On July 1, 2015, Kathryn “Kate” Steinle was shot and killed by Juan Francisco López-Sánchez on Pier 14 in San Francisco, California. Shortly after Steinle was shot, it became clear that López-Sánchez was a criminal illegal immigrant who had been deported from the United States five times, and was on probation in Texas at the time of Steinle’s murder due to one of his seven felony convictions. Americans were rightly outraged over the senseless death of a 32 year old woman taking a walk with her father, and rightly blamed San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy for contributing to Kate Steinle’s slaying. The result was that many Republicans in Congress supported the introduction of “Kate’s Law,” which would increase penalties for deported illegal immigrants who try to return to the United States.
In spite of the fact that “Kate’s Law” passed the U.S. House of Representatives 257-157, with 24 Democrats voting in favor, Democratic leaders have denounced the bill as GOP grandstanding. Democratic claims that Republicans are scapegoating immigrants for crimes like Kate Steinle’s murder is amazingly hypocritical given what has happened this week after the carnage in Las Vegas. Democrats across the spectrum have lined-up to take on private gun ownership in a shameless politicization of a national tragedy. Where Republicans did not blame immigrants, or even illegal immigrants, in general, but focused on illegal immigrants who committed other crimes, Democrats have cast all private gun ownership as irresponsible and evil. In other words, they are scapegoating gun owners in the very way they accused Republicans of scapegoating all illegal immigrants as criminal felons over the evil actions of a few.
Beyond just legislative targeting of law-abiding gun owners, liberals are blaming Sunday’s tragedy on “Trumpism.” For example, Drexel University Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher tweeted shortly after the shooting on Sunday night that “White people and men are told that they are entitled to everything. This is what happens when they don’t get what they want.” This, according to the white male professor, is the “narrative of white victimization…[that] is the spinal column of Trumpism, and most extreme form is the white genocide myth.” Wow. This leftist college professor is actually arguing that Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and wounded 500 more simply because he was an angry white guy.
Knee-jerk reactions and political hysterics won’t help anyone recover from what happened Sunday evening. Politicians of both parties should back-off and allow the investigation to run its course before assigning blame to the NRA, gun manufacturers, or racism. As it stands right now, the killer was in illegal possession of many of the weapons he used to carry out the attack, did not apparently target any specific race while indiscriminately killing innocent Americans on the Vegas strip, and does not appear to have a criminal history of domestic violence or extremism.
After a motive is determined, accomplices apprehended, and the victims honored, we can have a national conversation about how to prevent this from ever happening again. The solution, however, must not be to disarm innocent people and shred the Second Amendment in the process. Liberals, nevertheless, will almost certainly take Rahm Emmanuel’s advice and not “let a good Crisis go to waste” when it comes to the gun control agenda.