On June 15–the day after the attack on GOP House and Senate members in Alexandria–the New York Times noted that Illinois’ strict gun control laws did not prevent the attacker from acquiring guns.
They quickly hedged this observation by pointing to the more relaxed gun laws in Virginia, suggesting the attacker could have acquired a gun in VA even if he were barred from purchasing in Illinois. They then begin the same leftist song and dance, saying, “Virginia requires no background checks in private sales, requires not registration for most weapons, and has few restrictions on open carry.”
All of this distracts from their central admission: Illinois’ strict gun control failed to stop that attacker.
NYT admits that the attacker had a Firearms Owner’s ID (FOID) card in Illinois, which means he had passed a background check to acquire that card. Moreover, the possession of that card meant the state of Illinois had granted the attacker permission to purchase and possess firearms.
Just hours after the Alexandria attack occurred, the Chicago Tribune reported that the attacker had purchased at least three guns at an Illinois’ gun store, one of which was an SKS. And this is where the left’s gun control claims begin to unravel: background checks did not stop the would-be attacker from acquiring guns and the laws in Virginia have nothing to do with the fact that Illinois had issued the attacker a FOID card, clearing him to buy and possess firearms in one of the most gun-controlled states in the union.
As we saw during the December 2, 2015 attack in gun-controlled California’s city of San Bernardino, even the strictest of gun controls do not prevent determined attackers from acquiring the guns they need to inflict harm.
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.