Shortly after the tragic on-air double murder of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, (D) was calling for stricter gun control measures. Even before the shooter was caught he used the incident as an opportunity to ask Congress to pass “common sense” gun control legislation, specifically universal background checks. At the time, he had no way of knowing if the assailant had been subjected to a background check or not or if even was in legal possession of the firearm. On that and subsequent interviews regarding the murders, he’s mentioned that he himself is a hunter and gun owner, has submitted to background checks in order to purchase his firearms.
Such a response is typical of gun-control advocates, calling for gun control after a tragic mass shooting before even knowing all of the facts of the incident. Almost invariably, the measures they espouse either would not have prevented the tragedy they are referring to, or the shooter had obtained the guns illegally. In the case of the Virginia reporter shootings, the gunman had undergone and passed a background check. He had no criminal record, and was never found psychologically unfit to possess a firearm. Governor McAuliffe was forced to admit that the legislation he is advocating would not have prevented the deaths of the two news crew members. In virtually all of these shootings, the perpetrator was suffering from mental illness. Anti-gun politicians always call for guns to be taken off the street, but never though, do they call for the dangerously mentally ill to be taken off the street. They never decry the dysfunctional state of our mental health institutions.
Many gun control advocates will state as Governor McAuliffe did, that they themselves are hunters and own firearms. That is to assure us that they don’t want to take the guns away from law-abiding sportsmen. They ask “why do you need twenty rounds to kill a deer?” It seems a good and reasonable question, but the rights of sportsmen are not what the drafters of the Second Amendment had in mind. The Second Amendment is not just about the right to bear arms, but the right to bear them in the roll of militia, citizen-protectors of life and liberty.
The free world recently celebrated the actions of four brave Americans and an Englishman in precisely that roll of citizen-protector. They saved the lives and liberty of hundreds of people and did it, at least partially with the aid of a firearm. The firearm was obtained the hard way, from the bad guy himself, but nonetheless they used it to help put the terrorist out of commission. America, and evidently the world needs more such people ready and able to use firearms as a tool for preserving and protecting innocent life. Now’s not the time to be taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens; criminals, and the mentally unfit yes, but not from the vast number of Americans who own and can use them responsibly.