How many times does a policy have to be proven a failure before a politician will acknowledge that he’s wrong? Silly question. That simply doesn’t happen in American politics.
Pittsburgh’s mayor, Bill Peduto, was interviewed on Meet the Press Sunday morning after eleven people were murdered at a synagogue in his city by an avowed anti-Semite, a man who reportedly shouted, “All Jews must die!” as he opened fire.
In remarks following news of the event, the president noted that…
“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside, they might have been able to stop him immediately,” he said. “Isn’t it a shame that we even have to think of that inside of a temple, or inside of a church, but certainly, the results might have been far better.”
Pointing out that the presence of an armed professional could very well have minimized or prevented the carnage would seem to be an uncontroversial, dare we say common sense observation. Who could argue with the idea that a good guy with a gun might have at least challenged the shooter, slowing him down and allowing more congregants to escape and additional time for police to arrive?
But not in today’s political climate. Instead, Trump’s remarks were immediately twisted and spun as victim-blaming.
This is not normal. https://t.co/1xIbaKunxK
— RPBP says VOTE (@rpbp) October 27, 2018
As for Mayor Peduto, he noted that he’s a member in good standing of Michael Bloomberg’s august Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Its name to the contrary (the Pittsburgh shooters weapons were obtained legally), that group’s agenda is advancing gun control measures and disarming law-abiding Americans wherever possible.
So it won’t surprise anyone that Peduto brushed aside the idea of high risk targets like schools, churches, and synagogues protecting themselves via men with firearms.
“I belong to an organization, a bipartisan organization, called Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” Peduto said. “I don’t think that the answer to this problem is solved by having our synagogues, mosques and churches filled with armed guards or schools filled with armed guards.”
He added: “We should try to stop irrational behavior from happening at the forefront. And not try to create laws around irrational behavior to continue.”
Here in the real world, we understand that saying you want to stop “irrational behavior” makes a fine sound bite on a Sunday morning talk show. But it doesn’t do a damned thing to slow down, let alone stop a Jew-hating killer bent on slaughtering as many innocents as he can. And Chuck Todd didn’t follow up and ask the mayor exactly how he proposes to end the kind of irrational behavior that results in dead bodies at places like Fort Hood, Sutherland Springs or Squirrel Hill.
As others have noted, blaming the president or anyone else for creating a supposed “climate of hate” is not only a convenient cudgel that shameless opportunists use against their political opponents, it also absolves the shooter of any responsibility for his actions. Because no one has ever targeted Jews before the current administration took office.
The fact is that evil people bent on murder and destruction have always been with us and always will. In addition to Jews, they target Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, politicians, blacks, gays, military members, moviegoers and school children. Nothing MAIG or any politician can say, do, or legislate will ever change that fact.
Gun control won’t stop them. It never has. All it does is disarm individuals and prevent them from defending themselves and their families from those who are bent on killing them, for whatever reason. The kind of head-in-the-sand denial we get from Mayor Peduto does absolutely nothing to protect innocent lives. It only further endangers them.