USA –-(Ammoland.com)- A crazy man who was willing to murder also ignored other laws. In this case, he used a gun to kill. We already have 23 thousand firearms regulations, and they didn’t stop this murderer. Since stopping criminals is hard and passing laws is easy, I expect the California politicians to call for more laws to encumber honest and sane citizens. These new laws, and the media opportunities they generate for politicians won’t stop the next murder either. The new laws will allow the politicians to appear relevant. The real problem is complex, and frankly, the problem is beyond the sound-byte politicians in Sacramento.
So here are the facts we know about the recent murders in Red Bluff, California. The murderer had long term mental health problems. He attacked his neighbors. He was then forbidden to own firearms. That didn’t stop him from murdering his wife by shooting her with a gun. He violated a protective order filed by a neighbor, murdered his neighbors, and then went on a shooting spree that killed and injured many more. I notice a pattern.
Laws don’t stop the mentally ill from being violent. Gun laws don’t stop violent people from killing others.
Time and again, California politicians said they would solve the problem of violence by disarming honest people. In the Red Bluff murders, we see the latest victims of that flawed approach. It is easy to place blame, and hard to solve real problems.
Rancho Tehama is a sparsely populated rural community near Red Bluff, California. The murderer believed that all his neighbors were out to get him. The murderer grew marijuana, but thought his neighbors were dangerous druggies making methamphetamine. That is more evidence that mental illness and paranoia are a difficult problem.
The neighbors heard automatic gunfire coming from the murderer’s house at all hours of the day and night. They called the sheriff’s office many times. Responding deputies could not tell if the man was at home, and he would not come to the door when deputies knocked. That pretty much ended the legal recourse.
In an encounter earlier this year, the murderer cut a neighbor with a knife. It is unclear how the encounter began, but the murderer took the knife from the neighbor and then cut her with it. The murderer was charged. The neighbors took out a restraining order. The murderer was barred from owning firearms or contacting his neighbors. The murderer’s guns were confiscated.
In theory, that solved everyone’s problems. Obviously not.
Obviously, the murderer got more guns. Firearms are easy to get. The politicians who say they will protect us are very good at regulating legal gun owners. Disarming the honest people may work in theory, but in practice it doesn’t reduce violence. In many cities, an illegal gun is cheaper and faster to buy than a legal one. In theory, the murders in Red Bluff couldn’t happen. The practice speaks for itself. Gun prohibition is as effective as drug prohibition. In this case, preliminary reports say the murderer simply built his own guns.
California closed many of its mental institutions. That threw the problem of dealing with the mentally ill back on local communities. That works some of the time. Very few people with mental health problems are violent. Those who seek treatment are less violent than the untreated. When the mentally ill are violent, it is often out of fear and frustration from living in a world that makes no sense to them. I have sympathy for everyone involved.
The people for whom I have no sympathy are the California politicians who think another law will solve this sort of problem. Mental health treatment is expensive. Pen and ink are cheap, and every problem calls for more laws when all you can afford are pen and ink.
About Rob Morse
The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor