Barack Obama called for a renewed push for gun control on Friday, saying America should follow the example of the strict anti-gun laws in Australia. The following day, Hillary Clinton stated her support for “common sense” gun restrictions like universal background checks.
It was long shot presidential candidate Martin O’Malley who took things the farthest. In a speech US Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on Sunday, he called for a national “assault weapons ban,” claiming “a single American life is worth more than all the guns in the United States.”
These comments conveniently ignore the fact that gun violence has dropped by almost 20% since the end of the previous assault weapons ban in 2004. The only places it remains high are ones that already prohibit so-called “assault weapons.”
Take O’Malley’s home state of Maryland, which passed an assault weapons ban while he was Governor in 2013. The state remains one of the most violent in the country. The city of Baltimore, where O’Malley was Mayor for six years, has a murder rate nearly ten times higher than the national average.
None of this seems to bother O’Malley, who has vowed to make gun control a central issue for his struggling presidential campaign. For him, it seems that the horrific deaths of nine innocent people are nothing more than a political opportunity.