As Democrats continue to circle the wagons to preserve gun-free zones, Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA-5th Dist.) is suggesting gun owners support protecting children with background checks, which did not stop Adam Lanza from committing his heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Thompson reminds Americans of the day the Sandy Hook massacre broke Americans’ hearts. What he does not mention, however, is that Sandy Hook was a gun-free zone. He also does not point out that we have had background checks since the mid-1990s, yet they did not prevent Lanza from carrying out his horrible crime.
Nevertheless, writing in Politico Magazine, Thompson says, “Gun owners should support background checks.” And his idea of supporting background checks is extending places in which these checks are conducted to include gun shows and “sales … over the Internet.”
Two important points: 1. Adam Lanza did not get his guns from a gun show or over the Internet, so background checks at gun shows or the Internet would not have stopped him. 2. Every retail gun purchase over the Internet already goes through a background check. For example, if you live in Idaho and buy a gun from a gun dealer in Florida, that gun ships from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder in Florida to an FFL in Idaho. When the FFL from Idaho calls to say that your gun has arrived, you have to go to the FFL and pass a background check before he can give you possession of the gun.
That is the law.
The only Internet sales that do not require background checks are not actually sales at all; they are classified advertisements like those found in newspapers. Gun control proponents use the language of Internet sales to cover Internet classified advertisements because it allows them to expand background checks to sales that are not truly Internet-based, and it opens the door for them to expand background checks for Internet-based classifieds to classifieds in newspapers.
This is the slippery slope the NRA is fighting against when they oppose the kind of legislation Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly, and now, Representative Thompson are pushing.
Adam Lanza stole his guns, which allowed him to easily circumvent our background-check system. Yet Thompson claims extending background checks to gun shows and Internet sales is “the best thing we can do to reduce gun violence while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans who own firearms.”
If Thompson really wants to do the “best thing,” he should trade this gun control campaign for a concerted effort to do away with gun-free zones in this country. The Constitution empowers and protects an armed citizenry; gun-free zones turn that same citizenry into sitting ducks.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.