Shortly after 7 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time Wednesday morning a lone gunman with a rifle approached a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., where congressmen and staffers were practicing for a charity baseball game scheduled for later this week. James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., the alleged shooter, opened fire reportedly after asking if it was Republicans or Democrats out in the field. Hodgkinson shot four people, including House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, who remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the hip.
The political left was quick to pounce, taking two different tacks: That more gun control was needed and that Republicans were asking for it.
According to reports, Hodgkinson had a valid Firearms Owner ID card from Illinois, which means that he had passed a background check and could legally purchase a weapon.
As is the case in many of these shootings, it's unclear if any gun control law could've prevented Hodgkinson from acquiring a weapon, but that doesn't stop the anti-2nd Amendment left from complaining about the mythical "gun show loophole."
…is a good guy with a gun.
This is where the people at that baseball field got lucky. Rep. Scalise is a member of the House leadership, and as such receives a 24-hour protective detail from Capitol Hill Police. Two members of the Capitol Police immediately returned fire, eventually killing Hodgkinson and saving many lives.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told CNN "it would have been a massacre" without the Capitol Police officers present.
"Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police," Paul said on CNN. "It would have been a massacre without them."
We had nothing but baseball bats to fight back against a rifle with," Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks said.
Just a few hours later, at 8:55 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time in San Francisco, a man went into a UPS facility and started shooting. It's unclear whether the three dead include the shooter, whom police say took his own life.
The incident ended when police officers encountered the shooter inside the sprawling building. During the face-to-face confrontation, the man raised what police officials said was an “assault pistol” to his head and pulled the trigger.
“This person took his life because our officers confronted him,” said Assistant Police Chief Toney Chaplin. “The officers did what they’re trained to do.”
As is often the case, when these crazed shooters are confronted by people with guns, either law-enforcement or a member of the public, their rampage stops with them taking their own life. The carnage was greater in San Francisco than in Alexandria, because good guys with guns weren't on the scene when the shooting started.
UPS, like many companies, prohibits their employees from carrying weapons on company property or as they are working. San Francisco is also the stingiest jurisdiction when it comes to issuing concealed carry permits for the public—as of 2014, the county had issued just two permits. By contrast, as of that same date, Fresno County had issued 7,647 permits.
It's at this point that I repost this video for the laugh value.
In Virginia, the local police are allegedly describing the rifle used by Hodgkinson as an "SKS 7.62.39 rifle (a Chinese-made variant of the popular AK rifle)." I use those caveats because the only people worse than police at properly identifying guns are journalists.
A more accurate description of the rifle would be an SKS using the 7.62x39mm cartridge. The SKS isn't really a variant of the AK rifle, but a predecessor. In fact, it doesn't look a lot like an AK, even though they commonly fire the same cartridge.
According to reports, the one used by Hodgkinson was likely slightly different and used a detachable, standard capacity (typically 30 rounds) magazine. The rifle pictured above has a 10-round, fixed magazine. This is not the typical picture of an "evil, black, assault weapon" that the left rails about when an mass-shooting happens.
The gun used by the shooter in California is identified only as an "assault pistol." This probably means it is either an Uzi or a Mac-10, neither of which have been generally legal to purchase in California since 1989.
Gun control laws can't stop men who plot to do evil. No law will dissuade them. No regulation will stop them.
Gun control laws only take weapons out of the hands of the law-abiding.
Instead of free men with the duty and power to defend ourselves, we become serfs, dependent on the state for our protection.
There are many Americans who are happy to cede their God-given right to defend themselves to the state. The rest of us shouldn't be forced to take part in their folly.