Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa murdered ten people, including a police officer, at a Colorado supermarket on Monday, March 22. As if they had been waiting for just such a mass shooting, gun-grabbers seized the moment to demand new national gun control legislation. It seems that with each such tragedy, the time from when the news of the shooting breaks until the first calls for new laws is cut down. Now we don’t even wait for the dead to be identified, much less buried.
From President Biden, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the message is clear: We need numerous new national gun control laws, including confiscation of the most widely held firearm in the U.S., the AR-15. But weren’t there already restrictions in place to protect us? Let’s take a look at how the existing laws didn’t prevent this shooting:
Universal Background Checks: According to his arrest warrant, Mr. Alissa bought a Ruger brand AR-15 pistol on March 16, 2021. The reason police know about this purchase is because Alissa made it legally, passing both state and federal background checks.
Red Flag Laws: Reports are now emerging that Mr. Alissa’s family has described him as having mental illness and behavioral issues. Extreme risk protection orders – or red flag laws – have become popular in many Democratic circles. These allow judges to strip the right to keep and bear arms from those accused by private parties of being a danger to themselves or others. It’s a breathtaking annexation of Americans’ rights, but it’s in force in several places – including Colorado.
High-Capacity Magazine Ban: Since 2013, Colorado has banned full or high-capacity magazines under state law. It enacted a ban that forbade any new magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds from being possessed or transferred from the law’s enactment date. This grandfathered existing magazines and reduced owners to possessors.
Assault Weapons Ban: The city of Boulder, where the massacre took place, has its own gun control laws. Two years ago, it passed a ban on magazines holding more than ten rounds as well as the end goal of so many gun control proponents: a complete “assault-weapons ban.”
Open Carry Ban: In keeping with the company’s progressively more anti-firearm policies, Kroger has asked customers not to open carry weapons in their stores since 2019. This is store policy, not state or local law, but it’s still another rule broken by the murderer in Boulder.
First-Degree Murder: Finally, Mr. Alissa committed ten instances of first-degree murder. While not strictly speaking a gun violation itself, murder is the crime society punishes the most severely. Any gun control law said to be effective in the face of someone willing to commit murder must not rely on any deterrence value. We already have the maximum deterrence applied to the crime of homicide.
New laws proposed need to work despite a would-be murderer’s willingness to break them. In what is unremarkable to anyone, the person sworn to murder was undeterred by the laws forbidding it. This won’t change with any new impositions on law-abiding Americans.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.