What occurred early yesterday morning at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando is a tragedy that has become too familiar (albeit less frequent, but we’ll save that for another time): a mass shooting involving a high number of fatalities. Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects were out to push a political agenda.
Hillary Clinton was somewhat reasonable compared to many on the left in acknowledging the terrorism aspect and even kinds-sorta calling it radical Islam, but she did also join the chorus of voices calling for an assault weapons ban among other things.
As predictable as the chorus of calls to ban guns is the insistence by these people that “trying to prevent more of these tragedies is not politicizing!”
Well, yes it is. If you are using a tragedy to call for policies that indisputably would not have prevented said tragedy, then the use of that tragedy is politicization. When you call for universal background checks in response to a shooting by a man who purchased a gun legally and with a background check, then your argument is a total non-sequitur and you are essentially capitalizing on the emotion and tragedy in the wake of these events to push an arbitrary policy agenda that you already favored. That is the textbook definition of politicizing an event. The argument that “maybe it would not have prevented this, but it would prevent others like it” does not hold water when you say that every single time. What exactly would these policies have prevented if it’s never one of the mass shootings used to push such policies?
I’ll save my comments on the effectiveness of Gun Control policies for another post. I think for now it is important to call out those who think they can jump on this opportunity to push their pre-existing, unrelated political agenda. I will acknowledge that most people who do so truly are well-meaning people who just fail to recognize or understand the facts of the situation. People like Seth MacFarlane, who advocate for policies that already exist:
These shootings are a regular occurrence. You don't get to be "shocked" anymore unless you take action to stop them. Ban automatic weapons.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 12, 2016
And then, double down on that position once they are called on it, by patting America’s favorite “pro-gun” Democrat on the back:
I hope we can educate, not demonize those people. Both sides of the aisle are too quick to demonize each other and ascribe motive. But people like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should, and do, know better.