Democrats’ Gun Control Wouldn’t Have Stopped Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando

View of a young demonstrator, on someone's shoulders, as she holds a sign that reads 'Never Again' during the March For Our Lives rally against gun violence, near Columbus Circle, New York, New York, March 24, 2018. Beside her, another girl points her finger. (Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)
Barbara Alper/Getty Images

The universal background check House Democrats want to vote on this week would not have stopped the Parkland high school shooting, the 2017 Las Vegas attack, or the 2016 Orlando Pulse shooting.

This is because the attackers at Parkland, Las Vegas, and Orlando, passed background checks to acquire their weapons.

Moreover, universal background checks would not have stopped the Tree of Life Synagogue attacker (October 27, 2018), the Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017), the Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017), the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015), the Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015), the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015), Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015), the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015), the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015), the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015), the Muhammad Carton Contest attackers (May 3, 2014), the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015), the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014), the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014), the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013), the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013), the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012), the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009), or the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007).

Universal background checks would have been impotent to stop these attackers because we already have background checks on retail sales, and each of the above-listed attackers bought their guns via background checks at retail.

Nevertheless, House Democrats plan a vote on universal background checks this week. They are pushing the legislation in honor of Gabby Giffords, who was wounded by an attacker with a handgun on January 8, 2011.

Ironically, universal background checks would not have stopped the attack on Giffords either, as her attacker passed a background check to acquire his gun.

If universal background checks will not stop such attacks what will they do? They will criminalize neighbors who sell guns to neighbors without government permission and friends who sell guns to lifelong friends without asking government first. In this way, they will interrupt law-abiding citizens’ exercise of their Second Amendment rights while posing no hindrance to criminals.

Rape survivor Shayna Lopez-Rivas observed:

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, or H.R. 8, does not target criminals or those intent on breaking the law. Instead, it curtails the normal, law-abiding behavior of everyday gun owners. Worse, anti-gun advocates are deceptively marketing this legislation as a “safety” bill that will keep guns away from dangerous people.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Universal background checks will never truly be universal because criminals do not comply with the law. This legislation will not change criminal behavior — it will simply make illegal normal behavior that can, in fact, save lives.

One more thing universal background checks will do–they will lead to a gun registry. This is because such checks are unenforceable without a registry that lists the name of every gun owner and the serial number of every gun owned.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News 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 Sign up to get Down Range at



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