Yes, these mass shootings are tragic, and the massive loss of life is heartbreaking. It is not a gun problem that can be addressed by further encroaching on our second amendment rights. The problem is one of the heart, and the evil that lurks in certain deranged individuals. That’s where the focus should be.
Two mass shootings occurred over the weekend in a span of 24 hours. The first at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman walked into the store and proceeded to kill 20 people and injure 26 more. The other happened in the entertainment district of Dayton, Ohio, where a gunman open fire and killed nine people. He wounded 27 others.
Reaction began pouring in from policymakers and political candidates. Beto O’Rourke — a former Congressman from El Paso and Presidential Candidate — suspended his campaign and returned to El Paso. Then, he proceeded to politicize the massacre.
Blaming everybody and everything — from guns to President Trump, O’Rourke called the president a racist, claiming that he’s “inciting violence” with his rhetoric.
El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar also blamed an “epidemic of gun violence.”
Walmart, where the El Paso shooting occurred, has been the source of controversy in the past for its sale of hunting weapons in its stores. The chain has now been thrust back into the spotlight, and though the shooter was not using a weapon purchased at the store, there are renewed calls for Walmart to change its gun policy.
Walmart banned the sale of assault rifles in 2015, including the type of gun used by the shooter on Saturday, and raised its minimum age for gun purchases to 21 after the February 2018 Parkland shootings. The El Paso Walmart shooter is 21. There have also been calls on Twitter for Walmart to change its policy of allowing open carry of firearms in its stores where open carry is legal, which it is in Texas. Not many Americans think that prohibiting open carry would have prevented the shooting on Saturday.
Walmart tweeted after the El Paso shooting, “we’re in shock over the tragic events at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, where store 2201 and club 6502 are located. We are praying for the victims, the community and our associates, as well as the first responders. We’re working closely with law enforcement and will update as appropriate.”
Both Representative Veronica Escobar and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke wasted no time in politicizing the shooting and calling for more gun control in response to the shootings.
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No new gun control laws would have stopped a person dead set on killing as many people as he could. This was a problem with the evil that is lurking his heart, not a problem that can be addressed by restricting more of our constitutional rights to bear arms.
Escobar issued a statement urging other politicians to “come together, and once and for all address the gun violence epidemic that plagues our nation.” When a liberal Democrat lawmaker begins talking about a “gun violence epidemic” in the wake of a mass shooting, you can be certain of where they’re heading with it. Senator John Cornyn cautioned against politicizing mass shootings and against stripping “law abiding citizens” of their Constitutional rights.