Sen. Mark Warner Points to Virginia Gunman Who Passed Background Check to Prove Need for Background Checks

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

On September 10, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) attended a rally with the father of slain Virginia reporter Alison Parker and called for Congress to pass background check legislation now, even though background checks became the law of the land during the Bill Clinton administration and Alison’s killer—Vester Lee Flanagan—passed one for the gun he used in his attack.

Nevertheless, Warner asked, “Can’t we at least take a first step in terms of background checks?”

It is important to note that background check legislation emerged as part of the Brady Bill, which Clinton signed in 1993. Checks on all retail gun sales—in person and over the Internet—became the law of the land 1998. And Flanagan went through one of those very checks to acquire his gun and give alleged Charleston gunman Dylann Roof the race war he claimed he wanted.

According to The Guardian, Alison Parker’s dad pushed for background check legislation at the rally as well, blaming the NRA for stopping progress on it although the gunman who attacked his daughter had to go through a background check to acquire his gun. And gun control proponent extraordinaire Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) also spoke, saying he was “sick and tired of gutless politicians who are scared of the NRA.”

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP

Again—neither Warner, Parker, nor McAuliffe explained what the NRA has to do with Congress not wanting to pass a law that already exists.

The September 10 rally was organized by Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown For Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. A theme throughout the rally was blaming a boogeyman—the “gun lobby”—for Congress’s lack of desire to pass background check legislation in response to a heinous crime in which the gunman passed a background check.

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