While Democrats, Gabby Giffords, and groups like Moms Demand Action claim that expanding background checks would end mass shootings, The Washington Post looks across the pond and demonstrates that Europe’s expanded background checks prove useless in the face of a booming black market for guns and radicalized Muslims looking to commit terrorist acts.
After all, Europe has expanded background checks and enacted near-total gun bans in certain countries, but the Paris and Copenhagen attacks still took place.
According to WaPo, in Denmark “handguns and semiautomatic rifles are all but banned.” And hunting rifles can only be owned by people “with squeaky-clean backgrounds who have passed a rigorous exam covering everything from gun safety to the mating habits of Denmark’s wildlife.”
Tonni Rigby is one of the two licensed firearms dealers that exist in Copenhagen and he said the book one must read to prepare for a hunting rifle exam is “about 1,000 pages thick.” He added, “You have to know all of it.”
Yet although Denmark’s gun controls are “restrictive” — GunPolicy.org describes France’s controls as “restrictive” as well — Muslim attackers in Paris and Copenhagen had no problem getting the weapons they needed to kill 19 people and wound many others.
European officials now say “there is no clear solution.”
In other words, gun control failed in Paris and Copenhagen just the way it failed at Sandy Hook Elementary, where Adam Lanza went around gun laws by stealing the weapons he used. It failed like it did in the Aurora theater attack where gunman James Holmes passed the background checks which Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) proposed as a way to end violent public attacks. And yes, it failed the way it did on cold January morning in Tucson when background check proponent Gabby Giffords was shot by Jared Loughner — after he passed background checks to acquire his gun.
Europe’s example is out there for us to learn from. The lesson in both cases is that gun control only controls the actions of law-abiding citizens acquiring guns within legal means, and law-abiding citizens were never a threat to begin with.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.