Gun Control, Terrorism and the San Bernardino Shooting
The facts are not fully known yet, but the gun control advocates are already all over the news media calling for gun control as a result of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killing at least 14 individuals and wounding of many more on December 2, 2015. We also have the xenophobes circling the wagons and demanding that the border be sealed shut. Both have ignored two inconvenient truths.
So let’s look at the facts.
Syed Rizwan Farook was a US citizen. He was born in Illinois. Farook did not sneak into the United States with Syrian refugees nor through the US/Mexico border. He was born and raised in the United States.
His parents are from Pakistan. Tashfeen Malik, Farook’s wife, was born in Pakistan. She entered the United States on a K-visa, more commonly known as a fiancé visa. It was her US citizen husband, Farook, who applied for and secured her entry into the United States. In July, Tashfeen Malik was issued a temporary green card after passing a US background check.
Although we do not yet know the motives for the killings it has been suggested that the evidence points to terrorism, although there has been no direct link to ISIS/ISIL or any other terrorist group having direct control over the two murderers.
As you can clearly see, the immigration rhetoric about the dangers of immigrants or refugees would not have stopped the massacre perpetuated by a US citizen, both in actual murders and by allowing his accomplice access to the US.
Now let’s take a look at the gun control rhetoric.
Two handguns that were recovered have been traced back to Farook. According to news media reports, Farook purchased the guns legally about three to four years ago. Additionally, two rifles have also been recovered. These rifles were also purchased legally by someone else, possibly a former roommate, also about three to four years ago.
California has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the United States. All gun purchases are required to be purchased via a licensed dealer. California bans most so-called assault weapons and large (.50) caliber rifles. More importantly, large capacity ammunition magazines are prohibited in California.
Hand gun purchases are subject to a ten day waiting period and individuals can only purchase a gun once a month.
We do not know yet the motives that led Syed Rizwan Farook to murder. However, it is clear from the facts, as we now know them now, that expanded gun control would likely not have prevented the murders.
Farook used guns that were legally purchased. Two of the weapons, he himself purchased and two others were purchased by a surrogate. He lived in one of the states with the strongest gun control laws.
As I have stated before, gun control only impedes legal purchases. Gun control does not stop murderers from committing murders, or other crimes for that matter. What gun control does, is limit the ability of citizens to become self-reliant and be able to protect themselves.
By the time the police had responded to the shooting, the murderers were already gone and many people were injured or dead. Could the outcome have been different if someone in the area had a legally concealed weapon? Possibly, but we will never know.
However, self-reliance and personal responsibility means that each of us has the ability and the tools with which to defend ourselves from murderers intent on killing us.
I would rather have a handgun on me then to sit by passively watching as two deranged killers shoot at my family and me.
Gun control does not end murders it just impedes self-reliance and self-determination to life.
As for the terrorism, and make no mistake about it, it was terrorism because it involved taking innocent lives, which in itself is a terrorist act, the fact remains that it was perpetuated by a US citizen.
It would be so much easier and more productive if we put aside political rhetoric and discussed the issue of gun control and immigration on facts instead of politics. Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife have proven that rhetoric does not keep people safe.