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Mass Shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival Sparks Debate Over Guns

Universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and red flag laws are practically useless.

Mass Shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival Sparks Debate Over Guns 1 PHILIP PACHECO/AFP/Getty Images

On Sunday evening, at least one shooter opened fire on a crowd of people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing 3 people, including a 6-year-old boy, and wounding 12 others.

Witnesses to the shooting reported there being a second suspect, either a shooter or someone who assisted the shooter, and a search continued late Sunday night to find that suspect.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Police Chief Scot Smithee said, “the gunman and a companion accessed the festival through a creek and cut through a perimeter fence to avoid metal detectors.” According to Michael Paz, a hat vendor at the festival, the shooter was “wearing a protective vest” and was shooting “left” and “right” indiscriminately.

The shooter is currently dead, and CBS San Francisco reported “St. Louise Medical Center had a total of six gunshot patients. Three are being treated, two were discharged Sunday evening and one died from gunshot wounds.”

Unfortunately, tragedies like these are becoming increasingly prevalent every year. For that reason, many news outlets politicize them in order to elevate their agenda. They stand on the graves of the victims and propose legislation, then claim if you do not support the legislation then you must not care about the victims of these horrific disasters. For example, a recent article by Vox argues “Democrats should go big” in regard to the restriction of gun-rights, suggesting a ban on “all semiautomatic weapons.” (semiautomatic means you pull the trigger once and it shoots once, this would include basically all handguns)

To their credit, the Vox article does explain that moderate gun legislation is ineffective. They explain, “typical proposals on guns pick at this problem but come nowhere close to solving it.” And they go on to explain how universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and red flag laws are practically useless.

However, the idea of a full ban on semiautomatic weapons is a massive infringement on the rights of an individual and would likely be ineffective at reducing the OVERALL murder rate. For example, according to the National Safety Council, at least 500,000 to 3 million lives are saved yearly by firearm defense. This means that for every person that is murdered with a gun, up to 214 people were saved. Further, about 80% of gun-related crimes are performed with an illegally owned firearm.