St. Paddy's Day Shootings, and What's Next
This morning there were shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The suspect who opened fire at three businesses in Georgia is in custody, while the one from Wisconsin took his own life when pursued by police after shooting two co-workers. Ten people, as of the time of this writing, have lost their lives. Yet while little more of the facts in either case are known as of this moment, there are some certainties about what will happen next.
There will be politicians who race to the nearest microphone or camera to express a false sense of sympathy or feign outrage, while reading from a standard list of talking points focused around gun control. They will regurgitate these same arguments, some used for almost a century, to attempt to further political agendas. Media outlets will spread these clips, or their talking heads will recite the same points. It has probably already started even as I type these words.
And yet, they make these arguments with a lack of understanding of any facts, or knowledge of what they are talking about. The “solutions” they propose may have had zero impact on any of the shootings that took place today, including the several overnights in Chicago which will receive none of the media coverage due to being a daily occurrence in the city with some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
It is also a certainty that some organizations will make statements vilifying any person, company, or organization who believes in the right to self-defense, firearms ownership, training, or defending our God-given and Constitutionally affirmed right to own and carry (keep and bear) firearms. In the words of Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama's Chief of Staff, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” and use whatever you can to further your political goals.
While it's not guaranteed, anyone who's been paying attention to the history of similar situations can draw certain conclusions of what will likely happen in the political arena. The items that caused the death will by blamed more than the person who committed the heinous acts. To that end, it is likely that, regardless of the tools actually used in the murders, AR and AK style rifles will be targeted for severe regulation or banning, as will magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Ammunition, particularly that used by the AR-15, will also likely be the subject of draconian measures of regulation. Finally, because it's been the subject of attempted legislation in the past, sales between private parties will likely be lumped into any bans or other regulations.
What should the preparedness-minded citizen do? If you've been holding off on purchasing a gun or ammunition due to the increase in prices or scarcity of them, now's the time. Now, right now, not next week or next month. Despite recent events, most bans that go into effect allow exceptions for any items already owned at the time of the ban.
You should also pay attention to legislation on the state and federal levels. With nearly 8 million new gun owners in this country last year, hopefully, there will be enough people to swamp their respective politicians' phone lines and emails with opposition to any further political restriction on a right which was meant to be unassailable.
Both “mass shootings” which took place this morning were acts of evil people and, despite the derision of some internet trolls, all of our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims. Yet creating more unarmed, law-abiding citizens to be victims is not the answer. Above all, I would urge you to guard your thoughts and emotions and not allow them to be easily manipulated by people attempting to capitalize on a tragedy for gain or furtherance of an agenda.