Last week, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was murdered at Pier 14 in San Francisco, shot to death by Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, a 45-year old multiple deportee, according to his own words. Sanchez has been charged with murder. He is pleading not guilty, and has claimed the shooting was the result of an "accidental discharge."
Sanchez is an illegal immigrant. He is also a convicted felon. He has been deported five times and was back here again in San Francisco. Even liberal senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has classified Sanchez as a threat to public safety. But San Francisco is a "sanctuary city" that does not obey or enforce federal immigration laws. Because of that, this public safety threat was on the street. Because of that, a young woman is dead. So what does San Francisco resident and Representative Nancy Pelosi have to say? Does she blame immigration laws or San Francisco's flouting of those laws? Not at today's press conference on Capitol Hill, where she instead placed the blame squarely on the - wait for it - murder weapon.
"Last week in San Francisco our city suffered our own senseless act of gun violence with the killing of Kathryn Steinle," said Pelosi.
Gun violence is an accurate term, but it is also a dog whistle for gun-grabbers everywhere. The gun is the cause of the violence, it suggests.
The press conference Wednesday morning was being held to urge action on stricter gun control laws, with Rep. Pelosi calling it a "moral responsibility." It was held as part of renewed efforts by Democrats to pass more gun control in the wake of the Charleston shootings. It was in this context that she remembered Steinle.
Objectively, stricter gun control would not have affected the outcome of this crime. The gun was stolen. It was already illegal. The person who owned it owned it legally, and is trained with weapons by the United States government. The only conceivable form of gun control that would have intervened here would be the complete prohibition of private gun ownership. But no Democrats want that, right?
Of course, what would obviously have caused a different outcome is if the shooter had not been there. Which he should not have been. Legally he should not have been. Responsible governance would have ensured that someone who had broken the law so many times, who was in the country illegally, and who was being sought by federal agents at the time of the shooting, would not be in a position to steal, or find, and use, or accidentally use, an illegal firearm.
It doesn't seem like guns were what needed more control here.