Anti-gun liberals wasted no time exploiting the mass murder shooting, stabbing, and attempted vehicular homicide rampage that took place in the Isla Vista area of Santa Barbara. After posting a YouTube video promising a “day of retribution,” a deeply disturbed madman went on a killing spree leaving six dead and 13 injured. Already some are exploiting the deaths for political purposes, using the victims – and selectively ignoring crucial key facts of this incident – to push a policy agenda that will not make anyone safer. Laws don’t prevent crime; they punish it.
- The suspect, a 22-year-old student at a college student, had three previous contacts with local law enforcement according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. There are six victims killed, 13 wounded, and the suspect apparently shot himself in the head.
- The murder spree began at the suspect’s residence with a knife. Three males were killed, victims of multiple stab wounds. “It was a pretty horrific crime scene,” Brown told reporters.
- Following the stabbings, the suspect drove to a sorority, where he shot three female UCSB students, killing two and injuring one.
- The suspect then traveled to a nearby deli, where he left his vehicle to shoot 20-year-old Christopher Martinez — another UCSB student.
- All told, there were 10 separate crime scenes before the mass murder came to an end. Brown said deputies exchanged fire with the suspected gunman twice before his vehicle crashed. The suspect apparently took his own life.
- Three semi-automatic handguns were recovered from the suspect’s car, police said. All of the weapons were legally purchased and registered to the suspect.
- Those injured included at least four by the suspect’s car and eight by gunshot wounds. “He aimed his car at our group of friends and gunned it into us,” one victim says.
- The suspect’s parents – whose father was an assistant director on the 2012 film The Hunger Games – had called the police about a month ago to express concerns about his YouTube videos “regarding suicide and the killing of people.” Police officers interviewed him but concluded he posed no danger, stating they had found him to be a “perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human.”
California has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. That didn’t do anything to prevent the three knife murders (half of the victims murdered). Gun control advocates want to ban so-called "assault rifles" - the killer used handguns. Gun control advocates want "universal" background checks - the killer's handguns were all purchased legally with a background check and registered to him. That didn't prevent anything. Gun control advocates want to limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds - California law limits magazine capacity to 10 rounds and the killer used 10 round magazines. This stopped nothing. Further, the suspect used his BMW car as a weapon to injure and attempt to take lives. No gun laws would have changed that.
One of the victim’s parents blames the NRA: “Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA,” an emotional Richard Martinez told reporters outside the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. “They talk about gun rights, what about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop?”
As a parents, we can only imagine the feelings of grief and loss. Perhaps such a time is not one for rash and selfish statements. Half of the victims and their families are dealing with loss of their own that has nothing to do with guns, the NRA or politics. Making the nation's oldest civil rights organization the subject of one’s own personal witch hunt doesn’t solve anything, and ignores the very real grief and loss suffered by others in this incident.
The NRA supports lawful use of firearms, not murder. The answer to “what about Chris’ right to live?” is that his was stolen from him by a deeply disturbed person. We do, in fact, have a law for that – it’s called homicide. What happened was absolutely wrong. We can’t legislate away insanity or evil – if we could have figured out how to make people not do wrong, we would have done so long ago.
But laws don’t prevent crime; they punish it. Laws define guidelines and boundaries, and provide penalties for violating them, but they don’t enforce themselves. That’s why we have law enforcement officers. Further, even if all the gun control advocates’ wish-list of laws had come to pass, this incident still would have happened exactly as it did. Not a single gun control proposal would have affected the outcome even in the slightest.
Yes, guns (and knives, cars, hands, and other instruments) are used by people to injure and kill. What gun control zealots ignore is that guns are used by people to defend, prevent injury and save lives. Many academic studies and the CDC have reported that law-abiding people use guns to defend themselves at least a half-million times a year. Brenner Brief has reported recently real-life stories of people who have done just that, and of law enforcement officials that support the right of the law-abiding to carry guns because they “save people’s lives.” Death is horrific, and mass murder is tragic. The truly sick and disgusting exploit it to push an agenda that makes us more susceptible to further tragedy by attacking our rights and very means to defend ourselves from criminals and the mentally disturbed.
By Matt MacBradaigh. Matt is a Christian, Husband, Father, Patriot, and Conservative from the Pacific Northwest. Matt writes about the Second Amendment, Gun Control, Gun Rights, and Gun Policy issues and is published on The Bell Towers, The Brenner Brief, PolicyMic. TavernKeepers, and Vocativ.
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