First Mistake: Politicizing a Tragedy with Gun Control
Social media exploded again with the news of another mass shooting in Philadelphia. Responses from the left ranged from the typical mocking of thoughts and prayers to Black Lives Matter supporters celebrating police officers being shot. The politicization of the shooting followed an all too common pattern for Democrats.
The left has lost momentum because of the Philadelphia shooting.
Philadelphia’s Democrat Mayor Jim Kenney stated: “Our officers need help, they need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands.” This was followed up by Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris all tweeting in support of the Mayor’s comments. For a moment it appeared that the shooting would only increase the momentum for new gun laws after the El Paso and Dayton shootings.
Just The Facts, Ma’am
Instead of creating momentum, the shooting had the opposite effect. The facts in the wake of the shooting left egg on the Democrat Party’s faces and have started to hinder their gun law campaign. It turns out that the shooter, 36-year-old Maurice Hill, had multiple felonies. This incident was a drug raid by police.
According to current gun laws, any gun in his possession would be a crime. It made it hard to justify that any new legislation would dissuade a criminal from breaking the law.
It gets worse for the Democrats from there. According to NBC News 10 in Philadelphia, Hill was using an AK-47. This is a problem for Democrat lawmakers on several fronts.
The AK-47 is a fully automatic weapon. It meets the military definition of an assault weapon where the AR-15 does not. It’s cheap to make and has been in production since the 1940s. It’s very effective at greater than 300 yards which makes it ideal for urban and close combat. Most models fire a 7.62mm round, which is larger and heavier than the NATO standard round of 5.56mm the US military widely uses. This weapon has also been banned for purchase without a Federal Firearms License (FFL) since 1986.
This weapon and its wide use have significantly influenced US military defense. US vehicles that are up-armored are done in order to deflect the 7.62 round, the most likely round to be fired at US personnel. This round would shatter a military issue SAPI plate, the thick protective armor US military is issued.
Compared to the Arma-Lite developed weapons (the AR-15, M16, and M4), the AK-47 would be the more preferred weapon for a mass shooting. The first reason being it’s fully automatic, where the rest are semi-automatic. The M4 and M16 have three-round burst selections, but that’s not fully automatic. The next reason is reliability.
The AK requires less maintenance and cleanliness than the Arma-Lite models. For this reason, it requires less skill or knowledge to operate an AK-47. The AK-47 is easily modified with attachments like the AR-15. It also has a distinctive look and sound which can be intimidating to anyone who recognizes it.
This weapon offers more to someone planning an attack, but as previously stated, it’s already banned. To obtain one legally you must go through enhanced background checks. Or, since what you’d be doing is criminal anyway simply get it from an illegal source of which there are many.
What side of the gun debate a person falls on determines where they will get their stats. Gun owners tend to get them from the FBI. Gun control advocates get their stats from groups like Everytown, who uses the Gun Violence Archive. The reason for the differences in stats is how the groups define “mass killing.”
“Mass shooting” does not have a legal definition. The Gun Violence Archive uses any shooting where four people not including the shooter are killed as a mass killing. Because of that open-ended definition, the stats include domestic violence homicides and gangland violence. This skews the data away from the left’s talking point.
Mental Health and White Males
The left loves to say shootings are not a “mental health” issue but are a “white-male” issue. However, when they use the mass killing stats, the number committed by white males go from a clear majority to less than 50%. Gangland violence abnormally increases the share of African Americans and Hispanics.
Additionally, the left wants gun violence to be studied by the CDC. Current law does not prevent that, but it prevents the CDC from making a political determination. The left’s justification for studying is undermined by saying gun violence is not a “mental health” issue. However, in many mass shooting incidents, it’s found the shooter is on some type of medication. For instance, In Dayton, the shooter was on antidepressants at the time of the shooting.
The left has lost momentum because of the Philadelphia shooting. The issue of gun control remains a losing issue for them because gun rights advocates are issue voters and tend to vote in high numbers. That’s the strength of the NRA. The left can only combat this by taking advantage of the momentum.
The winds were at their back after the El Paso and Dayton shootings, and for a short time, the Philadelphia attack appeared to help these efforts. The facts, as they are being reported now, are unraveling the gun control lobby’s talking points. Combined with the current Congressional recess, it’s unlikely there will be any new laws passed.
This is their SOP or (Standard Operating Procedure) and it is why they are and will continue to lose especially on the federal front. Importation and commandeering of illegal voters and votes not withstanding.