Oakland is reeling right about now due to the shooting at high school earlier this week. It’s the kind of thing that would shake up any community.
I get it.
However, it seems the mayor there is seizing the opportunity to call for federal gun control.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Thursday called on the “obstructionists in Congress” to take action to stop the flow of guns into Oakland after a school shooting wounded six people Wednesday.
“I want to acknowledge that Oakland, California, has long struggled with gun violence and has made incredible progress,” Schaaf said in a press conference Thursday. “And yet we will never be able to address this alone, or in isolation, without federal leadership.”
The shooting is the latest in a series of devastating violent incidents in Oakland, with nine people killed in as many days and more injured. Four of those deaths occurred in a 24-hour period between Sept. 19 and 20. The spate of homicides has prompted city leadership to announce a ramping up of police presence in Oakland, and to renew calls for federal gun-control reform.
However, Schaaf provides absolutely no evidence of any gun control policy being considered having any impact on anything.
I mean, California has tons of gun control, and none of that seems to help.
After all, here’s what the police think about this shooting:
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said officers suspect the shooting on Wednesday specifically targeted at least one person — and possibly multiple people — at the school. He said footage at the King Estates campus, which contains three schools, showed at least two shooters and an accomplice, but there could have been more.
“We do believe that this incident is group- and gang-related,” Armstrong said. “We believe that this is related to ongoing conflicts in our city that has driven violence.”
In other words, these aren’t otherwise law-abiding citizens who are flipping out suddenly and killing folks. This is likely tied to criminal organizations, which gangs are, and not private citizens obtaining firearms lawfully.
I mean, we don’t even know how these shooters got their guns.
But Schaaf is pushing an agenda, not facts.
The truth of the matter is that gun control won’t solve this. Most of the guns used by people like this are stolen. Even if they’re stolen from out of state, it’s not evidence that federal gun control is needed. Anti-gun states tend to have fewer gun owners. That’s because they have fewer people interested in owning guns.
As a result of that, thieves are able to steal fewer guns to fuel the black market demand, so those guns come in from out of state to meet that demand.
Federal gun control won’t change that, though, since law-abiding citizens will still buy guns and likely still face the possibility of them being stolen.
But Oakland’s problems have less to do with gun control, or the lack of it, and more to do with the attitudes by law enforcement.
Last year, Cam wrote about how a law-abiding citizen who stopped a robbery was arrested on gun charges. Oakland’s police chief said then that they wanted “good witnesses,” which really just means good victims.
“What we really don’t want to do is bring any additional issues that threaten safety into the equation,” Armstrong continued. “Having armed people out there tends to not be helpful. Officers sometimes have to determine who they’re trying to encounter and that also makes it unsafe for all of us. So while I appreciate those who have stepped forward and are looking to help our community members and be there and intervene, I think you can do that with your voices, you can do that with making phone calls to the OPD, but allowing us to come in and respond.”
The problem with that outlook is that police are rarely in a position to respond in time to stop an attack like the one that occurred Monday afternoon. Armstrong as much as admits that with his statement that citizens should watch a crime take place rather than try to save someone being robbed and assaulted, so they can offer their detailed description to police once they arrive.
Now, would that make a difference in a shooting on a school campus? Probably not.
But when law enforcement essentially calls for letting the bad things happen, you can’t be overly surprised when they do.
That also means Oakland’s problems are its own, and there’s no reason for my rights to be infringed because they can’t keep their own house in order.