IT seems almost an article of faith among self-described “progressives” that political violence in the U.S. is inevitably the work of “right-wing extremists”— white Christian males who would rather see the nation burn than cede political power to women or Americans of different races or religions.
The supposed threat of right-wing extremist violence is often touted as one of the strongest justifications for more restrictive gun laws.
This leads to some discomfort for the “progressives” when it’s one of their own who fires dozens of rounds from a semiautomatic rifle at members of Congress, gravely wounding one and inflicting lesser injuries on three other people, including both police officers serving as the wounded congressman’s protective detail.
At the time of this writing, Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA), the Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, is expected to survive his devastating wound, but will probably face a long, arduous, and painful rehabilitation.
The shooter was an ardent supporter of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the liberal firebrand who fought a surprisingly tough primary battle against heavily favored former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential race.
He was perhaps an even more ardent hater of the eventual winner of that race, Donald Trump. But if he could never get close enough to take a shot at President Trump, he could at least get well within rifle range of multiple Republican congressmen as they practiced for a charity baseball game against a team of Democrats in Congress.
By all accounts, the two Capitol Police wounded in the attack, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, performed valiantly in the ensuing gun battle, in which the attacker was mortally wounded. Armed only with their service pistols, they nevertheless prevailed against a man armed with a rifle—a rifle, no less, according to the gun-ban zealots, of the class they describe as a “weapon of war,” meant only for wholesale slaughter on the battlefield.
The officers’ courage and skills are credited as all that stood in the way of a massacre of Republican congressmen.
One of the chilling aspects of this is that Bailey and Griner were only present because Scalise was. If not for the congressman’s enthusiasm for baseball, the others would have been all on their own against the attacker, armed with little more than baseball bats.
While Virginia, where the practice was held, allows private citizens to carry defensive firearms without too much in the way of onerous restrictions, Washington D.C. does not, which would have posed a problem for an armed congressman when he headed to work in the Capitol Building after the morning practice.
Not surprisingly, the shooting was immediately seized on by gun-ban zealots as “proof” of the need for more restrictive gun laws—everything from “universal background checks” (without regard to whether or not the shooter passed such a check) to bans of so-called “assault weapons” (despite the fact that the SKS rifle used in the attack is a design more than 70 years old and was not included in the 1994 federal assault weapons ban), and “high-capacity” magazines.
Imagine how much louder and more hysterical the calls for “gun control” would be if the shooter had been unopposed, and thus not prevented from killing perhaps dozens of people, including a sizeable number of congressmen.
Keep in mind that if a large number of Republican congressmen had been killed, many would have had to be replaced in special elections, at a time when the Republican Party is facing some rather challenging political circumstances.
In other words, when it came time to vote on “gun control” legislation, buoyed by anti-gun hysteria in the wake of such a massacre, with said hysteria cynically exploited by the forcible disarmament advocates in Congress, the party of “gun control” might have had significantly more seats at the table.
And yes, I see the irony here, too. A heinous act of violence by a left-wing loon would have been used as a bludgeon by the anti-gun left to forcibly impose more draconian gun laws on the American people. Kinda makes one wonder how much the anti-gun agenda is really motivated by a desire to reduce “gun violence,” doesn’t it?
And we also see here how the antigun agenda serves itself. By opposing all efforts to empower people—in public office or not—to carry a defensive firearm, they can minimize the chance that an armed citizen can prevent, or at least mitigate, the carnage inflicted in such a massacre.
When your agenda needs massacres, that can’t be allowed.