Monday, April 23, 2018

The gun-lover's Catch-22

It’s never the gun.

Whenever something happens that looks like it might, there’s a need to show that there’s some other reason this horrible thing happened that, just coincidentally, involved a gun being fired and killing people.

One popular approach is to claim that the thing never really happened, but was instead staged as an excuse to come and take everyone’s guns.

So those people claiming to be Florida high-school students who had survived a shooting were actually “crisis actors” playing the role of apparently not-sufficiently-traumatized teenagers.

And of course the murder of 20 children and 6 teachers in Newtown, CT, was all a hoax, and the “grieving” parents were actors who hadn’t actually lost children.

I haven’t yet seen anyone claim a flat-out hoax in this case, but maybe they’re being discouraged from that by seeing Alex Jones get sued for defamation over his Newtown “hoax” stories.

But there’s still the trustworthy “FBI screwed up” story line.

People used it after Parkland, and it’s now been trotted out again in the Waffle House shooting near Nashville.

The starting point for the claim is the FBI’s statement that they investigated the murderer last summer, combined with the fact that they nonetheless didn’t stop the murders.

Here’s the FBI’s statement, in a rush transcript from CNN:
In July of 2017, the FBI's Springfield, Illinois Field Office received information regarding Travis Reinking from the U.S. Social Service [presumably “Secret” Service]. In coordination with the Secret Service and state and local law enforcement, the FBI took investigative steps to include database reviews and interviews. Coordinate action was taken with the Illinois State Police to revoke Mr. Reinking's prior arm owner's identification card and the Tazeville, County Sheriff's Office to then remove firearms from his possession. 
After conducting all appropriate investigation, the FBI closed this assessment on Mr. Reinking in October of 2017. I feel confident the FBI took the appropriate steps and did everything within our federal jurisdiction that we could at the time. So thank you for your time.
It may seem pretty straightforward to you or me, but if you go to the news site Grabien News, you can find it framed as, “FBI admits being warned about Waffle House killer, defends not taking further action.” (I don’t feel like putting up the link; if you use that headline plus Grabien, you should be able to find it.)

And in the comments section at Grabien, you can find such wisdom as, “These killings serve the FBI's purpose, sad to say,” or, “The FBI is probably under strict orders from the Soros Foundation not to interfere with anyone who threatens to use firearms, especially assault type weapons in mass shootings. Instead, they are to notify the Soros Foundation so the MSM can prepare news stories calling for the repeal of the second amendment.”

The story was picked up by the Nashville Tea Party, which posted it to Facebook. No surprise, that brought out further insight:
I'm pretty convinced the FBI is ignoring all possible shooters just so that these shootings will happen. How else will the DNC push for gun control? Everyone who has common sense has seen that the FBI is rife with corruption.
Well, we all have our convictions.

I'm pretty convinced that if the FBI started going after gun owners more aggressively based on “concerns,” a lot of people who follow the Nashville Tea Party would be up in arms (well, metaphorically at least) about the jack-booted thugs who were infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun-owners.

The statement said the FBI did everything they felt the law allowed them to do.

Are the gun-lovers saying they want the FBI to exceed its lawful authority, just so it can keep some gun-owners from making them all look bad?

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