In Cal­i­for­nia, gun con­trol fails once again

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Erich Pratt

Once again, we see the fail­ure of gun con­trol in pre­vent­ing a hor­ri­ble tragedy.

Wed­nes­day’s Cal­i­for­nia bar shoot­ing was in a gun-free zone, where good guys can­not legally carry firearms.

Gun-free zones are mag­nets for killers. Con­sider that al­most 98 per­cent of pub­lic mass shoot­ings in this coun­try oc­cur in these manda­tory vic­tim zones.

But where cit­i­zens can pro­tect them­selves, the sit­u­a­tion is much dif­fer­ent. Within the past month, two po­ten­tial mass shoot­ings were averted by law-abid­ing cit­i­zens who used their con­cealed firearms.

But the anti-gun left fails to men­tion how these two cit­i­zens saved lives in those in­ci­dents. Why is that?

We will never rid our­selves of one ba­sic prob­lem: Bad guys with evil in­tent will al­ways ac­quire some kind of “weapon” to com­mit vi­o­lence.

This in­cludes us­ing a truck to kill eight and in­jure 11 in New York City last year, or wield­ing box cut­ters or knives to mur­der roughly 3,000 on 9/11.

Sadly, USA TO­DAY’s Ed­i­to­rial Board wants to merely fo­cus on just one in- stru­ment — the gun.

Never mind the fact that Wed­nes­day’s shoot­ing oc­curred in a state that im­poses some of the strictest gun con­trol laws in the coun­try. This in­cludes uni­ver­sal back­ground checks, a ban on so-called “as­sault weapons” (and a pro­hi­bi­tion on stan­dard ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines), a red flag law that al­lows gun con­fis­ca­tion, and more.

None of these dra­co­nian re­stric­tions stopped Wed­nes­day’s shooter. Nor are they ef­fec­tive else­where, as seen by the fact that the United States wasn’t even in the top 10 when one com­pares in­ter­na­tional death rates re­sult­ing from mass shoot­ings from 2009 to 2015.

This is why we should lis­ten to our first re­spon­ders. Over 85 per­cent of po­lice agree that mass shoot­ings would be “re­duced” or “avoided al­to­gether” by the pres­ence of legally-armed cit­i­zens.

In­san­ity has been de­scribed as re­dou­bling one’s failed ef­forts and ex­pect­ing dif­fer­ent re­sults. That de­scribes gun con­trol — it’s in­sane.

Erich Pratt is ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Gun Own­ers of Amer­ica, a na­tional gun rights group.

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