Politicians didn't waste any time calling for gun control following the Elliot Rodger shooting. The usual suspects like Dick Blumenthal and Peter King have already made their voices heard. So has Dianne Feinstein, whose renewal of the ineffective Assault Weapons Ban was snubbed last year.
We must ask ourselves if an individual whose family called police with concerns about mental health, who is receiving therapy and who has had several run-ins with police should be allowed to own multiple firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. When anyone, no matter their mental health or history, can so easily obtain any gun they want and as many as they want—we must recognize there is a problem.
You know what? I don't disagree. Where I do take issue is the idea that more laws would have prevented this. Consider California's laws for a moment. They are are among the strictest in the country, and they're a virtual grab-bag of everything the gun-control lobby wants.
California bans weapons like the AR-15, so the shooter used pistols. They only allow the purchase of one handgun a month, so he spaced out his purchases. Magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds are banned, so he stocked up on 10-rounders.
California requires buyers to present a Handgun Safety Certificate, which the shooter presumably acquired. They also ban private-party transfers and require "universal background checks," which did not deter him. The Santa Barbara sheriff doesn't make getting a concealed carry permit easy, but Rodger didn't let this stand in his way.
So, we need, what, more laws? This is where the slippery slope argument comes in.
Some folks believed that if we acquiesced to the Manchin-Toomey bill and Feinstein's renewed Assault Weapons Ban last year, they'd leave us alone. Sorry, but no. We'd have had another shooting, and they'd demand more laws. When those laws failed to stop yet another shooting, they'd demand even more. The cycle would continue until virtually nothing was left.
And what then? We'd still have the fatalities, and the whole time, we'd have ignored the central question: what has gone wrong with society over the last 20 years that's making this happen? We need to stop blaming the instrument and start looking at the cause.
Blaming the NRA might make for good press, but they're not the ones with blood on their hands here.