Gun control: a great way to prevent shooting sprees.
Until it isn’t.
There are plenty of places this truism can be proved. Probably the most famous is Chicago, which has strict gun laws and yet somehow manages to have plenty of shootings. But surely Europe — good ol’ Europe, where guns are heavily regulated — has managed to figure out how to prevent things, right?
Well, not so much. In Belgium, three are dead — including two female police officers — during a Tuesday attack that may be terror-related, all because a terrorist managed to get a police officer’s gun.
According to Sky News, the shooting occurred near a cafe in Liege.
Officials told the news outlet the alleged killer approached the two officers from behind and stabbed them repeatedly before taking their handguns and shooting them.
He continued on foot and later where he opened fire on a 22-year-old man in the passenger seat of a car. The young man died.
“The gunman took a female cleaner hostage at a school before being killed by police. Two other police officers were also injured,” the BBC reported.
Armed police patrol the streets of Liege, Belgium, after gunman shot and killed three people, including two police officers, in terror attack.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 29, 2018
No motive has been established yet. However, the alleged attacker, identified as a 36-year-old Belgian national, was heard yelling “Allahu Akbar” during the shooting, so you can pretty much extrapolate from there.
The alleged gunman had been let out of jail Monday, according to state broadcaster RTBF, where he had been serving time for drug charges.
Police have said that he might have been radicalized in jail.
So how did he manage to get a gun in just a day? Lax gun laws in Belgium? Gun show loopholes?
Not really. As the University of Sydney notes, “Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Belgium are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, target shooting, collection, personal protection, (or) security.”
Even if you do get your firearm, you still can only possess a limited amount of ammunition.
So what did he do? He apparently got a knife and took the gun from the police officers.
To make things worse, this shooting happened right outside of a school. Thankfully, no children were injured.
The lesson here is this: Criminality finds a way. Belgium has been a hotspot for terrorism in recent years, even with its strict gun laws. Terrorists (and one would assume, other criminals) simply don’t care.
The response to this, of course, is always to take away the guns from those who lawfully own them. And for those of you who are saying this could have been much worse were it not for gun control, just look at what’s happened in the country in the past. Gun laws didn’t protect people then. They didn’t do it now.
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