“We have this irony. The Obama administration, which is asking for more in the way of gun regulations — in terms of increased background checks for private sales and at gun shows — is actually prosecuting less of the gun laws already on the books. For a lot of people, there’s more ideological cache harassing Bubba at the gun show than getting a handle on gun crime.” That’s George Washington University’s Robert Cottrol commenting at washingtontimes.com on the fun fact that the Obama administration’s federal law enforcement operation is on pace this year to prosecute the fewest number of gun law violations since 2000 . . .
Think back for a moment to those dark days in the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings. Federal gun law prosecutions had already been steadily falling since their peak in 2004. But with the nation reeling from the horror of 20 dead children and six adults, the greatest orator since Lincoln stood on a stump uttered this call to action:
“We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.”
In other words, let’s crack down on people who are violating the laws already on the books. Never mind that the guns that Adam Lanza used were all purchased legally. That inconvenient detail was apparently beside the point. In addition to assigning “Double Barrel” Joe Biden to lead the push for more gun control legislation (and for that, we can’t thank you enough, Mr. President), Obama issued a clear, unambiguous call for tougher enforcement of existing firearms laws.
Somehow, though, his attorney general — the first in American history to be held in contempt of Congress, thanks to his own problems with guns — didn’t get the message. In fact, he’s openly expressed his dislike for federal enforcement of gun laws, preferring to leave that kind of dirty work up the the states. That’s right, the AG has advocated a more of a cultural approach to reducing gun crime along with implementing executive actions and mandating smart guns, since pushing legislation through Congress has been an abject failure.
And so, after a slight uptick in 2012, federal prosecutions of gun laws resumed their precipitous decline in 2013 — yes, the year that followed Sandy Hook — and continue to fall. It’s almost as if all the talk about “doing something about gun crime” is nothing but a convenient fig leaf for enacting more restrictions on law abiding gun owners and their ability to purchase firearms.