I could swear NBC this morning promised to tell me all about The President's Exeutive Order that would, ahem, "Close the gun show loophole." Hasn't happened yet. Maybe he's saving up spit?
By this hoary construction, "gun show loophole," they appear to mean a ban of private sales, since FFLs -- who comprise the majority of sellers at gun shows around here -- have no "loophole" exempting them from Federal background checks and record-keeping when they sell at gun shows. The rules for private sales vary from state-to-state but aren't any different at gun show than they are in a living room or garage sale -- and there's no private cross-state-border selling, at least of handguns; that'd be a Federal crime already.
I'd love, looooove to hear how a ban on private sales would have stopped the tragic (yet pissant*) outrage in California, which was committed, last I heard, with a couple of legally in-state purchased handguns, in a state with very strict procedures (the antigun Brady organization gives CA their very highest marks for limits on purchase), and a couple of AR-15 rifles that were either bought legally if they had all the California-compliant features (fixed, small-capacity magazines being the salient one) or transferred illegally if they were privately sold (a no-no in CA) and/or had features that made them non-compliant or otherwise violations of the arcane "assault weapons" laws of that state. Possibly making that purchase even illegaller would not have been a deterrent.
Neither of the killers were on the secret government "terror watch list" a/k/a the "no-fly list." So the other measure being pushed, of banning anyone on that secret list from legally buying a gun, would not have stopped the crime, either.
Will someone please tell me why it is okay to have a secret list of people that bars them from certain activities, with no way of challenging one's inclusion, no way of knowing if you are on it or not? That's before we get to denying a person's civil rights on the basis of their being on such a list.
On the other hand, if there are people known to the Feds to be so dangerous they must be kept off airplanes, why are they out there walking around, driving cars, buying LP gas and fireworks, going to the mall, etc. etc.? If they're so much a threat, why aren't they in the basement of an FBI building right now, learning to breathe water? (Ooops, that's right, "we don't waterboard here," they'd have to be taken to some country where that's okay; and they'd have to be flown there, which they can't 'cos they are on the list, so hey, Catch-22, amirite?) Look, if they're up to no good, arrest 'em, charge 'em, try 'em and if found guilty, lock 'em up. "Secret lists" are bullshit -- especially once the cat is out of the bag.
I'm still waiting to hear that executive order. Still waiting for the knock on the door. "Parlous times." And not a time to go gentle into the miserable night.
* Yes, pissant. Small-time. Out of some 38.8 million people in California, more than the entire population of Canada, the junior jihadis killed 14, wounded 17. Mostly workers in a city Health Department. Yeah, that'll bring the Great Satan of the U.S. right to its knees.... As a military action, it wasn't even a pinprick. It is a huge human tragedy, make no mistake; the attack was an outrage, a crime. But in any military sense it was utterly valueless, even compared to, say, an IRA bombing. They achieved nothing.
4 months ago