The Chicago Sun-Times is praising prohibition era gun controls that are still in place and have failed to stop school shooting after school shooting and mass public attack after mass public attack.
The piece of legislation in view is the National Firearms Act (1934). It was technically put in place a year after prohibition ended, but it was crafted in response to the 1929 Valentine’s Day Massacre, which resulted from tensions between Al Capone and Bugs Moran.
The Sun-Times observes:
The original National Firearms Act imposed a tax on the making and transfer of certain firearms, as well as a special (occupational) tax on persons and entities engaged in the business of importing, manufacturing, and dealing in NFA firearms. The law also required the registration of all NFA firearms with the secretary of the Treasury. Firearms subject to the 1934 act included shotguns and rifles having barrels less than 18 inches in length, certain firearms described as “any other weapons,” machineguns, and firearm mufflers and silencers.
The Sun-Times describes NFA as “surprisingly effective and non-controversial.” They note that “in 1986, Congress strengthened the NFA definition of ‘silencer’ by adding combinations of parts for silencers and any part intended for use in the assembly or fabrication of a silencer.”
They then use the NFA as a blueprint for other gun controls that are currently being pushed, especially gun controls relating to school shootings. The problem with this suggestion is that it overlooks the fact that the NFA has not prevented mass public attacks from occurring. Moreover, it has not prevented school shootings from taking place either.
In fact, if the prevention of such attacks is the measurement, the NFA has failed in every way, except for where it relates to giving money to the government via the federal tax on NFA-regulated items.
Think about it—How many firearm-based mass public attacks have occurred since NFA was passed in 1934? How many attacks have occurred on schools? Here is a short list of mass public attacks and school attacks during the last 19 years:
- Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attack (February 14, 2018)
- Texas church attack (November 5, 2017)
- Las Vegas attack (October 1, 2017)
- the Alexandria attack (June 14, 2017))
- Orlando attack (June 12, 2016)
- the UCLA murder-suicide (June 1, 2016))
- the San Bernardino attack (December 2, 2015)
- the Colorado Springs attack (October 31, 2015)
- the Umpqua Community College attack (October 1, 2015)
- Alison Parker’s attack (August 26, 2015)
- the Lafayette movie theater attack (July 23, 2015)
- the Chattanooga attack (July 16, 2015)
- the alleged Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attack (Jun 17, 2015)
- the Muhammad Carton Contest attack (May 3, 2014)
- the Las Vegas cop attack (June 9, 2015)
- the Santa Barbara attack (May 23, 2014)
- the Fort Hood attack (April 2, 2014)
- the Arapahoe High School attack (December 13, 2013)
- the D.C. Navy Yard attack (September 16, 2013)
- the Aurora movie theater attack (July 20, 2012)
- Gabby Giffords’ attack (January 8, 2011)
- the Fort Hood attack (November 5, 2009)
- the Virginia Tech attack (April 16, 2007)
- Columbine (April 20, 1999), and many others.
Seven individuals were killed in the 1929 Valentine’s Day Massacre. Many times that number have been killed in the numerous attacks which the NFA has been powerless to prevent.
Thirteen were killed at Columbine, 32 were killed Virginia Tech, 12 were killed in the Aurora movie theater, nine were killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal, nine were killed at Umpqua Community College, 14 were killed in San Benardino, 49 were killed in Orlando, 26 were killed in the Texas church, and the list goes on.
If NFA proved impotent to stop these attacks–which only represent attacks during the last 19 years–how can it be held up as a gun control to emulate going forward?
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.