As a staunch gun-rights supporter, I’ve often wondered over the years whether those anti-gunners fighting so hard to curtail the rights of law-abiding Americans really believe in their cause. After all, they have access to the same information we do that proves that armed citizens save lives and that criminals are responsible for violent crime—not the guns they often use in commission of those crimes.
That’s why it was so enlightening recently when St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones (D) was caught admitting that gun control isn’t effective at curtailing violent crime, and especially murders. The revelation came after a reporter in St. Louis posted a series of the mayor’s text messages that were acquired through an open-records request.
“Chicago has strict gun laws as well but that doesn’t deter gun violence,” wrote Jones in a text to her father. “It’s about investing in people,” she said in another.
Given Jones’ admitted understanding that a city having strict gun laws “doesn’t deter gun violence,” what’s the deal with her continued support for nearly every firearm restriction being considered? Since then, she has actively campaigned for stricter laws both locally and nationwide.
In fact, following a St. Louis murder in June, when a young man was killed and 11 others wounded, Jones blamed “lax gun laws.” That statement was made after Jones had questioned the effectiveness of strict gun-control measures.
“Our state’s lax gun laws make our challenge even more difficult,” Jones said at the time. “The legislature’s lack of action on gun-safety laws encourages the proliferation of guns on our streets and puts our responding officers directly in harm’s way.”
Interestingly, along with being excoriated by pro-gun advocates for her hypocrisy, Jones’ text has also been used by some gun-control supporters to question her true allegiance to “the cause.” After all, she is a co-chair of Michael Bloomberg’s gun-ban group Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).
In that position, Jones signed on to a letter to the U.S. Senate last May calling for just about every gun-control scheme known to man, including “universal” background checks, red-flag laws, confirming Steve Dettelbach as ATF director (which they did), a sweeping ban on so-called “assault weapons,” raising the age necessary to purchase firearms, and repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
“For far too long, gun lobby-backed members of the U.S. Senate have sat idly by while 110 people in this country are shot and killed, and twice that are shot and wounded, every single day—in acts of domestic violence, shootings on the streets of our cities, and in heartbreaking mass shootings in supermarkets and elementary schools,” Jones and the other co-chairs wrote. “No more. The U.S. Senate has a moral obligation to take action on gun safety. Failure to do so is an abdication of their most basic responsibility: to keep us safe.”
We don’t know whether Jones understood the failure of gun control when she signed on to that letter or if that was a more recent revelation, since her admission didn’t come until this spring. Trying to smooth some ruffled feathers, Jones recently released a statement ensuring other gun-ban advocates that she is still in support of more restrictive gun control, despite admitting its ineffectiveness at keeping people safe.
“I’ve never been one to hide my feelings,” Jones said in a statement shared on Twitter by her spokesman. “Through an honest mistake, text messages between my family and close friends were released to the public. Sometimes my words can be terse, and my text messages speak for themselves. I understand the impact of some of my comments and will contact the relevant parties to ensure productive dialogue moving forward.”
If you’re hoping one of those “relevant parties” might be the NRA and the “productive dialog” might include how Association members share her views on the ineffectiveness of passing more restrictive gun-control laws, don’t hold your breath. Those conversations are more likely to be with other gun-ban advocates, ensuring them that she’s still on board with further infringing on the rights of lawful citizens, both in St. Louis and around the country.