A new article in Mother Jones profiling anti-gun Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy’s continuing crusade to push gun control once again misses the mark, suggesting that universal background checks is the goal of the gun prohibition lobby—and may somehow be the panacea everyone is looking for—when it may be nothing more than snake oil.
“Since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that forged Murphy into the Senate’s leading gun control advocate,” the article, bylined by Kara Voght says, “polls consistently find that a majority of Americans support background checks for every gun sale.”
But a background check had nothing to do with Sandy Hook, and everybody knows it. The deranged killer in that case murdered his mother, who had legally purchased the firearms, and took those guns to the school.
Likewise, infamous “Isla Vista” killer Elliot Rodger passed three California background checks and endured three ten-day waiting periods purchasing three handguns prior to his stabbing-and-shooting murderous rampage.
What the article misses completely is the fact that all of the gun control laws already in place, plus laws against homicide and criminal assault, haven’t deterred any of the people responsible for the mayhem. Gun rights advocates have been repeating this bit of common sense for years, but for people like Sen. Murphy, it always seems to fall on deaf ears.
No better proof of that can be found than in Chicago, where earlier this week, eight people were murdered in a single day, making it the bloodiest day of the year so far, and the long, hot summer months when killing traditionally takes an uptick, is still on the horizon.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, there have been “at least 297 homicides so far this year in Chicago.” The body count has been brutal over the past few years, and while some politicians blame the flow of guns from neighboring Indiana and other states, that doesn’t hold water when one compares the murder rates between Indiana and Illinois.
In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, the FBI Uniform Crime Report shows Indiana reported 247 slayings. That same year in just Chicago, there were 492 slayings, almost exactly twice the number of murders. If gun laws in Indiana are so lax, why aren’t there more slayings in that state?
The problem isn’t firearms, but the people misusing them, gun rights activists argue.
If so-called “universal background checks” were really the solution, criminals would not be shooting up the urban landscape in cities such as Seattle, Portland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Orleans and Los Angeles. So, whether the public supports such checks may really be of no consequence. The solution to violent crime is never found in a popularity contest.