In the 72 hours after the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of several others in Tucson, our moral betters on the liberal left were shouting in (coordinated?) outrage that it had to be due to the angry, overheated rhetoric from the Right, and most particularly from Sarah Palin. Even the Sheriff of Pima County couldn’t resist getting in on the act.
Though the Left is still pushing the “dangerous rhetoric” idea, even to the point of introducing a bill to criminalize free speech*, their campaign to smear their conservative opponents is crumbling like a wet cookie as it becomes increasingly clear that the shooter suffered from a serious mental illness and had no coherent political beliefs. So,with that tactic failing, what’s a good statist to do? How else can we exploit human tragedy to further our political agenda? Hmmm…
I’ve got it! Let’s blame it on Arizona’s loose gun laws! Then we can get gun-control legislation passed!
Trouble is, like the “inflamed rhetoric” argument, the idea that weak gun laws in Arizona allowed a mentally ill man to legally conceal-carry a firearm does not stand up to the light of truth, as Big Journalism’s Dana Loesch shows:
More on the role of conceal carry in a bit. I’ve seen many are making the case that just “anyone” with mental illness can buy a gun and that Arizona’s “relaxed” gun laws contributed to the Arizona tragedy because a mentally ill individual was allowed to legally purchase a firearm and we can’t just have mentally ill people buying guns. No, we can’t, which is why Arizona has a law about this. AZ law expressly states that due to their prohibited possessor stipulation, anyone proving a danger to themselves or others pursuant to court order is not allowed to purchase a firearm.
Under Arizona law, prohibited possessor are defined in ARS 13-3101 which states:
- 7. “Prohibited possessor” means any person:
- (a) Who has been found to constitute a danger to himself or to others or to be persistently or acutely disabled or gravely disabled pursuant to court order under section 36-540, and whose right to possess a firearm has not been restored pursuant to section 13-925.
Had campus security and his parents followed up with proper treatment and reported his actions, he, from what it sounds, would have been an easy PP and unable to buy a weapon. Had the Sheriff’s office acted upon what is suggested as their advanced knowledge of Loughner’s troubled history, they may have obtained a warrant and confiscated his firearm – or apprehended him before he bought it. Of course, this simply assumes that Loughner was only motivated to cause harm because he was in possession of a firearm and presupposes that the firearm was an accessory motivator and rules out for certain that Loughner would never have attacked anyone with, say, a knife, bat, or any other weapon.
The problem isn’t the fallacy that Arizona’s law failed – Arizona’s law, like every law, can only work if followed. Prohibited possession can only work if if troubled individuals are reported to authorities so that the existing laws can be applied to them and, in this case, prevent them from purchasing firearms.
In other words, the problem was that existing law was not applied when it should have been. (And the Sheriff’s office there is in serious need of investigation for its failures in this case.)
Loesch then goes on to address the faulty argument that permissive concealed-carry laws enabled this crime and increase the risks we face, citing numerous studies — including data from the FBI — to show that states that permit concealed-carry experience a sharp drop in violent crime. (For example) Inconvenient truths, of course, rarely matter to the Statists in the media and government, who are quick to seize any reason, however fallacious, to try to advance their agenda of paternalistic control, including taking away our ability to defend ourselves.
For our own good, of course.
*Maybe they need another public reading of the Bill of Rights?
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)