Gun control advocates have long claimed that the problem of gun violence in America is due to ordinary people losing their temper and killing someone in a fit of rage. They claim that most gun murderers are not strongly motivated and that even a little bit of an obstacle to getting a gun would dramatically reduce the problem of gun violence. Gun advocates, by comparison, usually insist the opposite. They claim that gun murderers are highly motivated and that even severely restrictive gun control laws would not disarm them, but would disarm law-abiding citizens.
Neither extreme accurately describes the real world, although one extreme is closer to the truth than the other.
There are people who should not have guns, and even just a few obstacles will probably prevent some crimes. If Hasan were mentally ill (as have been the vast majority of recent mass murderers) or if he were some Chicago teenager trying to show everyone what a man he was by running around “strapped,” Mayor Daley might have at least an arguable point. But all the evidence so far shows, quite persuasively, that what drove the Fort Hood massacre was not mental illness or a tantrum. This was a carefully planned terrorist attack by a highly motivated and intelligent person. If Dr. Hasan had run into any significant obstacles to purchasing handguns legally, does anyone seriously doubt that he would have used his al-Qaeda contacts to obtain weapons?
If Mayor Daley wants to argue about the inner city gang violence problem, let’s have a serious discussion about why liberal-controlled cities have become cesspools of violence, while many other parts of America have few gun control laws — and little violent crime. Pretending that the Fort Hood massacre wasn’t a terrorist attack — and more outrageously, pretending that the Fort Hood massacre is typical of civilian gun crime — is dishonest pandering to both the multicultural crowd and the rapidly shrinking gun control movement.