I wonder how Steve Scalise thinks his leadership is working out today?
On Feb 2nd, the NRA gushed over the politicians who showed great leadership in removing the previous administration’s “final gun grab” by eliminating the order designed to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
Today, a sick individual shot at a group of lawmakers playing baseball in Virginia, and one of those NRA darlings was shot. The irony is thick. I don’t say that with any satisfaction. In fact, it sickens and angers me that we keep having this same discussion over and over. Trust me, I’m not blaming the gun. I’m blaming our refusal to act in managing their possession responsibly.
Fact: Mass shootings are on the rise, mostly committed by mentally ill subjects
Fact: Police killings are overwhelmingly at the hands of mentally ill subjects or felons
Fact: The American public supports common sense measures like universal background checks and preventing mentally ill individuals from buying guns
Fact: Law enforcement deaths by gunfire are up 21% so far this year according to ODMP
Yes, I know, we can’t prevent all gun violence, but saying this tragedy couldn’t have been prevented by any of those measures is like saying we shouldn’t have DUI laws because we can’t prevent every traffic crash.
I’m tired of the excuses. We all know better. We in law enforcement especially know better. You see the carnage and live the danger every day. We know that expanding background checks and keeping people on terror watch lists and mentally unstable people from buying guns are all good ideas.
A small possible delay for me in my next gun purchase is not too much to ask to try to prevent more tragedies.
Will today’s shooting of a US Senator make him or his party reconsider their subservience to the NRA? I wish I thought so.
What I do know is this: Mental illness and guns don’t mix. Law Enforcement needs to start leading on this issue. Let’s have the courage to have some honest conversations and speak up. The life it saves may be your own.
**I was in the middle of writing another (related) commentary on the pending legislation on silencers when this shooting happened. I’ll post that very soon.