WaPo Analysis: Rubio Was Right About Gun Control Doing Nothing to Prevent Mass Shootings

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Dec 12, 2015 12:00 PM
WaPo Analysis: Rubio Was Right About Gun Control Doing Nothing to Prevent Mass Shootings

Earlier this month, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) appeared on CBS’s “This Morning” and made the following claim about gun control:

“None of the major shootings that have occurred in this country over the last few months or years that have outraged us, would gun laws have prevented them.”

The Washington Post, doubting Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) statement, decided to fact check him by analyzing some of the most tragic shootings to occur since Newtown. To what seemed like a surprise to the editors, the consistent result was, “No proposed laws” would have made a difference.

They started with the most recent tragedy in San Bernardino, where Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik gunned down 14 people. California is already, the WaPo noted, a very strict gun control state. Yet, the “laws did not thwart” the killers.

Another case in point: John Zawahri killed five people in Santa Monica, California with a .223 semiautomatic rifle in June 2013. This, despite that fact he was not eligible to purchase firearms. He also produced other illegal weapons.

This is another example of where California’s strong gun laws apparently failed to prevent a tragedy. Zawahri was determined to circumvent the law.

Is this not true of many murderers? Time and again, we are reminded that killers don’t care about our laws. If they want to kill, they find a way. As for gun-free zones, they are often bright, flashing welcome signs for killers who know they will have an advantage over defenseless individuals.

The clear trend gave the WaPo only one conclusion: Rubio deserved a “rare” Gepetto checkmark for his accurate claim:

This is certainly a depressing chronicle of death and tragedy. But Rubio’s statement stands up to scrutiny — at least for the recent past, as he framed it. Notably, three of the mass shootings took place in California, which already has strong gun laws including a ban on certain weapons and high-capacity magazines.