While President Barack Obama yesterday exploited the death of a Knoxville teen to push his gun control agenda, the failure of gun control is once again being ignored by the mainstream press.
According to several published accounts, teenage hero Zaevion Dobson threw himself on top of three girls to shield them from gunfire. He was with a group Thursday night when two men approached and opened fire. Dobson was the only one hit, and he took a fatal bullet to the head in a shooting that appears to have been gang-related, investigators have suggested.
Buried in the reports about the shooting was information about one of the men arrested in connection with the shooting. Christopher Bassett, 20, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and violation of probation, according to WVLT in Knoxville. It’s a cinch he didn’t come by that gun legally, nor did he bother with a background check during whatever process took place that left him with a gun in his hand, if the allegations are correct.
By no small coincidence, this also has a connection with a case now unfolding in the Evergreen State, and being explained in today’s Seattle Times. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle is reportedly investigating a former prosecutor with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency in a case involving a man named Ignacio Lanuza.
The Times story is about some allegations of misbehavior by the former ICE official in relation to efforts to deport Lanuza. That reportedly stems from the June 2008 arrest of Lanuza at a “loud party” by Seattle Police. According to the newspaper, referring to police reports, Lanuza was spotted sitting on a bar stool, holding a handgun that turned out to be stolen. Whatever else this story is about, the fact that it involves an alleged stolen handgun should signal the newspaper that its editorial stand on gun regulation – reported by this column the other day – might need a reconsideration.
According to the newspaper account, “Lanuza pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of carrying a firearm with the intent to intimidate and was given a suspended sentence.” That single line speaks volumes about how gun control laws fail.
Gun controls touted by the president, the Times and the entire gun prohibition lobby would not keep stolen guns out of the wrong hands. Indeed, among the suggestions from various anti-gun activists is to prosecute the people whose guns were stolen, either for not keeping them securely locked up, or for not immediately reporting the loss to police or possibly just to make an example.
Sometime today, Enrique Marquez, the man who allegedly bought the rifles used in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, is due for another courtroom appearance, according to the Associated Press. Federal authorities reportedly want to keep him locked up over concerns he might flee.
California has among the toughest gun laws in the country, but they didn’t prevent San Bernardino. Now, they can be used to possibly hold someone responsible.
For many years, Second Amendment advocates including Wayne LaPierre and Alan Gottlieb, of the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, respectively, have maintained that existing gun laws should be enforced rather than adopt new restrictions. Such restrictions only penalize honest citizens, they contend. Those laws obviously don’t stop people from allegedly shooting teenage heroes or allegedly providing guns to terrorists.
Gun control proponents constantly harp about “doing something” even if it doesn’t prevent all crimes. It’s not clear that gun control has prevented any crimes. The Brady Law allegedly has prevented more than a million people from buying guns at retail. That doesn’t mean those people didn’t get guns through illicit means. All states have laws against murder, but people keep killing one another.
It seems rather ironic that quite often, the people who most want to ratchet down on gun owners are opposed to capital punishment. If you support a law that may not prevent all crimes, why not support laws that will definitely prevent some people from committing more crimes? It worked for Ted Bundy and he didn’t even use a gun.
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