In the wake of the attack on Bronx Lebanon Hospital, the New York Times (NYT) admits that strict gun control failed to stop the attacker from acquiring the gun he used to kill one and wound numerous others.
The New York Daily News reported that the Bronx attacker bought his gun from a store, which means he passed a background check for it just as Gabby Giffords’ attacker and nearly every high-profile public attacker of recent memory has done.
NYT responded to this news by pointing out that the New York legislature passed an immense body of new gun controls in the wake of the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) pushed these controls and signed them into law as the SAFE Act in January 2013. They include a stringent ban on “assault weapons,” expanded mental record access for background checks, and a ban on “high capacity” magazines, among other things.
The Bronx Hospital attacker complied with all these gun controls: buying an AR-15 variant that was not labeled an “assault weapon” under New York law and carrying three ten-round magazines instead of one 30-round magazine when he went on the attack. Moreover, he passed a background check to acquire his rifle.
In short, he complied with the left’s three favorite gun controls: an “assault weapons” ban, a “high capacity” magazine ban, and a background check requirement. Then he killed one citizen and severely wounded others. NYT even stated in its headline, “Despite Strict Gun Law, Troubled Doctor Was Able to Buy Assault Rifle.”
The Bronx Lebanon Hospital attack exemplifies why the NRA and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vehemently opposed the SAFE Act in 2013; they rightly noted that it would make it harder for law-abiding citizens to get the guns they need for self-defense but would do nothing to prevent determined attackers from killing innocents.
Americans witnessed the same thing just weeks ago when a Bernie Sanders supporter carried two guns to a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria and opened fire on Republican lawmakers. The supporter had a rifle and a handgun, and he passed a background check for both, just as the Orlando Pulse attacker on June 12, 2016, and the attacker who opened fire in the Aurora movie theater on July 20, 2012, did.
Gun control does not hinder determined attackers, but it does place law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.