On July 20, Moms Demand Action president Shannon Watts admitted, “we’re still learning the facts about what happened in Chattanooga,” then she called for more gun control.
To do this, Watts took the few facts that are known, twisted them ever so slightly, then regurgitated them in a way she believes will support gun control.
For example, she took the FBI’s statement that alleged Chattanooga gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez passed a background check for at least “some” of the guns he had during the attack and interpreted it to mean Abdulazeez “took advantage of the online gun sale loophole and purchased at least one of his firearms where he knew he could buy a gun with no background check, no questions asked.”
For those keeping count, the “online gun sale loophole” is in addition to Watts’s “gun show loophole, “the “background check loophole,” and her newly-minted “Charleston Loophole.”
Anyway, so Watts is now suggesting a new loophole exists because Abdulazeez passed a background check for only “some” of his guns. In her mental paradigm, that makes the other gun illegal and makes the place where it was purchased—Watts suggests it was purchased online—part of a loophole that needs government oversight.
Somehow, it has yet to dawn on Watts that Abdulazeez was not barred from gun possession. He was not on the FBI watchlist, and he did not have criminal record to prevent him from passing a background check. Thus he did pass a background check for at least “some” of his guns.
Someone who can legally own guns—in this case, Abdulazeez—buys a gun legally whether he buys it from Walmart, Cabela’s, his neighbor, or a classified ad. At Walmart and Cabela’s, he has to go through a background check, but with his neighbor or a classified ad he does not. However, all four are equally legal when the buyer—in this case, Abdulazeez—had no criminal record to forbid the purchase.
So Watts began by admitting she doesn’t know all the facts then continued by ignoring the numerous facts that are known, not only about Chattanooga but also about gun purchasing. In the end, her article is just a nuanced politicization of another tragedy—this time, Chattanooga—issued in hopes of shaming Congress into infringing further on the Second Amendment.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.