Debate Magazine

Democrat Control Instead of Gun Control?

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Perhaps you got the email as well — an email called “Sensible Gun Control” that says political assassins since Abe Lincoln’s and mass shooters had all been Democrats, which leads to the email concluding that what America needs is Democrat control, not gun control.

If you’ve received that email, please stop forwarding it, because it’s riddled with errors.

After researching the assertions in the email, here’s my emended, modified version.

George Washington on guns

In 1865, a pro-slavery actor named John Wilkes Booth shot and killed Republican President Abraham Lincoln. (Lincoln’s Republican Party was the progressive anti-slavery, abolitionist political party in the Civil War.) Booth was a member of the Know Nothing Party, not the Democratic Party.

In 1881, a liberal Republican (of the Stalwart faction) named Charles J. Guiteau shot Republican President James Garfield, who later died from the wound.

In 1963, a pro-Soviet socialist named Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed Democratic President John F. Kennedy (whose politics would be considered conservative today).

In 1975 in a 3-week span, a liberal hippie follower of Charles Manson named Lynnette “Squeaky” Fromme and a self-described “radical revolutionary” named Sara Jane Moore attempted to assassinate Republican Gerald Ford.

In 1981, a National Socialist (American Nazi) named John Hinckley, Jr., shot and wounded Republican President Ronald Reagan.

In 1984, James Oliver Huberty shot and killed 21 people in a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California. Contrary to the original email, there is no evidence Huberty was a Democrat.

In 1986, a former postal worker named Patrick Sherrill shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office, before committing suicide. Sherrill was the inspiration for the expression “going postal”. Sherrill was a former Marine and a member of a National Guard shooting team. I found no evidence he was a Democrat.

In 1990, a black man named James Edward Pough killed 9 people in a General Motors Acceptance Corporation car loan office in Jacksonville, Florida, before committing suicide. The day before, Pough had killed a prostitute and her pimp, wounded two teenagers, and robbed a convenience store. I could not find Pough’s political party identification. However, since he was an “African American,” he most likely was a Democrat.

In 1991, an unemployed merchant mariner named George Hennard shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, before killing himself. Hennard’s is the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. that did not occur at a school, as well as the third-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, behind only the Virginia Tech and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Hennard was described as a hater of blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, and especially women. I could not find Hennard’s political party identification.

In 1995, a former metallurgist named James Daniel Simpson shot and killed 5 coworkers, before killing himself, at the Walter Ressler Co. in Corpus Christi, Texas. I could not find Simpson’s political affiliation.

In 1999, Larry Ashbrook shot and killed 7 people at a concert by Christian rock group Forty Days at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. No political affiliation for Ashbrook was found.

In 2001, a former IRS employee and accountant named Robert Pickett fired several shots at the White House with President George W. Bush inside. Neighbors told CNN Pickett was not known to hold any strong political beliefs.

In 2003, an assembly line worker named Douglas Williams shot and killed 6 co-workers at a Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian, Mississippi. Reportedly, Williams targeted employees who had reported him to the management for making racist threats, but authorities said he had shot people at random.  I could not find Williams’ political party affiliation.

In 2007, a Korean immigrant named Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people in Virginia Tech University. Cho had a U.S. permanent resident alien status, which means he was not eligible to vote or join a political party, much less the Democratic Party.

In 2010, a mentally ill man with a history of drug use named Jared Lee Loughner shot and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others in a mall in Tucson, Arizona. Loughner was registered as an Independent.

In 2011, a registered Democrat named James Holmes shot and killed 12 people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Contrary to some reports that said Holmes was a Tea Partier or a registered Democrat, Holmes was not registered to vote.

In 2012, a former employee named Andrew Engeldinger shot and killed 7 people, before killing himself, at a firm called Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I could not find his party identification.

In 2013, Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There is no evidence that Lanza was a registered Democrat (or Republican).

In Sept. 2013, a black man and civilian contractor named Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people, before he was killed by the police, at the Washington Navy Yard in southeast Washington, D.C. He was a Buddhist and had complained about being a victim of racial discrimination. I could not find Alexis’ political affiliation.


Contrary to the original email, the truth is that not all political assassins and mass shooters are liberals or Democrats. Some of them were liberals, some were not. Most of them, however, were mentally ill.

H/t FOTM‘s maziel


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