At Townhall.com: Gun Control Advocates Use Aurora Shooting to Call for More Background Checks

20 Feb , 2019  

Dr. John Lott has a new op-ed at Townhall.com on the shooting this past Friday at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois. His piece starts this way:

On Friday, another mass public shooting occurred in yet another gun-free zone. In fact, the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois, where five people were killed on Friday, clearly displays a “no guns” sign on its front door.

This is part of a larger pattern.98% of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in places where people cant defend themselves.

But as usual, gun control advocates called for more background checks before the facts of the case were even known.

Twice, background checks failed to catch the criminal background of killer Gary Martin. Even worse, the errors that occurred in Illinois were a result of dramatic cuts in funding for background checks.

In a swipe at gun owners, Governor Pat Quinn cut more than half of the budget for the Illinois state police office that handles these checks. Quinn, an ardent gun control advocate, did this to create long backlogs and delays in issuing Firearm Owners’ Identification Cards. Sometimes it seems that Democrats just want to make life difficult for gun owners.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), a prominent Democrat presidential candidate, Tweeted out within an hour of the attack: “It can’t be that we’re sitting around waiting for good ideas. Those good ideas have been had. Universal background checks, that makes sense.” By “universal”, Harris means imposing checks on private transfers of guns.

Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), who received $5.8 millionin campaign funding fromMichael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, also advocatedfor universal background checks later that day on CNN: “When numbers of people all around the country understand they could have a Parkland at any time in their communities, I think people are beginning to stand up and say, ‘This just makes sense.’ It’s common sense.”

But background checks on private gun transfers wouldn’t have stopped the Parkland high school attack. Nikolas Cruz didn’t obtain his rifle through a private transfer. He bought his gun from a licensed gun dealer and underwent a federal background check.

Killers haven’t been getting their guns through private transfers. In fact, universal background checks wouldn’t have stopped a single mass public shooting in this century. But CNN’s John Berman, like other hosts, doesn’t put the burden of proof on gun control advocates. He doesn’t ask them to point to a single example of a mass public shooting that would have been prevented by the proposed law.

Much is being made of the fact that background checks failed to stop Martin from getting a gun, but they are drawing the wrong lesson from it.

Before they can buy a gun, Illinois residents must first obtain a gun owner’s license to own a gun. This requires a background check. Then, upon purchase of a firearm, individuals must clear an additional background check. Both times, Martin’s name was checked against the Federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Martin’s criminal record was only flagged after he applied for a concealed handgun permit, for which he underwent a third check. Martin had a 1995 aggravated assault conviction, which resulted in a five-year prison sentence.

Undoubtedly, the first two mistaken checks were due to human error. But the fault lies with Illinois.

The media has made much of the fact that, after the third check, police didn’t follow through and make sure that Martin’s illegally obtained gun was taken away from him. But this isn’t due to any loophole in the law. Rather, it was a politically created problem.

The automatic push for the universal background checks makes little sense, as it uses the same federal NICS system. If the problem is human error, why not concentrate on fixing that issue? . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.


4 Responses

  1. Tom Campbell says:

    We need to start insisting uncategorically that the anti-gunners’ real intentions have nothing to do with reducing violent crime or criminals’ access to firearms. The real intentions are CONTROL of PEOPLE – us – all law abiding US citizens.
    There is overwhelming evidence that not a single one of the anti-gunners’ initiatives reduces crime or criminal access to guns. So, it’s time to cease trying to imagine DemocRats are willing, able, or amenable to logic based on data. They are not. The recent anti-gun program in the US House is evidence enough of their real intentions.

  2. Tom Campbell says:

    Either DemocRatic anti-gun intentions are to control ever more of our lives, or, perhaps, their real intentions are to make criminals’ jobs easier to force crime rates up so they can demand more $ from US taxpayers.

  3. Sam Wallk says:

    It should be obvious to all now that any gun law can be circumvented. The more they pass the more circumvention. People will get anything they want even in countries that ban guns altogether. Gun crime in the major cities are proof of that. Guns pass freely among gangs and others that are intent to have one. Since the leftists only reply to mass non-compliance is to pass more laws, their real intent to impede gun ownership of the masses becomes even more obvious.

  4. Tim W says:

    Good editorial. It didn’t get down in the weeds. This is a piece a person neutral on guns can digest. Thanks for continually combating the falsehoods of the anti-gunners.

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