On Wednesday June 1, 2016, a deranged doctrinal student at UCLA stormed into a small office in the school’s engineering building and fatally shot his mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, William S. Klug, before turning the firearm on himself. According to recent reports from the Los Angeles Police Department, the murderer legally purchased a handgun from Minnesota, passed a background check, and then took that gun and shot his wife in Minnesota before driving to California where he shot his professor.
This senseless act of violence illustrates the failure of gun control laws in general, and the dangers that gun-free zones create for law abiding citizens in particular. Politicians falsely claim that more gun laws would prevent such tragedies. But California has the strictest gun laws in the United States, and none of those laws stopped this murderer from getting a gun, and using it to commit his crimes. Here are a few of the California gun laws that were broken:
- Possessing a loaded firearm on school grounds. Penal Code § 626.9.
- Possessing ammunition on school grounds. Penal Code § 30310.
- Carrying a loaded firearm in public. Penal Code § 25850.
- Brandishing a firearm. Penal Code § 417.
- Assault with a firearm. Penal Code § 245.
- Possession of a deadly weapon with intent to commit assault. Penal Code § 17500.
- Armed criminal action. Penal Code § 25800.
- Murder. Penal Code § 187.
- Carrying a concealed firearm. Penal Code § 25400
The murderer also violated a UCLA policy that went into effect January 4, 2016, which prohibited students, employees, and any individual visiting the University from transporting and possessing firearms on school grounds.
None of these laws or policies prevented this murderer from committing his crime. But they did serve to let the murderer know that he would not face meaningful resistance.
As repeated before, no law can stop an evil person from committing an evil act, Nor stop an evil person from obtaining a firearm to commit evil. Nonetheless, gun-ban advocates and anti-gun politicians continue to claim that stricter gun-control laws would prevent incidents like this from happening. But what law would have stopped this deranged student from committing these crimes?
Bans on “bullet buttons,” magazines that hold over ten rounds, or even expanding the categories of people who can request a “gun violence restraining order” would not have stopped this killer. But the failure of existing laws hasn’t stopped politicians from using the UCLA incident to argue for more useless gun control laws
Gun laws routinely fail to stop killers. As Charles C. W. Cooke recently argued in the National Review, although President Obama’s and other anti- gun legislators continue to call for action against gun violence, they have yet to explain how any federal legislation will prevent these types of tragedies.
— California Rifle and Pistol Association