During an interview with the UK’s iNews, former FBI director James Comey called for more controls on the types of guns and sizes of ammunition magazines sold in the U.S. and suggested the NRA propagates “lies.”
iNews quoted Comey indicating he is not for an all-out ban on private on gun ownership, but he does support making changes to current law, including an increase in the legal age for gun purchases.
Surely there are things we can agree upon that relate to who’s able to buy a weapon, what kind of weapon and at what age, what the capabilities of the weapon are, how many rounds does it hold, and things like that, that in no way threaten the rights under the US constitution of people to keep and bear arms.
He criticized the NRA as standing in the way of securing these controls, saying, “One of the worst things that goes on in the US is the current voice of the National Rifle Association, because it sells fear in the wake of any incident.” He specifically mentioned the NRA’s opposition to the gun controls which were pushed in the wake of the December 14, 2012, attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The post-Sandy Hook gun control consisted largely of expanding background checks to private gun sales. Comey voiced support for these checks speaking to iNews, but he did not mention the fact that such an expansion would do nothing to prevent another Sandy Hook-style attack. In fact, such an expansion would not have prevented the first Sandy Hook attack because the gunman did not buy his firearms at retail or from a private seller. Rather, he stole them.
Yet Comey criticized the NRA for opposing more gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook:
Their constant argument is: “It’s a slippery slope. If we restrict a particular kind of weapon or raise the age of purchase, it means the end of gun ownership in the US.” And that argument is a lie. There’s no slippery slope in America when it comes to guns. It’s a concrete staircase, which is our constitution…. We just have to decide should we go up a stair or down a stair.
Comey added, “I own guns. And yet I, like I hope all thoughtful gun owners, recognise that on the one hand it’s a right guaranteed in the US constitution, but like all rights in the constitution it’s appropriately subject to reasonable regulation and restriction.”
Comey’s statements echo those of gun control Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who has long held that government can regulate the natural rights protected by the Bill of Rights. On August 6, 2013, Breitbart News reported that Murphy told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, “The Second Amendment is not an absolute right, not a God-given right. It has always had conditions upon it like the First Amendment has.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.