Yesterday, we republished the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s press release taking President Obama to task for not naming a new head of the ATF. All in all, the Brady bitch was a pretty mild rebuke. Today the anti-gun org has come out punching, accusing the Prez of cowering in fear of the “gun lobby.” Writing for The Huffington Post, Brady Veep Dennis A. Hennigan claims “It is now beyond doubt that the Administration is determined to say as little as possible about the plague of gun violence that inflicts death and injury on 300 Americans every day. When forced to comment on proposals to strengthen our anemic federal gun laws, the President and his representatives typically fall back on the gun lobby’s canard, ‘We don’t need new gun laws. We need to enforce the laws on the books.'” Canard? Really Dennis? Canard?
There is no question that we need to devote far more resources to enforcing federal gun laws. But it is a transparent fallacy to argue that deficiencies in enforcing current laws justify inaction to strengthen those laws.
According to the “just enforce current laws” argument, we should, for instance, tolerate the “gun show loophole” in federal law that allows criminals to buy guns from private sellers at gun shows without background checks, because we can always hire more federal agents to track down the criminals after they get the guns. Doesn’t it make more sense to require background checks to block gun sales to criminals in the first place?
I love those “do you still beat your wife” kind of questions. The real question: where do most criminals buy guns? Hint: it’s not gun shows. And yes, there is an existing law against selling a gun to a felon. Imagine that! So . . .
It is bad enough to witness President Obama resorting to the “enforcement fallacy” to justify his failure to support strengthening our gun laws. It is beyond the pale that his Administration would be so fearful of the gun lobby that it would leave ATF without a leader and stand silently as the gun lobby pushes legislation to emasculate the agency for decades to come.
You want to talk about emasculation? How about getting rid of the ATF completely? Now there’s something worth doing—and bitching about.