After Sandy Hook, when Congress was considering “universal background checks,” Joe the Plumber declared “Your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.” The comment, painfully true, played right into the hands of gun control advocates. That’s because . . .
gun control advocates paint gun owners as selfish bastards. Heartless. After all, anyone who rejects “common sense” infringements on their natural, civil and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms doesn’t care that gun rights “extremism” results in murderous mayhem. Think of the children!
You and I know the antis’ logic is perverse. Gun owners are, as a group, law-abiding Americans. They are as concerned about criminality — and the effects of criminality — as non-gun owners. More so, in fact, as they’ve taken steps to protect themselves, their families and other innocent lives against it.
Do they care that children die when irresponsible gun owners fail to teach their progeny gun safety and/or fail to properly secure their firearms? Of course they do. Do they care when crazies and terrorists slaughter unarmed Americans? Certainly.
But they do not believe that government regulation is the answer to preventing these deadly threats.
Why would they? Gun control disarms good guys. Irresponsible gun owners remain irresponsible. Bad guys still get guns. It’s as simple as that.
Most gun owners do believe in effective, respectful law enforcement. They do believe that the criminal justice system can — or at least should — prevent violent crime. But again, the majority believe that gun control plays little to no part in the overall effort to combat “gun violence.”
Meanwhile, gun owners’ sympathy and empathy for crime victims is routinely dismissed or ignored. “It should have been a defensive gun use” — a phrase you hear here on a regular basis around here — is considered victim blaming.
Donald Trump’s insistence that an armed patron of The Pulse nightclub could have stopped the slaughter was derided, dissed and dismissed out of hand. In the antis’ fevered minds, supporting gun control is the only way to show you care.
So what are we to make of this [via reuters.com]?
The victims of a mass shooting at a Florida nightclub in June 2016 will receive nearly $8.5 million for emotional and financial support for victims’ families, those wounded in the attack and responders, the U.S. Department of Justice said . . .
“This award will reimburse victim services costs for operation of the Family Assistance Center in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and ensure that victims, witnesses and first responders receive necessary services to help them adjust in the aftermath of violence, begin the healing process and cope with probable re-traumatization,” Marilyn McCoy Roberts, the office’s acting director, said in a statement.
There it is: once again, the federal government coming to the “rescue” of people suffering from a tragedy. With your tax dollars. How do you feel about that?
At the risk — make-that-certainty — of sounding callous, I don’t believe it’s the government’s job to compensate survivors and victims of a mass shooting. Or fund non-governmental victim services.
Keep in mind that, in the aftermath of The Pulse slaughter, survivors, victims and victims services agencies received a large amount of charitable contributions. While there were scams aplenty, a good part of the $7 million raised on Go Fund Me went to the individuals and groups affected.
For another, the government’s Pulse payout comes at a price. Not just in terms of draining the public coffers. In terms of perpetuating reliance on the government. Floods, fires, hurricanes, unemployment…. Uncle Sugar will take care of you.
While I’m all for a “safety net” — so that people don’t go hungry or homeless or die from lack of medical care — where do you draw the line? For me, it’s somewhere before this DOJ Pulse payout.
And lastly, the DOJ payout smells like blood money.
There is no question that the police response to The Pulse nightclub attack was wholly inadequate. No one was held accountable for the police paralysis that left victims bleeding to death inside the club. If it were me, that’s the federal compensation I’d want for my loss or suffering.
I’d want the feds to help ensure that the officers whose inaction led to needless death and injury were dismissed from the force, and that all the mistakes made by the “first responders” were made public. Including the feds’ failure to remove an identified terrorist threat when they had the chance.
Does that make me a heartless bastard? Maybe so. But my heart bleeds for both the Pulse nightclub victims and survivors and the people who may die because lessons were ignored and mistakes covered up.