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Hillary Clinton: Universal Background Checks Part of Solution to Gang Violence


On March 27, Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton wrote an op-ed listing numerous incidents of gang violence and arguing that universal background checks are part of the solution to such violence.

Universal background checks are an expansion of background checks to cover every gun sale, both retail and private. They require that an individual selling a gun to another individual first seek out a government representative–in the form of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder–and make the buyer pass an FBI background check before being allowed to buy the gun.


Writing in the New York Daily News, Clinton focused on “neighborhoods in New York” that contain “concentrated gun violence,” and she highlighted rising death tolls on the gang-riddled streets of Chicago. She listed individual examples of gun violence, such as the death of nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee, who was lured into a Chicago alley and shot numerous times in an alleged gang hit that was meant to exact revenge for an earlier shooting.

Clinton’s simplistic fix for such violence? Universal background checks and other gun controls that will only impact law-abiding citizens.

Clinton’s suggestion that such checks are part of the solution to reducing or ending gang violence overlooks two things: First, gang members would never submit to the checks. Rather, they will continue to buy guns via the black market, which meets all their firearms needs at present. Secondly, universal background checks are an abject failure everywhere and every time they are attempted. They are the law of the land in California, Colorado, Washington, and Paris, where determined attackers continue to ply their trade without hindrance.

Consider that Elliot Rodger carried out his May 2014 Santa Barbara attack after acquiring his pistol through a universal background check.

The December 2, 2015, San Bernardino attackers acquired their handguns through such a background check, and the universal check requirement was impotent to prevent them from getting two rifles from a friend.

On November 27, Robert Lewis Dear allegedly shot and killed three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, although Colorado has universal background checks.

The same thing happened on Halloween, when Noah Harpman allegedly opened fire, also killing three in Colorado Springs.

Washington state has universal background checks, and on February 26, a gunman in Mason County shot and killed four, then killed himself.

Paris also has universal background checks, combined with  requirements for medical and mental examinations for gun owners. Nonetheless, on November 13, terrorists armed to the teeth were able to gun down 130 innocents.

And on January 7, 2015, two terrorists armed with rifles shot and killed twelve in an attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at

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