On March 27 Gabby Giffords backed Oregon Democrats in pushing all future Oregon gun purchasers to pass the same background check Jared Loughner passed to acquire the firearm with which he attacked Giffords and eighteen others in Tucson.
The legislation–SB 941, sponsored by state senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene)–would require a background check for every gun sale and/or transfer in Oregon–whether retail or private–except for sales between “close relatives,” which would continue to be a privilege the government allows.
Giffords’ gun control group, Americans For Responsible Solutions (ARS), proudly posted the announcement, “Gabby Giffords…[Calls] On Legislators To Pass Background Checks Bill.” And they immediately followed this by indicating current “Oregon law does not require unlicensed sellers to do a background check before a gun sale.”
In doing this, ARS left out two extremely important points.
First, the moniker “unlicensed sellers” is frequently applied to average Americans–neighbors who sell a gun to a neighbor, one co-worker who sells a gun to another, etc.–just as Americans have been doing since the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791.
Oregonians should resent being referred to as “unlicensed sellers” by Giffords & Co.
Secondly, expanded background checks would not have stopped even one of the most high profile public firearm-related crimes of the last six years–not one. And that includes the shooting in which Giffords was injured.
This is the real hypocrisy behind the background check push–it is a push Giffords claims to have undertaken as a way of “stopping violence,” all the while the person who inflicted such violence upon her–Jared Loughner–passed a background check to acquire the firearm he used in the attack.
And Loughner is not alone. Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Aaron Ybarra (Seattle Pacific University), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barabara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), and Naveed Haq (Seattle) all went through background checks to acquire their firearms as well.
Yet Giffords is pushing background checks again and state senator Prozanski is telling Oregonians that background checks are way of preventing “access to guns” for people who shouldn’t have access.
In reality, background checks have not and will not stop those determined to commit crime, but they will provide government another way to regulate and monitor the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.