The narratives following a tragedy don’t even need to be consistent anymore among those pushing them for political purposes.
Following the tragic shooting of a series of spas in Atlanta that left eight people dead (six of whom were Asian), the pundit class took the opportunity to, without evidence, push the narrative that this was the result of “white supremacy.” Local police, the FBI, and the shooter himself all denied that was the motive. Those who commit atrocities for ideological reasons tend to want that reason known to everyone, so it would be an odd thing for the shooter to lie about.
We saw the same kind of narrative play out following the grocery store shooting in Boulder, Colorado too, that left ten dead. “The Atlanta shooting was not even a week ago. Violent white men are the greatest terrorist threat to our country” tweeted out Meena Harris, Kamala’s niece. “In America, if you’re white, no matter how many people you kill you’ll be taken into custody alive” wrote dimwitted pundit John Pavlovitz. Uzair Hasan Rizvi, a journalist who specializes in “debunking misinformation” repeated the same talking point as Pavlotiz…. and later deleted his twitter account in embarrassment.
Only after the shooter’s identity was revealed as Ahmad Al-Issa, a Muslim immigrant who hated Donald Trump, did the narrative shift towards gun control. And swiftly.
As Fox News reported:
Biden said Tuesday he didn’t “want to wait another minute, let alone an hour” to act on gun violence. He didn’t mention potential executive action but implored the Senate to pass a series of House bills that would close loopholes in background checks. He also urged Congress to ban “assault weapons.”
“I got that done as a senator. It brought down mass shootings, we can do it again,” Biden said during remarks at the White House. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again.”
“These are bills that received votes with both Republicans and Democrats in the House. This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue that will save lives, American lives. And we have to act. We should also ban assault weapons in the process,” Biden said.
The White House is also reportedly considering regulating “ghost guns” (guns assembled at home lacking serial numbers).
The House already passed two bills this month that strengthen gun control laws. One gives authorities ten business days instead of three to complete a background check, and the other expands background check requirements to guns bought over the internet, at gun shows, or through private transactions.
Biden has been more liberal with his use of executive orders in the early days of his presidency than any other, and we’re likely to see gun control via executive order. “We are certainly considering a range of levers, including working through legislation, including executive actions to address not just gun safety measures, but violence in communities,” Jen Psaki told reporters. “So that is — has been under discussion and will continue to be under discussion.”
Assault weapons are the “go-to” weapons that gun control proponents use to call for a ban on following mass public shootings, but the only differences between “assault rifles” and ordinary rifles are cosmetic. And rifles account for a single-digit percentage of all gun homicides. As I write back in 2020:
Four times as many people were killed with a knife than with any kind of rifle in 2019, the FBI revealed in its Uniform Crime Report released late last month. According to the UCR, 1,476 victims were murdered with “knives or cutting instruments,” whereas 364 people were killed with rifles, including the vague category of “assault rifles.”
More victims were also murdered by blunt objects like clubs and hammers, which resulted in 397 homicides in 2019.The estimated number of violent crimes also decreased for the third consecutive year, according to a statement from the FBI. The estimated rate of violent crime was 366.7 per 100,000 people. There were roughly 1.2 million total violent crimes committed in 2019.
So why are “assault” weapons the type of firearms always singled out? Because Democrats know they’re the “scariest,” and thus they’ll have much greater success trying to ban them as opposed to handguns. For all the talk of “common sense” gun control, I think we all know that Democrats are willing to ban any type of firearm that the current political climate of the day allows.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate