By Dr. Harold A. Black
I can’t really explain why the Uvalde shootings have affected me more than other shootings including Buffalo. Maybe its because every year I deer hunt near Eagle Pass, TX (the epicenter of the illegal migrant crisis) and the deer processor is in Uvalde. The rancher where I hunt has three children in school in Uvalde. Although his kids are not in the school where the shootings occurred – the twins are in middle school and the oldest is in high school – I still sent him a text wondering as to their mental state. Everyone I have met in Uvalde has been polite and courteous. It is a small town with only a couple of traffic lights on the main highway through town. Although I’ve only stopped for gas, groceries and various stuff at the local Walmart, Uvalde reminds me of “small time USA”. Although predominately Hispanic-American, conversations were like what you would find almost anywhere on main street USA. One of the women at the deer processor said that she had moved back home after living for a while in the big city -San Antonio. She said that San Antonio was just too big for her and that she missed the closeness of community that was Uvalde. That closeness is what makes the Uvalde shootings especially painful. In a town of only 16,000, most likely every resident knew someone directly affected by the shootings.
After the shootings, the politicians repeated their usual refrains and called for legislation that have nothing to do with the shootings. They want “assault” rifles banned yet most would not be able to define what an assault rifle is. They simply think that if it looks somewhat like an AR-15, then it must be bad. They also want universal background checks even if most shooters have passed such checks and use rifles, shotguns and handguns rather than “assault-type” weapons.
We also hear that the US is the only country where mass shootings occur. Of course, that is not even close to being true. We also hear that the US leads the world in mass shootings. Again, that depends on how mass shootings are defined. Given different definitions the US ranks from first to 62nd making most discussions about rankings meaningless. When talking about the recent mass shootings, the president bemoaned the power of the gun lobby as if the NRA suddenly disappeared, then mass shootings would vanish.
The facts are that if – as commonly defined – a mass shooting involves the shooting of four people – then most are domestic disputes involving handguns. The media almost gleefully reported the Buffalo shooting as that of a white supremacist and one source erroneously reported the Uvalde shooting as such even though the shooter was Hispanic. Although President Biden loves to spring out the white supremacist label saying that “White supremacy is a poison. It’s a poison … running through our body politic.” But most of us realize that “white supremacy is the Left’s dog whistle for “conservatives.” One oft-cited source notes that over the past 10 years “extremists” have committed a total of 244 killings. Of the 244 reported killings, 76 were in prison and only 86 were classified as “ideological”. However, that source omits eight mass killings including four by black nationalists leaving one to doubt its veracity. Regardless, last year there were 791 murders in Chicago alone – none of which were committed by a white supremacist. But those mainly black on black killings are not deemed newsworthy by our politicians or by the media and are largely ignored.
After the Uvalde shootings Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren declared gun violence as a “national emergency.” Yet is it really? Why don’t they say the same thing about fentanyl with its 100,000 deaths per year? Or 2 million illegal aliens crossing our southern border? Yes, school shootings are a national tragedy but drugs and the border are our national emergencies.