Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Missed Opportunity..........To Make No Difference At All

You've got to hand it to President Obama, he sure knows how to scold people.  He really laid into the Senate yesterday for failing to pass the latest round of gun control legislation--or rather "feel good" gun legislation--as in, "we will all feel good about doing something, even though it will make no difference."

I don't know how to put it any other way than to say the Manchin-Toomey Amendment would have made NO DIFFERENCE in the amount of gun violence perpetrated in this country.  The shooters in Columbine and Sandy Hook didn't even buy their guns.  Those weapons were owned by their parents--all of whom legally purchased them at the time--and all of whom STILL would have been able to legally purchase them had all of the restrictions of Manchin-Toomey been in effect at that time.  The Aurora theater shooter purchased his guns at sporting goods stores--which are already required to conduct background checks--and which he also passed.

At first you would think that the Virginia Tech shooter would have been blocked in his effort to purchase his weapons--since he got some of them from an internet dealer in Green Bay, and that was one "loophole" that was going to be closed by Manchin-Toomey.  But it turns out that background checks for those purchases would have been useless as well--since he was also able to buy guns at pawn shops and sporting goods stores before the attack.  And that background check approval came despite documented psychological issues.  That shooter really should have been in an institution--but a Virginia judge ordered him released and to undergo only outpatient treatment a couple of years before the shooting spree.

You know what I would like to see?  I want to see a study or a report on the source of all weapons used in the commission of crimes in the United States.  Comb the police reports and find out how killers, armed robbers, stalkers and drug dealers got their weapons.  Based on just the anecdotal evidence that we see in the reporting of crime the number one way is they purchase them from retailers and pass background checks.  Another common way is they steal them--or buy them from someone who has stolen them--and certainly isn't advertising them for sale on the internet.  And do you really think someone selling a stolen gun is going to do a background check in order to comply with a new law?

So while President Obama puts the parents of Sandy Hook in front of the cameras again and challenges those who voted against the expanded background checks to look them in the eye and tell them why they voted "No"--I would challenge the President to also look them in the eye and tell them how that law would have made a single bit of difference.

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