As with any other mass shooting, Democratic leaders used the terrorist attack in Pensacola, FL, to push for gun control. Several presidential contenders rushed to social media to call for more restrictions on firearms. But this particular incident is fading in usefulness. Why?
After news of the shooting broke, Democrats began their calls for more gun control, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeting: “Pearl Harbor. Pensacola. Not even our military bases are safe from gun violence. I’m heartsick for the victims and their families. We must end this epidemic and protect the lives of our service members.”
Dem Politicians Push Gun Control
Mayor Pete Buttigieg joined in, saying: “While we wait for more information, my thoughts are with the victims and their families. Service members and the dedicated civilians who support them deserve nothing less than safety on American soil and communities free from gun violence. Enough.”
Lately out of the headlines, Marianne Williamson added her voice to the mix, commenting: “What will it take to wage peace? It will take outer work and it will also take inner work. It will take regulating our guns and it will also take regulating our hearts.”
Julian Castro tweeted: “Not even our military bases are safe from mass shootings. From Pearl Harbor to Pensacola, gun violence is destroying our communities. My deepest condolences to the grieving families. This can’t be the world we want our kids to grow up in. We must act.”
The usual arguments for regulating firearms are not compelling in this case.
Pensacola Shooting Doesn’t Fit Narrative
The terrorist attack in Pensacola, unlike other mass shootings, does not quite fit what the progressive left finds useful when promoting gun control. A primary objective of the gun control lobby is to ban “assault” rifles like the AR-15. This is why incidents in which the gunman uses such a rifle garner the most media attention. In this instance, the shooter used a handgun, not a rifle. This invalidates the call for the assault ban.
Another critical issue is that weapons are already forbidden on military bases. Despite the fact that the shooter purchased the gun used in the attack legally, it was not allowed on a military base. Rachel Rojas, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office, told reporters that the perpetrator used a 9mm Glock 45 pistol and “did purchase it legally and lawfully.” However, individuals carrying government-issued or personal guns on bases are required to lock them in an arms room, to be used only for training purposes. In fact, violators risk ending their careers.
In this case, the attack appears to have been motivated by radical Islamic extremism, a topic typically avoided by the left. Shortly after the shooting, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) released a video stating that the shooting — perpetrated by a member of the Saudi military — was a terrorist attack. Other Saudi nationals have been detained in connection to the incident. This doesn’t quite fit the left’s preferred narrative: a white male carrying out a mass shooting using an assault rifle.
As more facts emerge, the focus will likely shift to the threat of Islamic terrorism. That deprives the left of persisting in the gun-control chorus. But never fear. There is bottomless blame left to be dished out. Charges of rampant bigotry will rise against those who express concern about Islamic terror attacks.
Read more from Jeff Charles.