Is An Uber Driver Shooting 8 the Price of Gun Liberty?


Most of the developed world is shocked that an Uber driver who shoots 8 and kills 6 during his shift is accepted in the US like a winter storm–unavoidable. No call for an investigation, new laws or even a review of safety procedures. Nothing to see here, folks.


Mass shootings cause gun lobbyists, terrified of new gun laws, to become macabre “first responders,” assuring the public that no laws would have stopped the massacre and cautioning against “legislating on fresh graves.” (Though they sell guns on fresh graves because “Obama’s going to take your guns.)


When crimes are committed with illegal guns, the gun lobby pretends it doesn’t arm criminals by blocking universal background checks, dealer inventory laws, stolen gun reporting laws, one gun a month purchase laws, tougher trafficking laws and overall ATF operations. (For example, thousands of Chicago crime guns are traced to one suburban gun dealer, Chuck’s. Others come from lax gun law states like Mississippi and Indiana.)


When crimes are committed by “law-abiding citizens” who passed their background checks (the Uber driver seemed a “nice guy” says the NRA’s Cam Edwards) the lobby says you can’t pre-emptively deny their gun rights. It is a question of liberty.


If you talk to gun owners as often as we at NGVAC do, you quickly detect a two-tiered philosophy. Yes, they are against bad guys, crime, domestic gun violence and mentally ill people getting guns. All condemn parents who don’t practice safe storage to protect their kids and some are even against military style weapons in the hands of civilians and open or concealed carry. But–and it is a big but–all these gun related problems are preferable to tyranny say gun advocates. Everyone knows universal background checks or banning people on the Terror Watch List from buying guns will lead to black helicopters and confiscation. Look at the fascist regimes Canada, Japan, the EU countries, New Zealand, and Australia have become because of their strict gun laws!


People who appear otherwise totally normal believe the second, paranoid tier to the philosophy. Can they answer why Obama would wait over 7 years to take everyone’s guns and how 300 million guns would be found and confiscated in 10 months?


Those of us who have lost our loved ones to gun violence refuse to believe the opposite of an Uber driver shooting 8 during his shift is gun confiscation. We refuse to believe the gun lobby is against “bad guys” if it tacks onto federal bills provisions that tie the hands of the ATF and ban a registry.


The fact is many and perhaps most mass shooters are gun fetishers whose imminent violence would be flagged with a registry. (No, most do not get their guns illegally.) The weapons caches of the Aurora and Umpqua killers and Chapel Hill suspect are legendary; other mass shooters bought weapons days before their murders. In fact, the Uber driver himself had a personal cache of handguns and long guns and bought a jacket with an inside pocket designed for a handgun at a gun store hours before his massacre! Are his 6 victims the price of gun liberty?