Who’s to Blame For Murders of Virginia Journalists? Congress!

That’s what Democratic Senator Chris Murphy says:

I think change is going to happen. I just don’t think that democracy can work with when you have 90 percent of the American public that want changes in our gun laws and Congress not responding.

This is sheer fantasy. In fact, only a minority of Americans want stricter gun laws. A majority want either to keep gun laws as they are, or make them less strict. This is Gallup’s polling on the topic from 1990 to the present:

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 1.09.27 PM

You can’t just change our gun laws. Yes, we should have these dangerous weapons off the street.

What does this mean? Every gun is a “dangerous weapon.” If Murphy means anything, he means that all guns should be confiscated by the government. Neither he nor any other Democratic office-holder will come out and say that, however.

Criminals shouldn’t get guns.

It is already illegal for criminals (felons, anyway) to possess or buy guns, or use a gun in the commission of a crime. If Murphy has some further legislation in mind, what is it?

If we can’t get the gun laws changed because of the NRA control of Congress right now then let’s fix the mental health system.

When Democrats can’t muster the votes to pass legislation, they generally say that some nefarious power controls Congress. The fact is that most Congressmen and Senators won’t vote for the extreme legislation that liberals want (e.g., universal gun confiscation or bans on randomly-selected semiautomatic rifles) because they respect the Constitution, they don’t think the liberals’ legislation will do any good, and they want to be re-elected.

I agree that the country’s mental health system should be improved, but I am not holding my breath waiting for Senator Murphy to come up with any constructive proposals.

We should be starting this process now because it’s an absolute stain on this nation that there have been more mass shootings this year than there have been days in the year.

Murphy is referring to this tabulation in the Washington Post. There are various definitions of “mass shootings”–this one includes domestic and gang violence and is not limited to fatalities–but the reality is that in a country of 320 million, a considerable number of crimes will be committed.

Politicians like Murphy would have you believe that we are living through a homicide epidemic, but that is the opposite of the truth. The murder and violent crime rates are only half what they were during the bad old days of the Clinton administration. That decline in violent crime has coincided with liberalization of gun carry laws in many states and rapidly growing handgun ownership. Further, the places with the highest homicide rates, like Chicago and Washington, D.C., are precisely those jurisdictions that have most aggressively tried to suppress private gun ownership. So instead of yearning for confiscation, maybe Murphy and his ilk should encourage more people to buy firearms.

This is where Murphy blames Congress for the murders in Virginia. So is he blaming himself, as a member of the Senate? Just kidding.

I’m talking about the entirety of Congress, especially those that have stood in the way of common sense gun measures like expanded background checks or reforms to our mental health system.

Vester Flanagan, like nearly all of the famous mass shooters, passed a background check and bought his Glock legally. Expanding background checks to cover sales between family members and the like would do zero good, even if you assume compliance.

I believe that we have become complicit in these murders because people listen to highest levels of government and when we say nothing about it, when we don’t even attempt to change the laws to try to stop this mass slaughter, then people get some signal that it’s okay so settle their grievances or to deal with their illness through gun violence.

This is an absurd claim. Mass murderers don’t commit their crimes because they “get some signal that it’s OK.” They commit their crimes because they are crazy. The laws against murder are all the “signal” we need, but if Murphy really wants to send a message, he might advocate reinstatement of the death penalty.

This is where Murphy finally gets to the point:

I’m speaking directly to the Republican leadership of the House and the Senate. They should be bringing anti-gun violence bills to the Floor that can get consensus votes this fall or the Congress is complicit in these murders.

Got that? Support more “anti-gun violence bills,” or you are a murderer. What “anti-gun violence bills” might those be? It doesn’t matter. Any bill will do. The purpose is entirely political.