Does it not always seem to be the way things go: those who are doing what they should, pay because others do not? And this appears to be the idea behind the President’s new gun restrictions. Forget for a moment that this is illegal and will not remain law if there is a Republican in the White House after this year. But, focus instead on what it claims to be doing to stop gun violence.
“Everybody should have to abide by the same rules,” Obama said.
The president, speaking at the White House, said background checks “make a difference” and will be expanded so that they can cover purchases online, at gun shows and in other venues. This would put the onus on most sellers to get a license and conduct the checks.
“Anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks or be subject to criminal prosecutions,” he said. Obama was flanked by victims of gun violence and introduced by Mark Barden, whose son was killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting.
This will mean that those who are not gun dealers will have to register and do background checks. But, why is this important. Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, as I reported, the Federal government was not able to track every gun purchase. This will shrink the number of people buying guns without notice.
Second, it will increase the price of guns, especially those sold at gun shows and flea markets. The increase will come as those who currently do not hold a dealer’s license will have to pay to get one. This cost will cause them to transfer the cost to the buyer. Hence, the price will increase. This will, in turn, price some people out of being able to afford a gun.
At the heart of Obama’s plan is a more sweeping definition of gun dealers that the administration hopes will expand the number of gun sales subject to background checks. At gun shows, websites and flea markets, sellers often skirt that requirement by declining to register as licensed dealers, but officials said the new federal guidance clarifies that it applies to anyone “in the business” of selling firearms.
And since this was at the heart of the Executive Order, one would think that this is where at least some of the firearms used in mass shootings had come from. If so, one would be wrong.
The controls expand background checks to cover more private sellers, although private sellers are not the source of guns used in mass shootings and high-profile shootings–the very kinds of incidents Obama claims he wants to reduce.
Every mass shooter and high profile shooter in recent memory–with
the exception of those who stole their guns–bought their guns via background checks. For this reason, even the New York Daily News described Obama’s pending background check expansion as
“meaningless,” saying, “the last 15 mass killers all passed… background checks” to acquire firearms.
So, let that sink in. In the last 15 mass shootings, not one of them was committed with a firearm purchased by the very means that the President is seeking to restrict. So, what is the purpose? It will not accomplish its stated goal. It has only the effect of punishing those who are already keeping the law.