Politics

Never Waste a Tragedy

Democrats again use murder by a mentally ill savage to promote gun control

When vivacious 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was shot dead in July in San Francisco by a stranger — an illegal alien with seven criminal convictions who had been deported five times — Democrats yawned.

There were no calls for tighter border control, no outraged speeches railing over the broken immigration system in America, no demands that the Obama administration return to enforcing the laws it has flouted for years.

Democrats flocked to the microphones to demand action, meaning gun control.

But this week, when another young blonde woman, Alison Parker, 24, was gunned down by a mentally disturbed man bent on starting, in his words, a “race war,” Democrats flocked to the microphones to demand action: Gun control.

The scene repeats itself in Washington, D.C., time after time, following each shooting by a deranged gunman: the “Joker” murders at a movie theater in Colorado; the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona; the heinous rampage at a school in Connecticut.

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Whenever a horrific shooting takes place in America, almost always perpetrated by a person suffering serious mental health issues — and often, long-documented issues — the first political response is always the same: The government must crack down on gun ownership.

That was, once again, the immediate response this week in the wake of the shooting of Parker, a reporter, and her cameraman by a maniac who filmed the entire thing using a GoPro-style camera — then posted it on Facebook.

Hillary Clinton piled on before the bodies were even cold, politicizing the death of two young people by a crazed gunman with a long history of psychosis.

“As you’ve heard me say in the past, this is another example of gun violence that has becoming all too common in communities large and small,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “And while there is no piece of legislation that can end all violence in this country, there are some common sense things that only Congress can do … The president has long advocated Congress taking those steps, and the president continues to feel they should do so.”

Hillary Clinton piled on before the bodies were even cold, politicizing the death of two young people by a crazed gunman with a long history of psychosis. She said it was all about what she deems “easy” access to guns.

“We have got to do something about gun violence in America,” she said. “And I will take it on. There’s so much evidence that if guns were not so readily available, if there were universal background checks … that maybe we could prevent this kind of carnage,” the Democratic presidential candidate said.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a Democrat and longtime supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, suggested stricter background checks and tight gun control are necessary.

“This isn’t a gun problem, this is a mental problem,” Trump said Thursday on CNN. “It’s not a question of the laws, it’s really the people.”

“It goes back to what I’ve talked about for a long time,” McAuliffe said on WTOP Radio. “There are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns. This is why I’ve long advocated for background checks.”

But the United States already has background checks, and the federal government has up to three days to approve a gun purchase, even though the Constitution grants Americans the right to bear arms. States also conduct their own checks and search records and databases not available to the FBI.

While few Republican presidential candidates pushed back on the Democratic gun-control talking point, business tycoon Donald Trump, as he often does, cut right to the chase.

“This isn’t a gun problem, this is a mental problem,” Trump said Thursday on CNN. “It’s not a question of the laws, it’s really the people.”

Opposed to restricting gun rights, Trump called the gunman a “very sick man” and said mental illness is “a massive problem” in the U.S.

“In the old days they had mental institutions for people like this because he was really, definitely borderline and definitely would have been and should have been institutionalized,” Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “At some point somebody should have seen that, I mean the people close to him should have seen it.”

James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, shooter, was long known to be mentally unbalanced, and had even sought help from a psychiatrist in the days before he went on his rampage.

In fact, all of the recent shootings have been perpetrated by people with known mental illness. The Virginia shooter’s behavior was so erratic that when he was fired by a television station two years ago, all the workers were ordered to clear the room as the suspect cleaned out his desk.

James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, shooter, was long known to be mentally unbalanced, and had even sought help from a psychiatrist in the days before he went on his rampage. Jared Loughner, who shot Giffords, a Democrat, was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, and Adam Lanza, who killed 27 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, suffered from Asperger’s and acute obsessive-compulsive disorder. All three were also on psychotropic drugs.

Another interesting dichotomy between the political parties is race. When a disturbed young white man shot nine black people in a church in South Carolina in June, he was immediately deemed a racist, and a photograph of him holding a Confederate flag led to a massive push to ban the flag, which succeeded in South Carolina.

But after the Virginia shooting, when the shooter was black and the victims were white, the media has fallen quiet — no charges of “racism,” despite the shooter’s stated intent to start a race war. Democrats have not decried the shooting as racist.

And while it’s still early, neither Jesse Jackson nor Al Sharpton have announced plans to travel to Roanoke.

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