Because Nevada is one of the states in which Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety campaigned relentlessly for universal background checks in 2016, it is important to note that such checks would have done absolutely nothing to prevent the October 1 Las Vegas attack.
This is because Vegas attacker Stephen Paddock passed background checks for his guns.
Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) made this very point in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on October 21 when he wrote:
Many, including U.S. Sen.Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have said, no law could have stopped the attacker. It should be crystal clear to anybody honestly reporting the facts that Question 1, even if it had been implemented, would have done nothing to prevent this tragedy. The attacker purchased his weapons legally after passing the background-check process.
And it must be noted that the Vegas attacker is only the latest example in a long line of examples of mass public attackers who “purchased his weapons legally after passing the background-check process.”
Following the June 14 Alexandria attack, Breitbart News reported a list of some of the mass public attackers who acquired their guns via a background check:
- the Congressional baseball practice attacker (June 14, 2017)
- the Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
- the UCLA attacker (June 1, 2016)
- the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
- the Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
- the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
- Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
- the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
- the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
- the alleged Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
- the Muhammad Cartoon Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
- the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
- the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
- the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
- the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
- the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
- the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
- Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
- the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
- the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007), and many others.
It is ironic that, after nearly every attack in that list, Democrats hit the ground running, pushing for universal background checks. In other words, they sought to expand background checks from retail point-of-sale to private point-of-sale as well.
If readers are thinking, they may wonder why Democrats would push a failed gun control as a means of preventing another mass public attack. The answer to this is simple: Democrats know that universal background checks are insidious, once implemented they will naturally — and necessarily — lead to a gun registry and, eventually, licensing of gun owners.
Just look at California. That state adopted universal background checks in the early 1990s, and they now have firearms registration and require would-be gun buyers to obtain a certificate from the state before purchasing a firearm. That certificate does not allow them to carry a gun, it simply allows them to exercise the right to have a gun in their home. On top of this, they have added confiscation laws, an “assault weapons” ban, a “high-capacity” magazine ban (that was blocked by a U.S. district judge), and so much more.
The money dumped into Nevada by Bloomberg-funded Everytown and other out-of-state groups secured the passage of Nevada Question 1 — i.e., universal background checks — on November 8, 2016. But the implementation of those checks was blocked by AG Laxalt after the FBI refused to be part of the mechanism for conducting the checks.
Some have responded to the Vegas attack by pointing fingers at Laxalt. Those who do this fail to understand that we have background checks on retail gun purchases by federal law, and Paddock bought his guns from federally licensed firearms dealers — which means he underwent background checks.
Once again, background checks do not stop latent criminals, they only stop actual ones.
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.