By: Teresa Mull
One year ago today, seventeen students and staff members were senselessly killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, at the hands of gunman Nikolas Cruz. Since then, Florida has passed sweeping gun control legislation, and numerous other states have passed or proposed similar laws, supposedly prevent more mass shootings.
The reality is though, that gun control was in place when Cruz – and dozens like him – carried out their heinous crimes. Cruz passed a background check. So did, reports Breitbart:
"…the attackers at Las Vegas and Orlando, the Tree of Life Synagogue attacker (October 27, 2018), the Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017), the Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017), the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015), the Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015), the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015), Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015), the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015), the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015), the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015), the Muhammad Carton Contest attackers (May 3, 2014), the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015), the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014), the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014), the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013), the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013), the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012), the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009), and the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007)."
The House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, yesterday.
Shayna Lopez-Rivas, a pro-gun advocate and rape survivor, notes in The Miami Herald this week why such a policy is the opposite of effective:
This week, to coincide with the anniversary of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the U.S. House is scheduled to begin mark-up on a gun control bill that, if passed, would have done nothing to stop the shooting.
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, or H.R. 8, does not target criminals or those intent on breaking the law. Instead, it curtails the normal, law-abiding behavior of everyday gun owners. Worse, anti-gun advocates are deceptively marketing this legislation as a “safety” bill that will keep guns away from dangerous people.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Universal background checks will never truly be universal because criminals do not comply with the law. This legislation will not change criminal behavior — it will simply make illegal normal behavior that can, in fact, save lives.
What’s more, the Parkland shooting took place on school property – a so-called “gun free” zone. Gunpowder Magazine reported at the time:
Despite the constant calls for gun control and frequent compromises the political establishment has made – such as the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990 – criminals continue to choose gun-free zones as targets for their killing sprees.
In fact, the Crime Prevention Research Center compiled evidence revealing that 98 percent of mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones since 1950.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.