Martin O’Malley used to be the governor of Maryland, one of the states which enacted some of the most ridiculous and restrictive gun control laws in the United States. And despite all of those laws putting roadblocks up to make civilian gun ownership more difficult, shootings in Maryland have increased. In short, looking around the country, gun control legislation seems to spur “gun violence” rather than reduce it. Nevertheless, in the wake of the Charleston church shooting, presidential candidate O’Malley has decided to dedicate his campaign to spreading the gospel of gun control and making it known that infringing on the civil rights of Americans is one his top priorities . . .
From the Business Insider:
“I proudly hold an F rating from the NRA, and when I worked to pass gun control in Maryland, the NRA threatened me with legal action, but I never backed down,” O’Malley wrote.
In his email, O’Malley outlined some of the gun control reforms he would push for if he is elected in 2016 including stronger background checks, a nationwide assault weapons ban, and steps to prevent people from buying guns on others’ behalf. O’Malley described making gun control a major part of his campaign as “doubling down” on what he did in Maryland.
“What we did in Maryland should be the first step of what we do as a nation,” O’Malley wrote.
The majority of Americans support the expansion of gun rights rather than more gun control. SO it sounds like O’Malley is a bit out of touch with what the electorate really wants, instead projecting his own authoritarian desires on the population. But even if we were to indulge him and enact all the legislation he’d like, would it have any impact whatsoever on mass shootings? Let’s look at his prescription, point by point.
Stronger Background Checks
What, exactly, does that mean? It sounds nice, but what constitutes “stronger?” We have seen time and again that even in a place such as California, which has some of the strictest background check laws in the country, these “enhanced” background checks have failed to stop mass shooters from getting their hands on firearms. You can’t stop someone with a background check when there’s no paper trail to follow. Never mind the fact that Dylann Roof (like Holmes, Like Loughner) passed a NICS check when he bought his gun.
Assault Weapons Ban
This horse has been beaten to death, but “assault weapons” are not the problem. Of all the highest profile mass shootings in the United States, (with the exception of Newtown) the worst of the worst — including Charleston — were carried out with handguns, not “assault weapons.” Handguns are specifically protected under the Second Amendment, as affirmed by the Supreme Court, so maybe it makes sense that O’Malley would go after the only scary firearm that still appears to be fair game. The problem is that doing so would have no impact whatsoever on reducing “mass shootings” while further alienating gun owners.
Steps to Prevent Straw Purchases
This is, quite possibly, the dumbest thing O’Malley could have proposed (a low bar, perhaps). The attacker in Charleston passed a NICS background check and properly completed an ATF form 4473. He bought the gun himself, complying with all local, state and federal laws. Cracking down on straw purchases would done absolutely nothing to have stopped him. Nor would it have done anything about the Newtown shooting. Or the Virginia Tech shooting. Or Aurora. Or Tucson. All of these people had legally purchased (though not all legally possessed) firearms in their possession. Set aside the fact that straw purchases are already clearly illegal on a federal level, how exactly would O’Malley “crack down” on them further? So-called “universal background checks?” Right, because criminals will totally obey that new rule.
Leave it to a Maryland Democrat to be so blindingly wrong in coming up with “solutions” to mass shootings. How about trying to address the broader social issues rather than blaming the inanimate objects? Wait. That’s difficult. Let’s not do that….