Resist the Urge to Politicize Tragedy

This editorial was originally published by the Orange County Register:

Evil reared itself Wednesday morning at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. That’s when heavily armed husband and wife Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik made their way into Mr. Farook’s office holiday party and unleashed terror.

By the time the shooters fled, 14 were dead and another 17 wounded. It was the most carnage inflicted in the United States since six teachers and 20 children were shot and killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The mass murder in San Bernardino was predictably sensational, as evidenced by the fact that #SanBernadino was shared on Twitter more than 333,000 times Wednesday – notwithstanding that the city’s name was misspelled.

No less predictable were the remarks of several political figures – both anti-gun advocates and foes of settling Syrian refugees in the U.S. – who apparently couldn’t resist the temptation to exploit Wednesday’s tragedy.

That included President Obama, who ranted to CBS News about the need “for commonsense gun safety laws,” while also urging Congress to enact legislation preventing individuals appearing on the government’s “No Fly List” from purchasing firearms.

But even if Mr. Obama got his wishes, it would not have prevented Wednesday’s carnage. That’s because California already has the nation’s strictest gun laws, based on the latest report card issued by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

As to enacting a law to prohibit those banned from commercial flights from legally obtaining guns, that would not have stopped Mr. Farook and his wife from obtaining their assault rifles and handguns.

That’s because neither of them was on the feds’ No Fly List, otherwise Mr. Farook, a Pakistani-American born in this country, could not have recently flown to Saudi Arabia and returned to the Inland Empire with his wife, Ms. Malik.

The myth promulgated by Mr. Obama and other gun control advocates that stricter gun laws will prevent the kind of mass murder that occurred in San Bernardino ignores an inconvenient truth …

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San Bernardino killer couple’s links to international terror

As reported by the Daily Mail:

San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook met his Pakistani wife-turned-accomplice Tashfeen Malik while on the hajj in Saudi Arabia and appeared to be radicalized, law enforcement officials revealed this afternoon.

Investigators told CNN that Farook, a native U.S. citizen of South Asian descent, was in touch by phone and via social media with more than one international terrorism subject.

On Wednesday morning, Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, dropped off their six-month-old baby with Farook’s mother, saying they were going to a doctor’s appointment.

By noon, according to police, the couple had donned assault clothing, armed themselves with …

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San Bernardino shooting rampage sows fear, anger and sorrow among residents

As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

The whine of police sirens is familiar on the streets of San Bernardino.

But even here — in a place battered by drug addiction and decades of economic decline, culminating in the city’s bankruptcy three years ago — the kind of crime that sent an army of law enforcement officers into the streets Wednesday still has the power to spread fear and grief.

The shooting rampage that left 14 dead and at least 17 wounded at a social-services center would be a tragedy for any city. But it has special overtones in San Bernardino, which is among the nation’s poorest big cities and has arguably become California’s starkest example of urban blight.

In the hours after the shooting, as schools and government buildings were locked down and …

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