For me, the most significant sentence in the article, and one curiously overlooked by the early commentators, is this: “If we’re serious about keeping guns away from someone who’s made up his mind to kill, then we can’t allow a situation where a responsible seller denies him a weapon at one store, but he effortlessly buys the same gun someplace else.” This is an unambiguous reference to a deadly anomaly in our gun laws. Under the Brady Law background check system, if a gun is purchased from a licensed dealer, there must be a background check, but in most states, if it is purchased from an unlicensed private seller, no check is required. Often these private sales occur at gun shows – thus legislation has been introduced to close this “gun show loophole.”Indeed, many people on both sides of the debate accept that background checks are the first and most important policy change needed.
Although Dennis Henigan didn't allude to Obama's history of making promises which remain unfulfilled, he did sum up his statement with a type of warning.
What's your opinion? Given the widespread agreement on the necessity of background checks, do you think President Obama will follow through on this? Wouldn't it be possible for him to do so without alienating gun owners at large?At some point soon, the President must move beyond discussion to action and leadership. Far from being part of the solution, the NRA has shown, once again, that it is the problem. If President Obama truly wants a system that no longer allows countless violent criminals to “effortlessly” avoid background checks, eventually he will have no choice but to confront the gun lobby, and defeat it.
What do you think? Please leave a comment.