Gun Control Hypocrisy after the Vester Flanagan Murders

It is gun control hypocrisy to claim you will purchase a gun because you need one and advocate for more laws to make it harder to own a gun.

This Washington Post story is basically a compilation of facts about the murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward on live TV by Vester Flanagan.

One fact that is reported regards Parker’s father:

The father of slain TV reporter Alison Parker says he thinks he will have to buy a gun now that he has decided to be an outspoken advocate for tougher gun laws.

Adam Parker made the remarks Friday outside the station where his daughter worked. He said he currently doesn’t own a gun, but believes he will now have to buy one because his mission will be tougher gun laws.

He says background checks should be done on people who buy weapons at gun shows.

My hope is that the father is not aware of what he is saying due to his understandable and overwhelming grief.

But it is obvious gun control hypocrisy to demand to own a firearm while at the same time advocating for laws making it tougher to purchase a firearm. If you have a right to purchase a gun, so does anybody and everybody else.

The push to think that more gun laws can prevent a crime like this from being committed is also part of a larger problem. Some people are also making a big deal about how the police had interacted with the killer before he committed his crime:

Roanoke police had direct contact with on-air shooting gunman Vester Flanagan at least twice after escorting him from the WDBJ-TV station following his firing in February 2013.

Department spokesman Scott Leamon said Friday officers went to Flanagan’s apartment about a year later at the request of a friend in Atlanta who feared for his well-being. Flanagan assured the officers he was OK.

Last December, police questioned Flanagan after he asked his bank to refund money he said had been withdrawn from his account through unauthorized ATM transactions. Leamon says police considered Flanagan a person of interest but didn’t find enough evidence to charge anyone. The money was refunded.

That is interesting, but it means nothing as far as preventing this tragedy. I don’t want the police being empowered to jail people on suspicion or hold them on the worry that they might commit a crime in the future.

You can’t fix this. It isn’t correctable. It isn’t preventable. If people decide to go homicidal the most you can do is hope they fail (which would happen more often in a more gun-friendly culture) and punish them swiftly (which never happens). But there is nothing that should be changed due to this event. You can’t assume all stupid, paranoid, accusatory fired employees are potential murders. You can’t claim that every encounter with the police means that they missed an opportunity. I don’t want the police adopting that mindset.

There is nothing to do. People need to stop pretending that this event calls for some change in society, law, or policing. Even the changes I suggest above won’t stop all such crimes. Stop trying to make everything perfect and safe. You will make things much worse.

Gun control hypocrisy is only one aspect of this problem. The overarching problem is an assumption that every bad thing could have been prevented by the right law.