A “gun violence” researcher at UC Davis suggests the correct response the heinous Las Vegas attack includes confiscation of “high capacity” magazines and a ban on gun ownership for people who abuse alcohol.
The researcher–Garen Wintemute–says these things after admitting the Vegas attacker did not fit the standard profile for a mass shooter and was therefore unpredictable.
In fact, the Los Angeles Times asked if there are certain lessons that can be learned from the Vegas attack and Wintemute said, “It’s not that he used a semi-automatic weapon. It’s that he used a high-capacity magazine for the semi-automatic weapon.” But as he continued to talk, his answer turned on itself: “People say the weapon had no effect. Fine. Put that guy on a 32nd floor. Give him throwing knives. Give him a bow and arrow. The outcome is going to be different. The weapon does matter.”
The Times asked if anything could have “predicted [the attacker’s] behavior” and Wintemute said “no.” But he continued talking and said a firearm registration and tracking program like the one in California does help monitor “purchase history and compare” that history to other purchasers–particularly purchasers who have used their firearms criminally or for terror purposes.
So the researcher says it does not matter that the attacker used a semiautomatic, then not-so-subtly suggests it does. He says there was nothing that could have predicted the attacker’s behavior, then intimates that gun registration and heavy, top-down gun control like we see in California might have helped.
Then he got explicit and called for a confiscatory ban on “high capacity” magazines and a ban on gun purchasers for anyone who abuses alcohol. He did not say the Vegas attacker abused alcohol; he simply noted a link between alcohol and violence.
This is a perfect example of the left’s slippery slope approach to gun control. After admitting the attacker did not fit the standard profile for a mass shooter and describing the attacker’s behavior as unpredictable, Wintemute comes back with the same leftist response–more gun control.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.