Immediately after the frenzied attack on Gabrielle Giffords and surrounding bystanders, TTAG stated that Jared Lee Loughner’s 30-round magazine increased the lethality of his murderous assault. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous. Saying that, it’s also true that his high-capacity Glock magazine was only one of the variables leading to that terrible day. In that sense, the Safeway Massacre was like an average plane crash; a number of seemingly disconnected “mistakes” had to occur in sequence and/or combination for the tragedy to unfold. Change any one of them and innocent life would have been spared. Identifying safety improvement is all about seeing each variable in its proper perspective. Unless of course you’re an agenda-driven journalist . . .
In a way, you can understand MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell’s Old Testament wrath in this clip—sorry, excerpt. Stripped of context, the “would a lower cap mag have limited the carnage” question is a zealot’s dream come true. It’s what the media calls a “gotcha.” What I call an egogasm.
Yes, well, here’s the problem: President Obama called for an end to rancor in the post-Loughner gun control debate. O’Donnel’s sanctimonious harangue against Representative Trent betrayed the Commander-in-Chief’s nationally televised call for kumbaya.
Of course, hardly anyone on either side of the issue seriously expected the mainstream media to play by Marquis of Queensbury rules for more than a news cycle or two. Why would they? When it comes to “common sense” gun laws or ratings, liberals and left-leaning news pundits operate on the principle that you can’t have enough righteous indignation. To wit:
You lying scumbag bastards are killing people with your simple-minded stubborn inability to face the truth that we’ve got too many guns too easily available to bad and crazy people. Face the truth and DO SOMETHING before more people die! Do it for the children.
Trent told the truth: Loughner’s gun is largely irrelevant to any discussion of the Safeway Massacre.. I’ve said it before: focusing on the killer Glock’s magazine capacity when there were so many other more important failures is like a drunk looking for his keys under a streetlamp because the light’s better.
Only in this case, there was only heat. No light. “I blame the law for the next 21 bullets,” O’Donnell thunders, his eyes burning a hole into the camera lens.
Trent missed the chance to flag the patent absurdity of that statement. All he had to do was pause (for dramatic effect) and say “Really? You blame the law for what Loughner did to those people?” And then the coupe de grace: “Don’t you believe in personal accountability?”
Unfortunately, Trent is what Marshall McLuhan would call a “cold medium.” What you and I might call a bloodless weasel. A politician. Even so, Trent managed to hold his own against O’Donnell’s onslaught. “Let’s just take the guns away from everyone,” he snuck in in the race to the break. “That would solve the problem.”
Given his base, O’Donnell’s “that’s silly” snidery was silly. While the pro gun control crowd are now using guerilla warfare—hit and run on “minor” issues—their ultimate agenda has been and always will be separating average, law-abiding Americans from firearms.
Fortunately, America’s silent majority understand the truth about Loughner’s guns. Even though most of them don’t own firearms, they know that guns are the final fail-safe mechanism: the ultimate protection against nuts with guns.
Obviously, they don’t want to disarm the police. Less obviously, they don’t want to disarm anyone who could save them or their children from evil. Including, increasingly, themselves.