U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- In the wake of two horrible mass shootings—in El Paso and Dayton—the obligatory demands for more restrictions on firearms ownership have several things in common, but the one constant is that the media and gun prohibitionists unintentionally refute their own words with the facts.
According to Bloomberg News, in a story headlined “Republicans fear ‘extinction’ in the suburbs over gun control,” the news agency quotes former Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo explaining that in the suburbs there is “broad support for” universal background checks. Several paragraphs later, the same term is used, and the writer notes that the “universal background check” is a “modest measure.”
But this and other stories about both incidents have glossed over the fact that both killers passed background checks when they obtained their firearms.
The Bloomberg story reported something else that may stir emotions but ignored a critical fact in another mass shooting. Bloomberg’s piece noted, “The shift (in gun politics) was propelled by the Newtown elementary school massacre in December 2012, after which Senate Democratic leaders attempted to pass a bipartisan bill to require universal background checks, but were thwarted by a coalition of mostly Republicans.”
Rights activists recall without hesitation that background checks were only remotely connected to the Newtown tragedy because deranged killer Adam Lanza murdered his own mother and took her guns, which had been purchased legally in Connecticut, to launch his rampage. Lanza skipped the background check by killing his mother, who had passed a background check.
KTVT News, the CBS affiliate in Dallas, reported that the alleged El Paso killer legally bought the rifle allegedly used in the killing of 22 people, which means he passed a background check.
USA Today, a newspaper that has traditionally supported ever-tightening gun control laws, reported that the Dayton murderer purchased his firearm “from an online retailer in Texas. It then was transferred to him by a local firearms dealer who would be required to perform a background check, police said.”
In both of these cases, as in the case of the killer at the Garlic Festival in California a week earlier, a background check was performed. The background check, thus, becomes something of a red herring argument.
Under existing federal law, KTVT acknowledged in its report, “The background check is processed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check system, which can approve, delay or deny a purchase. If NICS does not turn up any records and the individual shows no overt signs of mental instability, there’s little a dealer can legally do to stop the sale.”
Media bias appears front-and-center in such reports, and particularly in a story about violence in Chicago, where the body count is rising faster than the summer temperatures. An MSN story declares in its headline, “As summer violence rages on, a Chicago gang member’s jail recordings offer a rare look at the city’s entrenched gun culture.” But the problem is the city’s gang culture, which leads to shootings on a daily basis. The headline is aimed at demonizing firearms, not the thugs—including convicted felons who are legally disqualified from owning or possessing firearms—who are pulling the triggers.
By some estimates, there are as many as 15 million so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles” in private ownership across the U.S. Three such firearms were used in California, Ohio and Texas. Millions of honest gun owners who didn’t use their firearms for mayhem have good reason to feel they are being penalized for crimes they did not commit.
And when talking about crimes, news reports and gun control proponents seem at best reluctant to mention that each one of these killers violated several existing laws that were all passed on the promise that they would prevent such atrocities. Laws against murder, illegal use of firearms, illegal discharge of firearms, assault with deadly weapons and in California transporting a firearm across state lines that is illegal in the Golden State; all of these laws, and no doubt many others, were violated. None of those statutes prevented these crimes, something nobody seems willing to discuss.
Thus gun owners can justifiably argue on social media that nobody demonizes fast cars or motorcycles when someone gets behind the wheel or grabs the handlebars and causes a deadly accident.
The investigations into all three recent tragic incidents are continuing. More facts are emerging about each of the killers who are solely responsible for their crimes. Two of them are beyond the reach of the law because they are dead. The third is in custody, and after what will likely be a series of trials, he will probably face execution.
Meanwhile, the gun prohibition lobby will continue trying to exploit such crimes to raise funds, elect anti-gun-rights politicians and pursue what Second Amendment activists see as a crusade to eliminate the right to keep and bear arms.
For in the final analysis, to firearms community activists this is not an issue about guns, it’s about rights.
About Dave Workman