USA Today: Two School Tragedies 23 Years Apart Is A “Familiar Pattern”

If by a “tragically familiar pattern“, as their headline reads, they mean “Democrats attempting to take away Constitutional rights and punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty”, well, yes. In 1989 a deranged gunman shot up a school (from outside) in Stockton, California with a “military-style rifle” (nice to know that the writer received the White House’s talking points about that)

The stunning attack 24 years ago, which left five elementary school children dead and 29 others wounded, was the nation’s “Sandy Hook” before last December’s massacre in Newtown, Conn. Almost a quarter of a century later, the nation’s contentious fault lines over gun rights and the debate over how to curb senseless mass killings remain similar.

Except for the fatal scale of the Connecticut shooting (20 children and six educators were killed Dec. 14), the assault at Cleveland Elementary School here featured near-identical and tragic themes: young victims, a troubled gunman and a military-style rifle. Then, Patrick Purdy, a deranged 24-year-old drifter, turned a schoolyard packed with children – many of them sons and daughters of southeast Asian immigrants – into a killing field. He later fatally shot himself.

Like Newtown, the Stockton shooting helped prompt a heated national debate about gun control, culminating in a landmark, 10-year federal ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004. A shock to the national psyche, the schoolyard shootings and the testimony of Stockton officials, including then-Mayor Barbara Fass, first served as an emotional springboard to broad gun-control legislation in California before Congress approved its assault weapon ban in 1994.

So, how do we curb senseless mass killings? According to Democrats, we do this by punishing law abiding citizens by passing laws that restrict their 2nd Amendment rights.

“For all those who say we shouldn’t and can’t ban assault weapons: How can they say that?” Vice President Biden said in late March, urging Congress to reconsider including the assault weapons ban.

It’s actually pretty easy, Joe. The vast majority of us are not criminals and won’t use the scary looking guns, or any others, to commit crimes. What you are saying is that you want to punish us, the innocent, because a few people are deranged and/or criminals. Why not go after them?

The other side of the debate is represented by an unlikely foe: Rob Young, a 30-year-old police officer, who still bears the physical scars of a day he “will never forget.”

“There isn’t a gun law in place that would have stopped what happened to me,” Young said. “I have never blamed the gun. It wasn’t the fault of the AK-47. If Patrick Purdy didn’t have a gun and still wanted to do something, he would have found another way to do it.”

Young was shot in Stockton on that day 24 years ago, and he seems to understand something that Democrats (and the USA Today, which has delved into advocacy rather than news) don’t: you blame the criminal, not the object. But, Democrats couldn’t care less, they want to do away with private gun ownership, and, much like Obamacare is a step towards single payer, this gun control is a step towards a total ban. Except for criminals, who’ll get and use guns regardless.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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