The Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group behind gun control Initiative 1639 launched an email blast Monday evening that blames the AR-15 rifle for the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue, apparently ignoring two facts: the suspect is described as an anti-Semite, and police officers responding to the shooting were armed with the same type of firearm, and they acted to save lives.
But the Safe Schools, Safe Communities lobbying group behind I-1639—which critics say would strip young adults of their Second Amendment rights—had this to say in their email message:
“The shooter wrote angry, anti-Semitic posts on social media. Then he walked into a synagogue with an assault weapon and killed 11 people. It was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history…And the reason why? An AR-15.”
An examination of news footage from Pittsburgh reveals that several responding officers appear to have been armed with the same type of semiautomatic rifles. But there was not a word about how those guns were present to end the carnage, and to protect and save lives.
The irony underscores that famous line from the 1953 western classic “Shane,” in which Alan Ladd reminds Jean Arthur that “A gun is a tool, no better or worse than any other tool…A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”
When Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas almost one year ago, he was shot and critically wounded by an armed private citizen, Stephen Willeford, who was armed with an AR-15 rifle. Willeford, an NRA-certified firearms instructor, then pursued the killer to where he crashed his getaway car. Not surprisingly, gun prohibitionists ignored this fact.
I-1639 is the only gun control measure on the ballot anywhere in the United States this election cycle. Backers have already admitted that they will use this campaign elsewhere around the country to push similar laws potentially impacting millions law-abiding citizens elsewhere. That’s why I-1639 grassroots opponents stress the importance of stopping this anti-rights crusade where it started, in Washington State.
But the email effort, they say, attempts to exploit a national tragedy to push a political agenda that will not prevent a single violent crime or make anyone safer.
Maybe that’s why Washington’s five top law enforcement organizations are uniformly opposed to I-1639. It’s a fact that, activists contend, is not being reported enough by the establishment media.
There was another irony in Pittsburgh, one that underscores the goodness of people rather than the evil that anti-gunners seem determined to affix to a firearm. When the accused synagogue killer was brought to a local hospital for treatment, he was attended to by Jewish doctors and nurses, according to Fox News.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, a Democrat, could take a lesson from those medical professionals, as well as from Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers. When President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they would travel to Pittsburgh, Peduto politicized the gesture by urging the nation’s First Couple to stay away while the victims were being buried.
But Rabbi Myers, according to CNN and the Associated Press, said the President is “certainly welcome.”
“I am a citizen,” Myers observed. “He is my president.”