I still have no idea how I ever ended up on Every Town for Gun Safety’s (note the strategic use of safety instead of control) mailing list. For months now it seems like every time I’m about to put them in my junk mail they send me some high quality entertainment in the form of a fundraising email. However, every once in a while they promote a dangerous brand of stupidity/dishonesty that needs to be addressed.
As a particularly repulsive exercise in shamelessness they get a victim from a high-profile shooting death’s loved one to be a spokesperson for their fundraising efforts. There’s no way of knowing if they’re the ones actually scripting the emails personally. Likely they’re “coached” through the process. They must consent to their name being used for political ends, obviously. Otherwise that would be some very fertile ground for some lawsuits.
It’s an insidious ploy because people who’ve suffered such horrible tragedy are, understandably, all but immune to criticism. One has to be pretty cynical about humanity to question their motives. It’s a lot easier to accept that they’re being exploited by unscrupulous political operatives than it would be to learn that they sold out the memory of the loved ones Cindy Sheehan style. It’s a method reserved for the loved ones of those killed by strangers in senseless acts of mass shooting as opposed to victims of far more common personal or crime-related murders. And while they may very well have been a true believer in gun control before the fact, there can be little doubt that their intentions are pure.
So they’re approached by kind, understanding individuals who offer them a chance to use their tragedy to help bring about change that can prevent more occurrences like theirs. To spread the message that their pain could have been avoided if only… we had done something beforehand. But at least we can do something about it now.
The first time I saw them attempt to exploit grief for donations was an email listing a father who had lost their child to Eliot Rodger during his spree killing on May 23rd, 2014. It was infuriating because it glossed over the story a bit.
For example, while thankfully Rodger didn’t manage to kill anyone with his car during his rampage, it wasn’t for lack of trying. He injured seven people with his BMW. Yes it is admittedly hard to conceal a speeding motor vehicle. But it also conveniently excluded the little detail that he killed three of his six victims, I refuse to count his own suicide in the tally, with a knife. Nothing Everytown is attempting to advance would have prevented their murders. But I guess their loved ones’ grief doesn’t bring in the checks.
Additionally, Eliot Rodger’s killing spree occurred in Isla Vista, California. A separate gun control advocacy group, the Brady Campaign, that grades states on their firearm restrictions gave California an A- in 2013. Oh, if only they’d had A+ gun control.
The latest gift to reach my inbox is celebrating a proposed background check law in Oregon passing its first vote. Incidentally, a sheriff in Oregon has stated that he refuses to enforce the law if passed. This email came complete with a brief message of appeal from the widower of a victim of the December 11th, 2012 Clackamas Mall shooting in the same state. A portion of the message is as follows:
My life changed forever two years ago when my wife, Cindy Yuille, was shot and murdered at the Clackamas Town Center mall here in Oregon. It was two weeks before Christmas.
I don’t want anyone to ever have to experience this pain — which is why I’m fighting for a strong background check law in Oregon, and why I need your help.
Everytown supporters like you helped close the background check loophole at the ballot in Washington State last year. Now we want to make Oregon the first state of 2015 to follow suit, and send a message to the NRA that their years of controlling our nation’s gun laws are over.
At work here is a tactic frequently employed by leftists, in addition to the aforementioned exploitation of tragedy. Namely, taking advantage of our fast news cycle-induced short memories and also of those whom Rush Limbaugh refers to as low information voters.
If you’ve never heard of the Clackamas Mall shooting you can be forgiven. It’s not the hot button talking point for the left that Sandy Hook or the Aurora movie theater are. The reason is because the shooter’s body count wasn’t in the double digits or even high single digits. It was two. Two too many, of course, but not 10 or 20+. Why? Because unlike the other shootings, it didn’t occur in a “gun free zone”.
The killer wasn’t long into his random rampage before he encountered a second amendment practicing private citizen. Contrary to the trigger happy boogie men of lefty campfire stories, the gentleman had the shooter in his sights but did not fire for fear of hitting a bystander. Nevertheless, the mere presence of an armed citizen instead of one more helpless victim was sufficient to cut short the shooter’s killing spree.
But what about this new law in Oregon? What is it about since the Clackamas shooting is apparently the momentum behind its push? Background checks. Yes, background checks.
The shooter at the Clackamas mall, Jacob Tyler Roberts, acquired his gun by stealing it. So the proposed solution has no bearing on the problem. It would not have spared this widower his grief. Yet Everytown for Gun Safety has no shame in using his grief for pushing a law that would have done nothing to stop his wife’s senseless murder.
It’s patronizing, despicable, and worst of all, dangerous.