Bill Clinton used an op-ed marking the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School attack to push more gun control for Chicago.
He also used the column to boast about background check legislation he signed into law into 1993. Those checks became effective in 1998.
Writing in the Denver Post, Clinton noted the speed with which New Zealand enacted their gun ban, following the March 15, 2019, mosque attacks. He juxtaposed that speedy ban with the situation in the U.S. where “a minority with strong views can thwart even popular legislation, supported by hard evidence.”
A recent RAND survey pointed out that policies and laws that could bring about a drop in gun deaths as small as just 1 percent here in the U.S. would translate to 1,500 fewer deaths in a decade. Making gun trafficking a federal crime would save lives in cities like Chicago, where the majority of guns confiscated in crimes are purchased legally out of state and make their way into the city, which has zero gun shops.
The truth is, when we are able to pass sensible gun laws, they work. The Brady Bill and the background checks initiated through its implementation have prevented millions of gun sales to people who shouldn’t own one. Today, the nation’s gun homicide rate is one-third lower than when I signed the Brady Bill into law in 1993.
Missing from Clinton’s observations is the fact that Illinois has universal background checks, gun owner licensing, and other strict controls, yet criminals are not fazed by them. Moreover, ATF form 4473–the background check form–asks gun purchasers to affirm that they are buying their gun for themselves rather than buying it to pass to someone else, but criminals are unfazed by this as well.
Another important thing missing from Clinton’s background checks is the fact that they have failed to stop every school shooting that occurred between 1998 and now, including Columbine. Moreover, Clinton’s background checks have proven to be the preferred way by which mass shooters in this century have acquired their guns.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.