On August 31, Breitbart News spoke with Gun Owners of America’s (GOA) executive director, Larry Pratt, about background checks for gun purchasers, and he made clear that GOA opposed them when they were first introduced under President Bill Clinton and that GOA believes they should be abolished now.
Pratt also stressed that the database tied to them should be destroyed.
Our conversation began with a discussion of how yet another public attacker, Vester Lee Flanagan, demonstrated the impotency of background checks by passing one to acquire the gun he used to shoot and kill Alison Parker and Adam Ward in Virginia.
Pratt responded by pointing out that public attackers are not the only ones background checks fail to stop. He said, “During the last year of record, although the government has done millions upon million of background checks, they brought 14 prosecutions to court for trial–hardly a crime-fighting tool.” He said some people respond to this by pointing out that there were people who were “denied getting a gun at the point of sale,” but these people fail to note that criminals get guns in ways that completely circumvent the checks.
Many mass murders have gotten their hands on guns by passing a background check, while other criminals are resourceful. They are evil, but they are resourceful, as well, and they get their hands on guns. The idea that somehow we’re safe if we do a background check is simply not true.
We discussed a previous Breitbart News report about a University of Chicago Crime Lab study that showed that inmates in Cook County jail said they avoided gun shows, Internet sales, and gun stores, choosing, instead, to buy their guns on the street through “personal connections.” They admitted their goal was to circumvent law enforcement oversight of the purchase. Breitbart News stressed that the testimony of the inmates proves anew that background checks are ultimately a gun control that burdens law-abiding citizens, making their gun purchases more difficult, while criminals continue to get guns in other ways.
Pratt indicated there is “a further danger” from a background check that goes beyond the burden it poses to law-abiding citizens at the point of sale. He said:
I think it’s credible to ask if the NSA was making a recording of Aunt Susie talking to cousin Mary–which is very likely to be the most unexciting, unimportant conversation imaginable to the outside world–are we really to believe that when the government does a computer check on the background of an individual buying a gun from a dealer, that they are not going to keep that information, in spite of it being against the law to do so?
I can’t imagine that our folks over at the Department of Justice haven’t kept records of who owns what gun.
We asked Pratt what GOA would like done regarding background checks. He said, “We should get rid of background checks, and we should destroy the databases that have been used to run those background checks and the databases holding names of gun owners that have, for certain, been created illegally.”
Pratt said he hopes getting rid of background checks will help destroy “the illusion that government can protect us,” and that the elimination of background checks can be followed by the elimination of gun-free zones, where mass murderers ply their trade. He said that “would be a huge step in reducing what dirtbags can do when they decide to go out on a murder spree.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.