More Gun Control Won’t Work
By Ed Hoffman
Supposedly as a New Year’s resolution, President Obama announced he would unveil an executive action on gun control this week. For those who are unaware, executive actions are laws executed by the President to fulfill his personal agenda (that might be hyperbole but in Obama’s case, it’s true). Because they are carried out without the approval of Congress, it’s a violation of the Constitution for a President to use them in perpetuity – and that’s exactly how Obama is using them, with his total number of executive actions at 224 as we endure the final year of his presidency. After he makes these, the count will be close to 230.
In the case of Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked it in November; for some of us, this restored our faith in the federal courts. But now that another massive executive action is looming, who knows if lightning strike will twice. With that in mind, let’s examine what is reportedly on the table – and question how any of this will reduce incidents of mass shootings.
First up is expanding background check rules for people purchasing guns from dealers who sell a large quantity of firearms, including gun shows and online. Here’s my question: What will these checks be doing that they weren’t doing before? Federal law already requires licensed firearms dealers to perform background checks, and states that choose to have the feds serve as their point of contact will always have the checks performed by the FBI. This means the checks run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. So if a background check that used to take five minutes will start taking 10 days, what new checks will be included? They already run it through the NICS; how much more thorough can a background check be?
As for gun show and online sellers: If they want to break the law, they will, and people who want to obtain guns for criminal or terrorist purposes will still go to them if they fear having their purchase recorded. Speaking of terrorists, most of them are not in the federal database anyway because they have no prior record. Like kamikaze pilots, they don’t plan for 15 missions; they plan for one. So does the President really believe forcing more rules on gun dealers is going to stop the next Enrique Marquez from obtaining guns for his friend who is hell-bent on committing jihad – or is he just trying to make people feel better, and exploiting the tragedy in our community to do it?
It would seem the only way the feds can expand background checks is to add on things like checking the no fly list and FBI terror watch list (if these aren’t already included. Do any of us know?). So let’s say they get added on – that’s great, but will it stop the next wave of mass murdering Islamic radicals? Like Farook, his Pakistani wife Malik and their nutty friend Marquez who bought the guns, none of them were on the terror watch list or the no fly list. And the mentally ill people who shot up schools, churches and movie theaters over the past few years were not on any of those lists either. So what good will these executive actions do? Making liberals feel warm and fuzzy, that’s what. But I doubt most Americans will feel any safer.
Obama will sit down with Anderson Cooper on Thursday night for a live town hall event that CNN is calling “Guns in America.” This coincides with the fifth anniversary of the shooting in Arizona that left six people dead and former congresswoman Gaby Giffords permanently brain damaged. Since the President and his media lapdogs have no problem exploiting the anniversary of this tragedy, I guess we aren’t supposed to either.
Ed Hoffman is host of The Main Event on AM590, which airs Saturday 9:30 AM- 10:30 AM and Sunday 4:00 PM- 5:00 PM. Follow him on Twitter @EdHoffman, and like him on Facebook by searching The Main Event 590.