With Barack Obama announcing an executive expansion of background checks that is certain to draw ire–and lawsuits–from conservatives and gun rights groups around the country, it is important to remember that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) supported a very similar background check expansion just two years ago.
Breitbart News previously reported that Obama’s executive gun control is an attempt to expand background checks to cover private sellers who sell at gun shows and online, regardless of whether those sellers are selling one gun or 100. This expansion is largely seen Obama’s strongest attempt to close the so-called “gun show loophole.”
In 2013 the Huffington Post reported that then Representative Paul Ryan supported expanding background checks to close the so-called “gun show loophole.”
HuffPo pointed to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel interview in which Ryan said post-Sandy Hook efforts to close the “gun show loophole” were “reasonable.” He intimated that expanding checks to that end was an “obvious” way to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.
But the problem with Ryan’s justification for more gun control is very similar to the problem with the justifications Obama is giving now. For Ryan, it is the fact that no amount of background checks would have stopped Adam Lanza from carrying out his heinous attack on Sandy Hook because he did not buy his guns–rather, he stole them.
Think about it–Adam Lanza did not acquire his guns at a gun show nor did he buy them at a retail store or from a neighbor. He simply stole them, and that provides no justification for expanding background checks.
Obama faces a similar problem in trying to justify expanding background checks now. The New York Daily News reports that the last 15 mass killers in America bought their guns despite background checks–they did not buy them out of trunks in parking lots or at gun store tables where grandmas and grandpas looked the other way in order to sell a .38 revolver.
To be fair, Speaker Ryan released a statement criticizing Obama’s executive gun controls. Yet to be honest, Ryan’s statement was feckless. It presented no plan for reversing or blocking Obama’s executive gun controls. Nor did it include an admission that Ryan actually enabled Obama’s executive gun controls by funding everything ahead of time via omnibus.
Conservatives are still waiting for Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to stand up and be counted among those who are ready to use their authority to block the executive overreach of Barack Obama.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.