Isla Vista Tragedy: Rodgers Family Calls For Gun Control
Isla Vista Tragedy: Rodgers Family Calls For Gun Control
Over the Memorial Day weekend, twenty people were murdered in heavily gun-restricted Chicago. Eight more were wounded in gun-restricted Detroit. But those victims are mostly nameless and faceless, unworthy of mention by those who profess compassion for victims of gun crime. The Left stands notorious for their exploitation of the victims of violence, specifically gun violence that results in attention-grabbing headlines, to push their agenda to disarm America. “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” they say. And the reaction to the atrocity committed by an evil, and highly unstable young man (whose name deserves to be forgotten) in Isla Vista last week against innocent, unarmed citizens is no exception.
I won’t stand in judgment of a grieving family, for I cannot begin to fathom the unspeakable pain they are in. My heart breaks for all involved. That said, the knee-jerk rush to blame firearms is wholly misguided. Rather than confront the major role the mental instability of their son played, nor to some extent their own possible neglect in fully recognizing his mental disturbance, the young man’s family is placing responsibility for his actions not on him, but rather on the usual suspect: guns. From Alan Shifman, attorney for Peter Rodger:
“’On behalf of the Rodgers family they want to make sure that the victims and the victims’ families are aware that this is the tragedy of the most extreme,’ Shifman said. ‘They want to send their deepest condolences to all of the victims’ families involved.’
‘My client’s mission in life will be to try to prevent any such tragedies from ever happening again,’ Shifman said. ‘This country, this world, needs to address mental illness and the ramifications from not recognizing these illnesses.’
Shifman also claimed the family is ‘staunchly against guns’ and supports gun control laws. ‘They are extremely, extremely upset that anybody was hurt under these circumstances.’”
Shifman’s statement, while welcome, does not address the fact that the young man’s first three victims were killed with a knife. Nor does it discuss the fact that California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Finally, the statement neglects to mention that at least two others, who thankfully survived, were hit with the perpetrator’s car. Should we control knives and cars, too?
I’ve seen mental illness in various forms. It does not rear its head overnight; there are always signs. Reports indicate there were obvious warnings in this case that the perpetrator had violent intentions. Which begs many questions: Why did the police—after being alerted by his parents to his many You Tube videos mentioning violence and suicide weeks before the attacks—not think it appropriate to obtain a search warrant for his home? Are they not well versed in the manipulative machinations of the mentally ill? Did they review his various online posts, hinting at violence? Did they interview his family and friends? If not, why not? It is reported that the young man had been in and out of therapy since the age of eight struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, up until the very day of the murders, when his therapist alerted his family to a chilling email. What was his diagnosis? How was he being treated? Was he being treated? Why was he allowed to purchase firearms in a state with such already-strict gun control laws?
Of course, capitalizing politicians like Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have, right on cue, jumped aboard the Gun Grabber Train, exploiting the tragedy for their own agendas.
“‘Obviously, not every kind of gun violence is going to be prevented by laws out of Washington,’ Blumenthal told CBS. ‘But at least we can make a start.’
‘I am going to urge that we bring back those bills, maybe reconfigure them, center on mental health, which is a point where we can agree that we need more resources to make the country healthier and to make sure that these kinds of horrific, insane, mad occurrences are stopped.’”
I think most of us can agree that those with severe mental illness—particularly those with violent tendencies as this young man displayed—should not have access to guns (the mother of the Sandy Hook shooter allowing her son access to her legally-owned weapons comes to mind). But where do we draw the line, Mr. Blumenthal? We’ve already seen reports that the federal government wishes to restrict firearms ownership by our veterans, whom they deem potential “domestic terrorists,” in a program dubbed Operation Vigilant Eagle. And we can imagine that anyone with any history of mental illness, regardless of how benign, successfully treated, or invented by an administration who views its political opponents as “terrorists,” will be the target of gun control by a snooping federal government if the gun control crowd has its way. How many of us have ever been medicinally-treated for depression? How many of our children have been treated for the overly-diagnosed ADHD? The list goes on, and includes millions and millions of Americans whose diagnoses would then restrict them from owning a firearm citing the convenient “mental illness” excuse. How very back door gun control-ish.
I can say with relative certainty that Mr. Blumenthal and his fellow pols are not genuinely interested in the one factor all of the recent mass shootings have in common: Each was committed by mentally disturbed individuals. So Mr. Shifman is correct when he states that we need to address the mental health aspect that always accompanies these horrific mass shootings. But how we address it is not to call for national gun control. There will always be disturbed citizens determined to wreak havoc on society. And they will always find a way. We can’t stop that. No gun control law ever will. Nor should we ever throw aside our Second Amendment guaranteed right to self defense. But what we can do is defend ourselves to the best of our abilities. We know that it was only when met with armed resistance that the killing spree ended in the perpetrator’s apparent suicide. For the logically minded, it’s an obvious answer to the “how do we stop this” question: Coupled with the elimination of those ludicrous liberal Gun Free Zones, had at least one of the initial three victims been armed, the young man hell-bent on completing his premeditated crime would almost certainly have never made it out of his house that fateful day.
I understand the instinctive need to blame an unspeakable crime on something other than the painful truth that is right before our eyes. But we must face reality. And so eventually must this family. I hope and pray that those enduring this nightmare can find peace, but not at the expense of the rights of their fellow Americans.