Posted by Curt on 3 October, 2017 at 4:04 pm. 1 comment.


Jim Geraghty:

I thought I had seen a flicker of progress in the debate about gun control, in that Monday seemed to bring fewer references to the so-called “gun show loophole” that is persistently trotted out as a key legislative priority after a mass shooting.

But I was wrong. While there was more discussion about “bump stocks” and Hillary Clinton’s warnings about loosening restrictions on silencers, some gun control advocates pointed to the “gun show loophole” yet again. Last night Jimmy Kimmel focused on it in his opening monologue, and Chris Murphy, perhaps the most adamant advocate for gun control in the Senate, called for it yesterday.

Some advocates of gun control use the euphemism “universal background checks,” perhaps because they recognize the term “gun show loophole” leaves the impression that insufficiently monitored gun sales at shows are the reason for mass shootings.

But mass shootings do not occur because of a lack of background checks. In almost every high-profile case in recent years, the perpetrator had no criminal record or record of mental illness that barred the purchase of a firearm. The infamous mass shooters in Aurora, Tucson, Roanoke, and Oregon all legally purchased their guns from federally-licensed firearms dealers in accordance with all federal and state laws. In Virginia, politicians ran ads featuring family members of victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, insisting the gun show loophole be closed. But like the others, the Virginia Tech shooter did not get his guns at a gun show; if Virginia had the desired law in place before the shooting, absolutely nothing would have changed.

There are two high-profile examples that don’t fit the mold of legal purchases:

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