Former Military Leaders Push Gun Control that Failed in Illinois, California

The Associated Press
AP/David Zalubowski

Former military leaders in a coalition with Gabby Giffords are urging Congress to pass the same gun controls that failed in Illinois and California within past few months.

Roll Call reports that the former leaders include former Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, former Aghanistan Commander Stanley McChrystal, and “former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden.”

The group sent a letter to “to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer,” urging broad support for universal background checks. They wrote:

A prohibited person with dangerous intent can easily buy a gun over the internet or in a parking lot with no questions asked. For those of us with extensive firearms training, who have seen the damage inflicted by a powerful weapon in the wrong hands, this is simply unfathomable.

The former leaders did not mention universal background checks would do nothing to prevent “a prohibited person” from purchasing a gun in a parking lot or dark alley. Moreover, they did not address the fact that nearly every mass shooter of the 21st century acquired his guns via a background check rather than a parking lot.

In fact, the only mass shooters who did not acquire their guns via background checks were those who stole them.

The following is a partial list of mass shooters and high profile attackers who acquired their guns via background checks:

  • Borderline Bar & Grill attacker (November 7, 2018)
  • Synagogue attacker (October 27, 2018)
  • Parkland high school attacker (February 14, 2018)
  • Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017)
  • Las Vegas attacker (October 1, 2017)
  • the Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017))
  • Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
  • the UCLA gunman (June 1, 2016))
  • 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 alleged 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)
  • Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
  • the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
  • the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007), and many others.

The list of attackers who acquired their guns via background checks demonstrates the futility of looking at such checks as a way to stop violent attackers.

It must also be noted that California and Illinois have universal background checks, yet such checks did not prevent the February 15, 2019, Aurora, Illinois, factory shooting or the November 7, 2018, Borderline Bar & Grill attack.

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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