Last week I wrote about a new report that examined multiple shootings and noted that the most frequent multiple shootings grew out of domestic disputes. We were treated to just such an example of such behavior this week when police arrested a man in Houston and charged him with 8 counts of murder, the victims being his ex-girlfriend and her husband, his son, and five other children living in the house. The shooter and his girlfriend had a long history of domestic conflict, and the shooter himself, David Conley, had a rap sheet dating back more than twenty years.
It goes without saying there’s no way this nut could have legally owned or acquired the gun he used to methodically shoot eight people in the head. But there’s no requirement to register or do background checks on private sales in Texas, and folks routinely advertise guns for sale on private internet websites or want ads in the local press. Weekend gun shows in Texas are both popular and big (what isn’t big in Texas?) and while federally-licensed dealers must conduct background checks at shows, any individual can pay fifty or sixty bucks, rent a table and put out for sale as many personally-owned guns as he wants. In other words, if you want a gun in Texas, you’ll get a gun.
Right after the news about this massacre hit the wires, Kim Kardashian of all people, sent out a tweet that was re-tweeted on some of the standard gun-control pages like #GunlawsHAVETOchange and #Backgroundchecksnecessary. Whoa! Kim Kardashian? I mean we’re not talking about the Bloomberg gang or Hillary or some other usual, finger-wagging liberal who doesn’t understand why some boys just love their guns. We’re talking here about the keys to the kingdom, the kingdom being the millennial generation whose decisions about gun ownership will spell the life or death of the gun industry in the years to come.
So who did the NRA noise machine quickly choose to nip this threat in the bud? Well, first there was a snarky little comment from the NRA’s hip and cool dudester, Colion Noir, but he’s starting to look and sound a little frayed around the edges. And what could be better than another woman going up against Kim? After all, the NRA’s been bragging about how women are getting into shooting big-time. It happens to be a lie, but tell that one to Dana Loesch, who set off a flurry of tweets when she returned fire against Kardashian on her own Twitter page. Loesch is a brunette Ann Coulter wannabee whose book, Hands Off My Gun, is a mixture of half-truths, misrepresentations and conservative bromides that could only be taken seriously in circles that are still debating whether Obama’s birth certificate is fake or real. She used her anti-Kardashian tweets to shamefully promote her book but that didn’t stop her devoted Twitter audience from responding in kind.
I don’t mind using the internet to promote your book. I do it myself. But I do mind someone presenting themselves as an expert who then says something stupid, wrong or dumb. In response to Kardashian’s comment that Conley was able to get a gun because he bought one without going through a background check, Loesch tweeted: “I’m having a gun shipped to me as I type. And it has to go through an FFL. They don’t just send it to your house.” That’s only true if you purchase a gun from someone in another state. Conley could have gotten his gun from another Texas resident, in which case what gun-expert Loesch said is simply not true.
Last night a friend called me and asked, with reference to Loesch, whether she was willingly wrong or just wrong. It doesn’t make any difference and here’s the reason why: The NRA has been telling us that it’s not guns that kill people – people kill people. If you believe that lie, you’ll believe anything and everything else that folks like Dana Loesch say to deny the lethality of guns.