On October 24, Politico’s Glenn Thrush published a column in which he described gun control proponent Mark Kelly as a daring man and a “congenital badass.”
Among the reasons Thrush noted to bolster the “badass” claim were childhood stories that Kelly and “his brother were fond of climbing onto roofs – and breaking bones by taking the short way down.”
Thrush points out that Kelly is a gun owner who wants to pass more gun control for law-abiding citizens, and that he “walks around with a quizzical ‘WTF’ expression” because he is a misfit of sorts. After all, he is a man who reacted to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre by “[devoting] his life to the cause of tightening gun regulations by increasing background checks and closing the gun-show loophole,” even though background checks already existed at the time of the attack and the guns were not acquired at a gun show; they were stolen.
The attempted murder of Kelly’s wife, Gabby Giffords, also motivates the gun control push, even though Giffords’ attacker, Jared Loughner, passed a background check to acquire his gun. So, in the end, Kelly is fervently pushing regulations that would not have hindered, much less prevented, the Sandy Hook attack or the attack on Giffords.
But Thrush admires Kelly because Kelly takes time to talk “to protesters” who oppose passing more restrictions on the Second Amendment. Thrush quoted Kelly as saying:
I’ll walk across the street. I walked across the street to the gun show. So, I mean, that’s why I like to engage with them, and sometimes it usually doesn’t go so well right in the beginning. But if I stand there and listen and then engage them in a positive way — and I understand these people, I own guns — usually, by the end, it’s a pretty positive experience for all of us.
One of the greatest ironies of Kelly’s background check campaign is that the requirements for our current background check system twice stopped him from purchasing a gun in 2013.
Mark Kelly went to Tucson, Arizona’s Diamondback Police Supply in February 2013 to show that “background checks are easy.” Kelly brought in a Texas ID instead of an Arizona ID and was denied because the current background check system stipulates that you can only purchase a handgun in the state within which you reside.
Kelly returned with an Arizona ID 13 days later and passed the background check for a 1911-style handgun. He then released a hidden-camera video of how easy it was to purchase the gun but made no mention of the fact that his first attempt was refused.
Breitbart News also reported that Kelly’s highly publicized AR-15 purchase was terminated by Diamond Back Police Supply, as well. Kelly tried to purchase an AR-15 that was on hold for 20 days because it was a trade-in firearm. During the holding period, Kelly made such a show of his attempt to buy the rifle–telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer his plan was to hand the gun over to someone else all along–that Diamondback Police Supply owner Douglas MacKinlay canceled the purchase and refunded Kelly’s money.
MacKinlay’s basis for canceling the order was question 11a of background check form 4473, which requires a gun purchaser to attest that he is buying the firearm for himself.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.