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Fact-Check: Tim Kaine Claims Background Checks ‘Make Us Safer’

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley
AP/Brennan Linsley

During Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said that he and Hillary Clinton are committed to “background record checks” because such checks “make us safer.” 

He used the example of the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech attack to make his point. During that attack a gunman walked into gun-free zones on the Virginia Tech campus, shooting and killing 32 innocents. What Kaine failed to mention is that the Virginia Tech gunman passed a background check for his firearm

And the Virginia Tech gunman is not an anomaly among mass public attackers, Breitbart News previously reported that the vast majority of public attackers–and alleged attackers–of recent memory all acquired their guns via background checks. These include:

  • the Orlando attacker (June 12)
  • the UCLA gunman (June 1)
  • 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 Carton 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’s attacker (January 8, 2011)
  • the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
  • the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007)
  • the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle attacker (July 28, 2016)

In addition to these examples, Paris, France, has extremely comprehensive background checks–even more comprehensive than those in California–yet they also suffered 12 shot and killed during the January 7, 2015, Charlie Hebdo attack and lost another 130 innocents killed during a November 13, 2015, firearm-based terror attack in the city.

The bottom line: Kaine’s statement that background checks “make us safer” is only true if you dismiss all the instances in which they haven’t.

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