When the strictest gun control laws in the country don’t work


The best way to prevent gun violence may be more guns.  Photo by    Kenny Luo    on    Unsplash

The best way to prevent gun violence may be more guns. Photo by Kenny Luo on Unsplash

There has been another school shooting. 

Last week, a 16-year-old student shot and killed two classmates at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, wounding several others before taking his own life. According to reports, the shooting was perpetrated with a semi-automatic handgun, not an assault rifle, it was premeditated and the shooter was unhindered by the state’s major gun control laws.  

Here’s what we can deduct from this information: Because the shooting was perpetrated with a handgun and not an assault rifle — which are banned in California — and because the shooter was too young to purchase any firearms, we can reaffirm the contention that criminals illegally obtain guns in spite of bans. Given that the shooting appears to have been premeditated by a suicidal individual, it’s also likely that having armed security on school grounds could have deterred the shooting, perhaps leading the suicidal shooter to leave others out of his final act.  

Considering that the state of California has the strictest gun control legislation in the country — yet does not boast the lowest rate of gun death in the nation and did not manage to legislate this act of evil from occurrence — we can further see that the strictest gun control measures are not nearly as effective as the left would suggest. In spite of the state’s universal background checks, mental health screenings, “red flag” laws and “assault weapons” ban, an evil person was able to illegally obtain a firearm and use it to harm people.  

Every single time there is a school shooting, the left plays it as though gun control opponents are complicit in the crime, more concerned with their firearms than the lives of children. Never is the left forced to answer for when gun control fails. This is a massive shortcoming of the Republican Party and Second Amendment advocates as a whole, a fundamental failure to hold the opposition to its own standards and to make the best possible case for both the preservation of the right to bear arms and the protection of human life with that right.  

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that the media is not covering this particular school shooting with the same fervor typically reserved for those acts of evil which more conveniently fit the narrative. There will be no March for Our Lives in response to this shooting and no coached children being paraded around on CNN and MSNBC to accuse lawmakers of prioritizing campaign donations over their lives. The usual shtick will be reserved for a better crime.  

The reason? 

Because strict gun control did not perform its function. And those who’ve suggested its inefficacy are correct. The left has been reminded repeatedly that if it truly wants to prevent gun violence with gun control, then it will be forced into adopting the untenable position of banning handguns as well as assault rifles because far more gun violence is committed with the former than the latter. Predictably, the left refuses to embrace that position, but it also refuses the more effective alternative: Placing a line of defense between the vulnerable and the wicked. Instead, it seeks to further erase any existent lines with even stricter gun control, effectively ensuring that the only ones armed are those with bad intentions.  

We must supply those who can protect with a means of doing so.

At UConn, we have armed security. On the Hartford campus, we’re directly in the middle of one of the most crime-ridden cities in America. We have police inside and outside the building. The left recognizes the effectiveness of good men with guns, but this more effective means of deterring attacks requires the government to relinquish some of its control over the people and return more of its power to the rightful owners. Thus, the left will resist this entirely, employing character attacks against its opposition and justifying or outright ignoring shootings which don’t further its agenda. 

It is impossible to prevent all acts of evil, but there are more efforts we can make. The answer is not to control the supply of guns to the extent which the left desires. Instead, we must supply those who can protect with a means of doing so. Any effort to prevent Americans from defending themselves and their children is purely immoral and tyrannical. Only tyrants would rather sacrifice their people than surrender political control.  

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual writers in the opinion section do not reflect the views and opinions of The Daily Campus or other staff members. Only articles labeled “Editorial” are the official opinions of The Daily Campus.

Kevin Catapano is a weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at kevin.catapano@uconn.edu

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