The tragic shootings in Tucson have sparked new cries from gun control advocates for more restrictive gun laws. The gun control lobby is hoping the emotions stirred up over the senseless killings will generate a wave of support and favorable Congressional treatment since the most high-profile victim was a member of Congress.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.Y. are proposing banning gun clips that hold more than 10 rounds. Loughner’s gun held 30 rounds. But this bill would not prohibit the sale of used clips with more than a 10-round capacity, and a killer could simply carry more than one gun to avoid having to take time to reload.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., one of a few anti-gun Republicans in Congress, is proposing a prohibition on firearms within 1000 feet of a president, vice-president, member of Congress or federal judge. A law like this would be impossible to enforce.
A group of family members and survivors from the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings want to make it more difficult for the mentally ill to purchase firearms. Loughner was suspended from Pima County Community College for mental health reasons, and was likely denied enlistment in the army for mental health reasons. Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui was also mentally ill. The group is asking Congress to close the gun-show loophole and provide more funding for criminal background checks. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wants the military to inform the FBI when someone is rejected for enlistment because of illegal drug use. Schumer claims a law like this would have prevented Loughner from buying a gun.
These restrictions would merely put a band-aid on the real problem. Criminals who really want to kill people are going to find a way to kill them, whether by purchasing guns illegally or using other weapons. The mentally ill used to be locked up in hospitals until the left and activist ACLU attorneys sued to have them released in the 1960’s, fundamentally changing the way society treats the mentally ill. If Loughner had been institutionalized, he would not have been able to purchase guns and kill people.