The Perfect Purchaser
Jared Lee Loughner was Barack Obama’s perfect gun purchaser -– right up until the moment when he started killing people.
Remember when, in 1968, we were told that, if felons and other undesirables were prohibited from having guns, gun crime would stop? Loughner was not a felon. He was, likewise, not an illegal alien, a deserter, or a fugitive from justice.
Remember when, in 1994, we were assured that, if gun purchasers were “checked out” against an FBI database, gun crime would stop? Loughner was checked out by the FBI; he passed.
Remember when, after Columbine, we were told that, if we cracked down on gun shows, gun crime would stop? That crackdown didn’t pass. But Loughner didn’t buy his gun at a gun show.
Remember when, after Virginia Tech, we were told that, if we sent the names of more of America’s mentally disabled to the FBI’s “secret list,” gun crime would stop? Loughner’s name wasn’t on the FBI expanded list because he hadn’t been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to a mental institution.”
So, with every gun control “panacea” proven to be a lie, now comes Barack Obama, from the crime-free mecca of Chicago, proposing to negotiate with us about what further Second Amendment rights he can take away for no apparent use.
And he appears shocked that no one in the gun community, from the most hard-core to the most malleable, seems to want to have a beer with him.
Listen, argues Obama, the problem is that there are not enough names on the FBI’s “secret list.”
So –- how does he propose to expand the “secret list” so it includes the Jared Loughners?
Well, says Obama in the Arizona Daily Star, you can “keep … dangerous criminals and fugitives … from getting their hands on a gun…”
Whoopsy! We already did that 43 years ago. It didn’t stop Loughner because he wasn’t a “dangerous criminal or fugitive” –- until, of course, he became a “dangerous criminal”; and then it was too late.
In addition, says Obama, you could “provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks…”
Shucks! We did that too! Didn’t work.
Obama again: “[W]e should in fact reward the states that provide the best data” (i.e., the states that turn over the most names of their citizens to the FBI’s Kafkaesque “secret list”).
You would think, incidentally, that you would want to reward the states that stopped crime. But, alas, it turns out that the jurisdictions which are the most Orwellian are also the most crime-ridden (and the biggest Obama-backers).
Obama goes to great length, in his article, to argue for an expansion of the FBI “secret list” based on the proposition that “an unbalanced man shouldn’t be able to buy a gun so easily.”
But that’s just the problem: Unbalanced men cannot now legally own guns. Under the pesky Constitution, however, you do have to have some “due process” mechanism for making that determination. Otherwise, you would end up with an FBI secret list of people who, according to their neighbors, “act strange.”
One final point: What about Loughner’s drug abuse, which he freely confessed to military recruiters?
Well, it turns out that even the country’s most rabid anti-gun zealots (see, e.g., New York Senator Chuck Schumer) don’t particularly want to crack down on those Americans who smoke marijuana. Hence, Schumer’s bill to implement Obama’s article would actually allow a vast new class of “undesirables” (unconfessed, uncaught druggies) to escape the FBI’s attention and go about the streets shooting people.
Presumably, Schumer has concluded that the removal of “druggies” and people who “act strange” would eliminate most of his electorate. Go figure.
Incidentally, no one is fooled by Obama’s claim that he is pro-gun because he “allow[ed] people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.” We forced that change on Obama by sticking the pro-gun parks language (based on my draft) as a “non-germane amendment” on Obama’s treasured “legacy,” the credit card bill.
For him to brag about that is like a spanked child taking credit for his aching rear.
Michael E. Hammond, is counsel for Gun Owners of America and former General Counsel to the Senate Steering Committee 1978-89.