Yesterday’s horrific mass shooting in San Bernardino (the worst shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012), led to the usual debate concerning gun policy, with conservatives steadfastly maintaining that in no way does a mass shooting warrant additional gun legislation.
Carly Fiorina made her thoughts abundantly clear during a segment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Almost everything she stated lacked basic common sense, so let’s dissect exactly what little logic she expresses.
“Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski began by asking Fiorina if she thought there was any action we could take to preventing future shootings, and Fiorina responded with the brilliance that we should be prosecuting people who own guns illegally:
“We have lists and lists of people who shouldn’t own guns who have them and they’re not prosecuted, less than 1% of them are prosecuted…Let’s start by enforcing the laws we have.”
It seems that Ms. Fiorina is unaware of the fact (or willfully obtuse) that most guns used in mass shootings are obtained legally, not illegally—the New York Times did an extensive piece, outlining the methods of gun acquisition for the past 15 mass shootings and debunking the idea that these individuals were all illegal gun owners (including the shooters from yesterday, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik). According to Mother Jones, in the 173 mass shootings that occurred between 1983 and 2012, more than three-quarters of the guns had been purchased legally. Prosecuting illegal gun owners would most likely have little to no effect on the frequency of mass shootings.
When further confronted with the disturbing reality that people on the U.S. terror watch list, while unable to board planes, can legally purchase guns, Fiorina had no qualms with it:
“That’s kind of a red herring, honestly. If somebody is a suspected terrorist on a watch list, they can be indicted at any time, and once you’re indicted, you cannot own a firearm.”
She went on to say that she doesn’t believe in the competency of the government, and that it makes mistakes with people it puts on the terror watch list. This is ludicrous reasoning and simply circumvents the actual question—host Joe Scarborough countered by informing her that just because the government may make a mistake with one or two percent of individuals on the terror watch list, it should not open the doors for the other 98 percent to be able to purchase guns.
Fiorina's complete lack of awareness is alarming, and continuing to offer useless solutions will do nothing to stop the impending gun violence.
Banner Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore