t one of these weapons he was expelled for – a classmate stole a .32 Beretta pistol from the father of another classmate and offered to sell it to Kip, who paid $110 for it. His father had locked up his guns in a back bedroom. The next morning Kip broke into the gun locker and murdered his parents before going back to school and killing two and wounding 24. He was tackled by wounded classmate Jacob Ryker. Here’s what Brady doesn’t tell you about this one: Ryker had grown up with guns and knew from experience that Kip needed to reload.
Then, in 1999, came the most violent school shooting in American history, the one whose name would become a synonym for school shootings and revenge: Columbine. It was significant to me because I had friends in Littleton. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into their school, calmly placed a homemade bomb attached to a propane tank in the middle of the busy cafeteria, and waited. When the bomb didn’t go off their plans changed. They walked into the cafeteria again, shooting everyone they came across. In the end, 12 students and a teacher were dead and the shooters had committed suicide with another 23 seriously wounded. Here’s what Brady doesn’t tell you: the guns they used were all illegally obtained. Three of the guns were bought by Klebold’s legal-adult girlfriend, the fourth was bought from a third party who went to prison for some time for selling firearms to a minor.
The most egregious entry in Brady’s shooting list is the shooting of 6-year-old Kayla Rowland by a classmate in Michigan. Here’s why: the classmate, 7 years old, had a single mother, a father in prison and was living in his uncle’s crackhouse when he found a .38 caliber revolver – a stolen gun – hidden under a pile of blankets. He took it to school and shot Kayla after she got him in trouble. How, exactly, does THAT stand out as a shining example of the need for gun control? The uncle who had it stole it, and was a prohibited person to boot (hence the fact that he STOLE it). How does the Brady Center intend to coax drug-dealing criminals to stop stealing guns? Oh, I have the answer…a few more laws. That’ll do it. If we just had a few more laws, they wouldn’t be able to get their hands on all of those drugs, either.
Here’s another little factoid that Brady and other gun control advocates leave out: nearly all of the shootings on their list, from beginning to end, were perpetrated in so-called “gun free zones.”
Even in Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Sweden, where guns are almost entirely outlawed, mass shootings have still occurred in recent years. Great Britain, which has banned all civilian ownership of guns (to include hunting, a national pastime), has seen an exponential rise in gun violence. Why? Because the criminals don’t care about what the law says. If they cared, they wouldn’t be criminals! So, since the thugs didn’t care before the gun ban that violent assault and robbery were wrong, it stands to reason that now they see an even bigger opportunity: an entire nation of disarmed victims ripe for the picking. The numbers have proven this.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court overturned the Washington, DC handgun ban in 2008. While the politicians and gun control lobby wailed that the streets would become killing fields the exact opposite happened. The murder rate, in the six months in 2008 – 2009 after the decision, dropped an amazing 25%. I’ll be interested to see how much further it drops with a full year of armed, capable citizens being allowed to defend themselves.
Here’s a thought: if civilians were incapable of being responsible gun owners, reason says they should not be allowed to become police officers, either. Yet the police often cannot act until a crime has been committed. They try to do all they can to catch the bad guys before something serious happens, but until a man actually snaps and starts trying to harm and/or kill someone, he can’t simply be thrown in jail. There has to be a reason to put him there. I don’t care to be that reason.
What kind of a world do we live in when we can say, “oh, he was shot by an everyday mugger,” and move on as if it’s nothing?