If you had any doubt before, the White House made it clear today that President Trump will not sign any of the gun control measures promoted by Democrats in Congress. The White House says the two main bills under consideration remain “incompatible with the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual right to keep arms.”
HR 8 would ban the private sale of firearms in America. HR 1112 would impose as much as a 20-day waiting period before picking up a new firearm. We’ve written about the potential of the ban on private sales (otherwise known as universal background checks) previously. Luis Valdes worried that it would pass into law. I expressed skepticism that it would make it to Trump’s desk.
The White House made it clear today that President Donald Trump will veto the measure if it gets that far.
The legislation in question, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, would require universal background checks and close a so-called Charleston loophole that the shooter used in the 2015 massacre at a historic black church to buy a gun. One of the measures is a bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.).
Both bills are expected to pass the House along party lines with limited support from Republicans when they vote on it this week. If the bills pass in the House, they would still need to be sent to the Republican-controlled Senate for approval before reaching Trump.
The White House announced it opposed the bills for violating Second Amendment rights.
“The extensive regulation required by H.R. 8 is incompatible with the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual right to keep arms,” the statement reads. “By overly extending the minimum time that a licensed entity is required to wait for background check results, H.R. 1112 would unduly impose burdensome delays on individuals seeking to purchase a firearm.”
Even CNN, hardly a subsidiary of the National Rifle Association, admits that “Universal Background Checks” would not stop recent mass public shootings in America in their story “Would background checks have stopped recent mass shootings? Probably not.”
In that story, former NRA President David Keene summed it up nicely:
“The tipping point for all this gun control talk about background checks is actually an example of how background checks don’t matter… [the] killer will find a way to get a gun even if he kills the owner.”
Not only that, but the Washington Post fact-checked Marco Rubio’s claim that banning private gun sales would not protect us from spree killers – and found that Rubio was spot on:
Marco Rubio’s claim that no recent mass shootings would have been prevented by gun laws
“None of the major shootings that have occurred in this country over the last few months or years that have outraged us, would gun laws have prevented them.”
— Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), interview on CBS’s “This Morning,” Dec. 4, 2015
A colleague pointed out this statement by Marco Rubio as a possible fact check, suggesting that it was almost certainly incorrect. It posed an interesting challenge, given the reams of data to examine….
The Pinocchio Test
This is certainly a depressing chronicle of death and tragedy. But Rubio’s statement stands up to scrutiny — at least for the recent past, as he framed it. Notably, three of the mass shootings took place in California, which already has strong gun laws including a ban on certain weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Gun-control advocates often point to the experience in other countries that have enacted gun laws that heavily restrict gun ownership; as we have shown, quantitative measures of cross-comparative crime statistics, especially where the crime is not consistently defined (i.e., “mass shooting”), usually end up being apples-to-oranges comparisons. It is possible that some gun-control proposals, such as a ban on large-capacity magazines, would reduce the number of dead in a future shooting, though the evidence for that is heavily disputed. But Rubio was speaking in the past, about specific incidents. He earns a rare Geppetto Checkmark.
When both CNN and the Washington Post agree with the NRA on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of a particular type of gun control, that’s saying something.