By Corinne Murdock |
An Arizona legislator informed his constituents that he wouldn’t be caving to their demands for supporting gun control legislation. The call to action has mainly come from left-leaning groups and activists in the wake of the Covenant School shooting in Nashville, Tennessee that left three young children and three adults dead.
State Rep. John Gillette (R-LD30) announced his intent in a letter issued Thursday. Gillette advised his constituents, at length, for his rationale for not supporting greater gun control: criminals can work around gun control measures to obtain weapons, citing the Nashville shooter lied on her background check to obtain guns; FBI data shows no correlation between gun control and crime reduction; and that crime generally correlates with law enforcement procedures and economic factors.
“Controlling a physical object has zero effect on human behavior,” said Gillette. “Laws are followed by law-abiding citizens, not criminals and not people who suffer from mental illness.”
Gillette further noted that no National Rifle Association (NRA) member, licensed firearms dealer, or “right-wing” activist had committed a mass shooting.
“These murders were committed by mentally unstable left-leaning adults that were known to law enforcement or mental health professionals or both,” said Gillette.
Gillette disclosed that he would be open to legislation imposing the death penalty on those who commit a mass shooting, as well as legislation imposing civil penalties on any agency or licensee that failed to report or act on a credible threat.
Gillette also pointed out that FBI data hasn’t been updated for the last eight quarters — since 2021.
Following the shooting, Democratic legislators and activists called for stricter gun control.
State Sen. Anna Hernandez (D-LD24) claimed that the shooting occurred because guns have more rights than individuals.
“Instead of finding solutions to end gun violence we continue to see legislation across the nation that grants more rights and protections to guns rather than legislation to mitigate the loss of human life to mass shootings and other gun violence,” said Hernandez.
State Rep. Laura Terech (D-LD04) used the tragedy to promote her legislation barring school blueprints and floor plans from being publicly available.
“The senseless act of violence in Nashville further shows the need for sensible policy to keep our children safe from gun violence,” tweeted Terech. “My bill #HB2075 will keep school blueprints and floorplans [sic] from public view.”
State Rep. Nancy Gutierrez (D-LD18) also promoted Terech’s bill, and said that the deaths were proof that guns were the cause of the school shooting. It has been widely reported that the shooter — a 28-year-old woman that struggled with gender identity issues — had a manifesto which outlines the reason for her killing spree. The manifesto remains unpublished.
“The shooting in Nashville is another failure of the US to stop our gun problem,” stated Gutierrez.
State Rep. Leezah Sun (D-LD22) blamed those opposing stricter gun control for the deaths.
“We cannot keep letting our children die while we fail to pass gun control on the basis of ‘political differences,’” said Sun.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.