Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker is as horrified about the recent mass shootings as any other red-blooded American. It seems as if every few days we have another tragedy caused by a sicko with a gun. Yesterday, a lone gunman killed seven and wounded another 22 innocent people in Odessa and Midland, Texas – including two law enforcement officers (LEOs). This latest shooting in Texas taking place just more than three weeks after the El Paso shooting left 22 dead and another 24 injured.
Unfortunately, the liberal media and politicians wasted no time using a tragedy to promote their narrative that guns kill and need to be restricted by “common-sense” gun reform. Here are a few of their most recent pronouncements from the gun grabbers on the Left:
From the Politicians
From the Media
Common Responses from the Left
There is a common theme perpetuated in many of these Twitter posts. Stand up to the National Rifle Association (NRA), gun manufacturers and if you are Beto O’Rourke, “This is fucked up!” The media is expounding how Texas laws just taking effect have loosened gun regulations and Congress just “needs to act.” But is there anything any liberal is expounding which would prevent one of these mass shootings? In the humble opinion of Grey Beard, the answer is a resounding NO! Not one of the politicians, talking heads or opinion writers has proposed one idea which would do anything to prevent the next mass shooting.
Commonalities in Mass Shootings
Reflecting back on recent mass shootings, there are commonalities.
- Warning signs witnessed by people that knew the shooter
- Manifestos or social media posts which should have tipped authorities off
- The shooters were loners or had been scorned or bullied
- Mental health issues
While these four bullet points certainly are not all inclusive, each of these mass murderers most likely exhibited one of these things. Maybe more.
What Is Being Proposed
The list of things being proposed by the politicians filling the Twitter and Facebook timelines are worn out and very tired:
- Stand up to the NRA
- Pass Universal Background Checks
- Pass more Red Flag Laws
- Require guns and gun owners be federally or state licensed
- Enact an Assault Weapons Ban
- Enact bans on high capacity magazines
- Enact bans on semi-automatic weapons
- Confiscate assault weapons
Let Grey Beard dissect these. First, the NRA does not support, defend or otherwise turn a blind eye to mass shooters – or for that matter, any criminal. Nor do the manufacturers of firearms. Universal Background Checks will not close any “loophole” which exists – because there are no loopholes. These background checks require gun registration in order to know if a gun is being transferred between private citizens – which will never happen. Federal and state licensing of guns and gun owners is nothing more than a feel-good proposition which would only serve to create another bureaucracy which can’t get out of its own way. High capacity magazine, assault weapon and semi-automatic bans could be enacted, but without confiscation what good would a ban do? And confiscation will Never. Ever. Happen.
I have purposely saved the Red Flag Law bullet point for last. While they may seem “commonsense,” these laws are an assault on the Bill of Rights – specifically illegal search and seizures of property and due process. To learn more about this, please read my previous post on these laws: Red Flag Laws – What You Need to Know.
Grey Beard Biker Knows What Will Work
Being that I am the Grey Beard Biker, and he is very wise with regards to firearms, here are the list of things which will help prevent the next mass shooting.
- End the non-stop stream of 24 hour news on these events. Never name the suspected gunman. Many of these people are incredibly narcissistic and want to become famous – even if it’s for being a mass murderer. It is at least refreshing that the Midland shooter was not named for over 24 hours and you can count on me never giving the assknozzle any publicity.
- If a friend, family member or fellow student is threatening to kill or maim people call the police. This is common sense. We do not need Red Flag Laws to make this an effective tool to stop the next killer.
- Enforce all existing Federal and state gun laws – especially those dealing with obtaining and purchasing a firearm. ATF Form 4473 provides severe criminal penalties for someone trying to purchase a firearm illegally. You are an illegal purchaser if you are: purchasing the gun for anyone but yourself (straw purchase), felon or under an indictment for a felony, fugitive from justice, unlawful drug user, mentally defective, were dishonorably discharged from the armed forces or convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Lying on Form 4473 can carry a five year prison sentence.
- Require every state to provide the FBI with all voluntary and involuntary mental health commitments on a timely basis. These records are what allows the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to deny gun purchases to those with a background of mental illness. Mental health issues are the very root of mass shootings. These shootings are not crimes of passion. They are perpetrated by mentally ill individuals that should not be allowed to own firearms. Unfortunately several states submit few, if any, mental health records: Rhode Island, Vermont, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana, New Hampshire and Alaska. Others report sporadically. This will inevitably be the cause of another tragedy.
Our current FBI/NICS system is a very good system. It has its flaws, but with proper state reporting, it will be vastly improved. But none of these improvements to NICS will help if the Department of Justice does not prosecute violators immediately – and to the fullest extent of the law. A September 2016 DOJ Inspector General report showed that from 2008 through 2015 only 254 violations of Form 4473 were even considered for prosecution by the local U.S. Attorney’s Office. These are people trying to buy firearms illegally. The actual prosecution rate revealed by the IG Report was 0.04%. This is beyond abysmal. Get these people off the street and prosecute them!
Together, we can help prevent these saddening mass shootings.