Michael Bloomberg pays Shannon Watts good money — and lots of it — to regularly, reliably spout the anti-gun party line. On command, no prompting required. So when yesterday’s news broke that the illegal immigrant who shot and killed Kate Steinle had been found not guilty of murder (or even manslaughter), Shannon dutifully jumped on Twitter to address her carefully curated followers (we’ve long since been blocked from her account) express her exasperation by implying that the outrage being expressed was due to irrational xenophobia or outright racism rather than the fact that her killer had used a gun.
Two problems here. First, Steinle’s killer — Jose Ines Garcia Zarate — was a five-times deported illegal alien. Someone who never should have been in the country at all, let alone wandering the streets of San Francisco, a “sanctuary city” that does all it can to avoid cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. That fact was the source of most of the outrage in the aftermath of the shooting, during the run-up to the trial and now that Garcia Zarate has been acquitted.
Second, there’s another inconvenient fact that Our Friend Shannon managed to omit in her hoplophobic hot take on the verdict. Garcia Zarate didn’t just waltz into his local gun store (even if San Francisco had any) and buy a pistol. No, the gun used to kill Steinle had been entrusted to a federal employee, a ranger for the Bureau of Land Management. The SIG P239 had been stolen from his car a week before the shooting.
Just how the pistol came to be in Garcia Zarate’s possession is still in dispute. During the trial, his attorney claims he happened to find it in a paper bag. Pardon us if we’re skeptical.
However he got the gun, though, the fact remains that this was a federally-issued firearm. It was given to one of the few people who those in the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex like Ms. Watts claim are the only ones knowledgable and trustworthy enough to own and wield them.
Never mind the fact that the shooting occurred in one of the most anti-gun cities in the most 2A-hostile state in the country. A place where every possible roadblock (so far) has been put up to discourage civilians from purchasing, keeping and bearing arms. According to Shannon, the lesson here is that we must somehow “keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.” Yet all the gun laws in the world — and California has enacted most of them — wouldn’t have prevented Steinle’s death.
Don’t think for a minute that Watts doesn’t know about Garcia Zarate’s immigration status and history or the fact he used a fed’s stolen gun to kill Steinle as she walked on the pier with her father that day in 2015. But it just wouldn’t do to let details like that harsh her anti-gun talking point. Narrative uber alles, after all.