Most of his statement was fine, and appropriate. Halfway through he goes off the rails.
Until the investigation is complete, I’m necessarily constrained in terms of talking about the details of the case. But I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions that tragedies like this raise. I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is the time for mourning and for healing.
But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) chimed in as well.
I do not know how much longer we can thwart the views of the American public on taking reasonable gun safety measures.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 18, 2015
It’s unfortunate that neither men could not take South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s lead. Her’s is the only appropriate response at a time such as this.
Here’s the thing. More gun control wouldn’t have prevented this. South Carolina has some of the strictest laws in the South.
South Carolina bans open carry one of only five states that do. South Carolina also requires a concealed carry permit in order to carry and to get that you have to submit to a criminal background check, as well as, provide two sets of fingerprints. Applicants also have to take a course on gun safety and South Carolina’s gun laws. It’s not an easy process. (HT Sean Davis)
Here’s the thing. People who are evil who plan to do evil things won’t take the time to follow the law. If strict gun control laws prevented shootings then Chicago, New York City and Washington, DC would historically have low rates of gun-related crimes.
That’s not the case.
President Obama said this type of mass gun violence doesn’t happen in other countries. What????
David Harsanyi at The Federalist puts that argument to bed:
Parlez vous Hebdo? Because surely the president recalls that in January of this year two gunmen entered the office of a satirical magazine in France with an assortment of guns and murdered 11 people (and injured 11 more). After leaving, they killed a police officer. And in a marketplace catering to Jews another five were murdered and 11 wounded. France is, allegedly, an advanced country, is it not? Perhaps if Obama had attended the anti-terror rally in Paris like every other leader of advanced countries did, his recollection would be sharper.
It take only takes some quick research to discover that rampage killers, acts of terror (as the Charleston shooting most certainly is), school attacks, spree killers are not unique to the United States.
In 2011, a deranged Anders Behring Breivik killed eight people by setting off a van bomb in Oslo, before going on to murder 69 more people, mostly children, at a summer camp. This is the single worst shooting spree incident in history. Obama surely remembers that he left the White House and visited the Norwegian ambassador’s residence to offer his condolences.
It takes only a rudimentary search to find out that mentally unstable killers can be found anywhere. In February of this year, nine people were killed in Czech Republic spree killing. In Erfurt, Germany, a couple of years ago, an expelled student murdered 13 teachers, 2 students and a policeman. That same year, in the Serbian village of Velika Ivanča, a gunman shot and killed 14 people—many of them his own relatives— and a Russia gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle killing six people. A couple of years before that, in England, a lone gunman killed 12 people and injured 11.
Advanced countries or developing ones, it’s the same thing. In 2013 a mentally unstable man in Rio de Janeiro killed 12 children and seriously wounded another 12. And you might remember that China had an outbreak of mass stabbings, hammer and cleaver attacks not long ago. You don’t need guns to kill people. One man stabbed 22 children by himself. Two attackers killed 29 people and injured 143 at Chinese railway station last year.
Whether it happens with increasing frequency in other countries… there are a lot of factors at play.
The ultimate problem is one that government with stricter gun control measures can’t fix. We live in a fallen world. We live in a world that has devalued life. What our world needs, what our country needs and what Charleston needs is Jesus Christ. Only He can mend what is broken, only He can turn hearts of stone into flesh, and only He is the one who can bring reconciliation and peace. He did it through the cross.