On Thursday, British television personality Piers Morgan won the award for world’s dumbest tweet. He actually suggested that if Nikolas Cruz — the 19-year-old man suspected of murdering at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday — had been a Muslim rather than a “white supremacist,” American laws would be changed in a flash.
“BREAKING: Florida shooter/terrorist Nikolas Cruz was a white supremacist. Can you even imagine how fast laws would be changed if he’d been a MUSLIM shooter/terrorist?” Morgan asked.
The British TV personality could not be more wrong. Many Muslims have carried out firearm attacks in the United States in recent years, and no laws were changed.
In December 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people and wounded 22 others in a mass shooting and attempted bombing. Farook and Malik had spoken to one another about “jihad and martyrdom,” according to then-FBI Director James Comey. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed the attack.
In June 2016, 29-year-old security guard Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS and then killed 49 people and wounded 58 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. He was shot and killed by Orlando police.
Neither of these attacks resulted in legal changes. President Trump’s attempted order to halt immigration from countries of terror concern — derided as a “Muslim ban” by many media outlets — may represent a belated response, but nothing like what Morgan was suggesting.
These mass shootings are tragic and their perpetrators evil, but it is very hard to find a legal change that would have prevented such shootings without causing collateral harm.
Piers Morgan’s tweet may have been meant to suggest that Republicans would “get over” their opposition to further restrictions on firearms — “Gun Control Now!” — if the perpetrators were radical Islamic terrorists. This suggestion is laughable.
Republicans did not call for stricter gun laws after the San Bernardino or the Pulse nightclub shootings. Blue Lives Matter activists did not call for stricter gun laws when Micah Xavier Johnson, a black terrorist — perhaps inspired by but not representative of Black Lives Matter — killed five police officers and wounded 12 others in Garland, Texas, in 2016.
Republicans will not abandon the Second Amendment just because a mass shooter is a radical Islamic terrorist, and Democrats should not abandon it just because a mass shooter acquired weapons legally.
Time and again, a vigilant security guard has proven the best defense against a mass shooter. In 2012, a would-be mass shooter targeted the Family Research Council (FRC) — which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had branded a “hate group” and which the SPLC had put on a “hate map” used by the terrorist in question — intending to shoot everyone inside and place a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich by their heads. A brave security officer by the name of Leo Johnson was wounded in the attack, but saved everyone in the building.
Republicans’ answer to mass shootings will remain “more good guys with guns,” no matter the inspiration behind the perpetrator. Piers Morgan, a good friend of Donald Trump, should know that.