Platitudes, emotionally laden rhetoric, pandering to a rabidly anti-gun minority; do these things sound plausible from the editorial board of a major newspaper?
Not in the best of times, of course, but these are not such times for Missouri citizens who own firearms. Gun control advocates continually scapegoat us. They want law-abiding gun owners to be held responsible for the actions of felons—those who use guns to harm innocents. The latest episode is a very sad one: A man with an extensive criminal history used an AR-15 to gun down a Missouri policeman, Officer Gary Michael.
The response from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s editorial board is to blame gun owners and their bogeyman of choice—the AR-15. Now a manhunt is on to catch this sometimes knife-wielding, frequent criminal and illegal gun possessor. True to script, this guy is a criminal who has been charged with illegal firearm possession before, but never fully prosecuted. That timeline sounds familiar.
Ian James McCarthy, 39, recently of Clinton, Mo., has spent much of his time in and out of trouble with the law in New Hampshire. In 2011, a warrant was issued to arrest McCarthy for illegal possession of a firearm; between 1998 and 2001, charges for disorderly and reckless conduct were filed. Other charges against him run the gamut—robbery, simple assault, driving after revocation of his license and negligent driving. McCarthy even has a history of violent attacks. He was convicted of first-degree assault for repeatedly stabbing a minor in the neck, chest and abdomen.
The law means nothing to this dangerous criminal. He should be in jail right now for the 2015 offense.In Missouri, his list of offenses includes a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm in July of 2015 and operating a vehicle without a valid license in 2013. To recap, McCarthy has on two separate occasions been an illegal possessor of firearms. The law means nothing to this dangerous criminal. He should be in jail right now for the 2015 offense. And the Post-Dispatch editorial board should be castigating the system that permitted this dangerous individual to roam free after warrants were issued in each case.
Instead, the editorial board notes, “Thanks to efforts by gun manufacturers and their mouthpieces at the National Rifle Association, there are no longer limits on civilian ownership of semi-automatic black rifles. Such weapons do not belong in civilian hands.”
In truth, gun manufacturers do not need a “mouthpiece.” This flagrant insult belittles an entire industry and attempts to malign millions of Americans who choose to lobby in support of the Second Amendment because they value the right to protect themselves. If major newspapers such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch weren’t so fervently anti-gun (black gun, at that) Americans wouldn’t need a civil rights organization to defend a constitutionally protected right.
If “progressive” politicians didn’t use papers like the Post-Dispatch as their mouthpiece to emotionally obfuscate the intentions of good people like gun owners, the NRA wouldn’t have the outsized job of shooting down falsehoods from every direction on behalf of us all. Millions of Americans own guns, both NRA members and non-members. All those Americans see themselves insulted and defamed on a regular basis in newspapers, and the only organization willing and able to mount a constant defense is the NRA.
But who shot that big old, evil black gun at Officer Michael? Was it an NRA member? Perhaps it was a law-abiding gun owner?
No. It was a repeat felon—the kind of guy that progressives find a sympathetic character. And a man of the type who will have the support of leftist progressives if he is caught and brought to justice. Just watch how many openly leftist organizations will defend McCarthy from a death penalty sentence should he get one. He will quickly morph from invisible killer to cause du jour.
And that is the rub here. In their anti-gun, anti-NRA column, the editorial board washes away any culpability from the assailant. Why don’t they rail against a system that allowed McCarthy to go unprosecuted for illegally owning a firearm in the first instance, or the second? Had he been prosecuted for either of those felonies, he would have served jail time and been under parole supervision in the first case, and in the most recent charge from 2015, McCarthy would still be in prison.
The editorial board ends by smearing law-abiding, good Missourians: “Missouri voters, with all their constitutional blather about unalienable rights, have to own this, too.”
Do we? Should 5 million plus Missourians stand trial for the sin of supporting the Bill of Rights? If we voted along the lines supported by the hard-core leftist progressive ideology the editorial board ascribes to, the entire state would be a wasteland run by criminal elements that, oddly enough, never bother to check their status before illegally obtaining a gun. And criminals never will—multiple offender McCarthy certainly didn’t.
In their anti-gun, anti-NRA column, the editorial board washes away any culpability from the assailant.Without even trying, the Post-Dispatch editorial board makes my point: McCarthy was a repeat offender who had already escaped prosecution for owning a gun illegally. Yet he went out and obtained a gun again. Banning their bogeyman of choice—the black semi-automatic long gun—would not have stopped this criminal from killing Officer Michael. What would have prevented it is prosecuting those who violate our existing gun laws, which, when followed and upheld by the courts, are more than sufficient.
Knowing this is the case, we see yet another example of why the Post-Dispatch is quickly losing relevance: The editors’ emotion-based response to matters pertaining to law, order and the Second Amendment are out of step with their readers, residents of the Show Me State and Americans in general.
Banning guns doesn’t stop criminals from getting them. Change the focus of your conversation, Post-Dispatch editorial board. It’s never too late to start writing the truth.
Stacy Washington is a decorated Air Force veteran, Emmy-nominated TV personality and host of nationally syndicated radio program “Stacy on the Right,” based in St. Louis. She loves God, guns, and is a member of the NRA, obviously.