As regular readers know, all too many politicians, journalists and fellow travelers are immune to reality. Instead, they construct “narratives” designed to shape public opinion toward the dazzling, socialist future they think the inevitable fate of mankind. Venezuela? Whazzat? This time it will all work out, because they’re much smarter and more advanced than every failed socialist of the past. For this installment of progressive delusion, we travel to Trenton, New Jersey, where Jazz Shaw at Hot Air reports about a mass shooting at an art festival, where one was killed—the shooter–and 22 were injured:
The Art All Night Trenton shooting isn’t of much interest to the majority of the press because it includes all the wrong sort of people for a hot story with a political hook. First of all, pretty much everyone involved with the shooting was black. There were rival gangs mixing it up at the festival. The cops even knew about it in advance because people were tipping them off about the gang presence. They had come and told the festival organizers they should shut down early because trouble was brewing. The organizers were in the process of doing that when the fireworks started.
The one shooter who is currently at room temperature, 33-year-old Tahaij Wells, had been out of prison on parole for all of four months for a previous murder. There were ‘multiple’ gangs involved. The weapons of choice were almost entirely handguns so there was no chance to rail against ‘assault rifles.’ [skip] I’d like to know how many of those gang members were in possession of handguns they legally purchased after passing a background check. But nobody in the national press seems to be interested in telling that story either.
This was gang warfare. And it’s probably the most common form of gun violence seen in major cities on a yearly basis. But nobody is talking about it the way they will if a deranged white guy with a rifle commits the far more rare mass shooting of that type. There’s a gun violence problem here that could be addressed, making a serious difference. But places like Baltimore, Maryland and Chicago, Illinois still have municipal leaders who can’t bring themselves to pass harsher laws to put away first-time offenders who commit gun crimes.
Is Shaw being a bit cynical? Fox News reports:
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy responded to Sunday’s deadly shooting at a Trenton arts festival by calling for new controls on guns. But a suspect’s gang membership — and early release from prison after Murphy took office — may have been bigger factors in an incident that left one person dead and 22 wounded.
Meanwhile, Murphy — a first-term Democrat in his first elected office — supports shorter sentences for offenders and cuts in prisoner rehabilitation programs.
We can’t have violent gangsters in jail. That would be weak, unfair and unjust.
It’s yet another reminder of the senseless gun violence, even having signed six stringent gun laws last week,’ Murphy said at a news conference Sunday following a service at Trenton’s Galilee Baptist Church.
During the service, he said he “and many others around this state are committed to ending this scourge of gun violence” and urged the Congress to take action on guns “as a national matter.
But it turns out that Wells had been released from prison in February, despite receiving an 18-year state prison sentence in 2004 on an aggravated manslaughter conviction in the shooting death of a 22-year-old man, NJ.com reported.
And in 2010, while still in prison, Wells was sentenced to six additional years after pleading guilty to a second-degree racketeering charge. He reportedly helped a gang leader run the group from inside prison.
Well of course! That’s exactly the sort of person we want out of jail as early as possible. And I’m sure the New Jersey Legislature can make attempted mass murder even more illegal than it already is. Surely they can come up with some gun laws that will make crazed gang bangers say “Oh no! This new gun law is too serious. I can’t commit mass murder now!”
We can and must do better,’ Murphy said in a statement announcing the restart of the commission. ‘A Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission can undertake the important review of our sentencing laws and recommend reforms necessary to ensure a stronger, fairer and more just state.’
Another key promise of Murphy was to ‘expand re-entry services, so that the people coming out of prison have the support they need to return to productive lives’ – a measure that should have supposedly prevented Wells’ shooting spree.
Oh yes. I’m sure that would have made all the difference for Wells, and I’m equally sure all the folks caught in the crossfire at Art All Night have a “stronger, fairer and more just state” very much on their minds, and are praising the Governor’s dedication to achieving that at the cost of innocents. Just one more anti-gun/liberty law that infringes on the right of the law-abiding ought to do the trick.
Across the country, the very people Murphy would love to disarm and put in prison saved lives instead of taking them. Fox also reports:
Two armed citizens were credited for taking action Sunday when a carjacking suspect when on a rampage in Washington state, about 30 miles southwest of Tacoma.
This incident illustrates just how fast things can go wrong, and the importance of concealed carry:
Injured in the suspect’s violent spree were the driver of one of the cars he attempted to highjack, and a 16-year-old girl at another location who suffered unspecified injuries, the Seattle Times reported.
The injured driver was airlifted to a hospital in Seattle and was in critical condition, the Times reported.
Police said the incident began when officers responded to a report of an erractic driver in Tumwater, about 30 miles southwest of Tacoma, the Times reported.
While police were en route, a carjacking was reportedly taking place at a nearby intersection, the newspaper reported, adding that the teenager was injured at that location.
Police followed the stolen vehicle to the parking lot of a Walmart Supercenter store, where the carjacking suspect exited the vehicle and tried to carjack a second vehicle, according to the Times.
That’s when two armed civilians confronted the suspect and at least one of them fired, the Times reported.
The account also mentions the shooter actually entered the store and fired several shots inside. It was when he went back outside to the parking lot the armed citizens approached and shot him. The person that shot him was apparently the owner of the car the shooter tried to hijack.
The account is a little confusing as to the timing of the arrival of the police and all of the events, but one fact is clear: the armed citizen stopped what could have turned into a mass shooting and saved lives.
In any mass shooting event, what desperately matters to potential victims is time and distance. Seconds count, and the police are always minutes, at best, away. In this case, the police knew about the suspect, but as is always true, were likely chasing dispatcher ghosts.
By this I mean when citizens report a crime in progress, dispatchers have to take the information and notify officers. By the time this is done, officers are responding to events that took place minutes earlier, and suspects have often gone elsewhere. They won’t be where the officers were told they were when the officers arrive. Add in a suspect moving rapidly and committing crimes in multiple locations as he does, and it’s a nightmare for the police, and particularly for victims. Time and distance matter, yet this is daily reality everywhere.
The lessons are obvious: we’re on our own. Our safety, and the safety of those we love, is in our hands. Politicians and anti-liberty activists that promise safety if we’ll only give up our means to protect ourselves are fools and liars. The fairness and justice they seek are abstractions. Individuals aren’t, and don’t matter to them. Governor Murphy wants a fair and just society for violent criminals. The rest of New Jersey residents will just have to depend on the police, which didn’t work out so well at Art All Night.