The White House is weighing a far broader and more comprehensive approach to curbing the nation’s gun violence than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, according to multiple people involved in the administration’s discussions.
A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said.
What, you hoped they were coming up with something original? It bears pointing out that not one of those provisions — not one — would have prevented Sandy Hook. The guns used were legal and the shooter’s mother would have passed a background check. The shooter wasn’t a minor. And it was already illegal to have guns near a school. But I guess we could have fined the shooter’s corpse afterward.
Moreover, it’s not clear that, apart from the strengthened mental health checks, these would prevent any shooting whatsoever. Criminals don’t obey the law. They don’t care about gun-free school laws. Many of them don’t buy weapons legally (the Sandy Hook shooter stole his). This will make it feel like we’re doing something by inconveniencing millions of law-abiding citizens. But it will have little impact on gun violence.
One could argue that an assault weapons ban or magazine limit might have limited the carnage. I’m not convinced. But at least that’s an argument. This? Honestly, I’m reminded of the way TSA respond to terrorism. Every time a terrorist attack happens, TSA enact some new rule that has little to do with what happened. They clearly have a list of infringements on our liberties and use each terrorist act to advance the next one. It’s clear that the gun-grabbers have a list of steps to take. And these are the next ones.
I’m fine with strengthening mental health checks. “Universal background checks” is, I suspect, code for trying to put background checks in place for private sales. But making such a system available to private sellers is fine. But tracking weapons is simply not on (less than 1 in 25,000 guns is used to commit a murder). And making gun-free schools even more gun-free is an appeal to magic. It might make us feel good, but there’s little evidence it will do anythingg.
On the opposite end of the gun debate — the one I call reality — we have this:
A woman hiding in her attic with children shot an intruder multiple times before fleeing to safety Friday.
The incident happened at a home on Henderson Ridge Lane in Loganville around 1 p.m. The woman was working in an upstairs office when she spotted a strange man outside a window, according to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said she took her 9-year-old twins to a crawlspace before the man broke in using a crowbar.
But the man eventually found the family.
“The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver,” Chapman told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
The woman then shot him five times, but he survived, Chapman said. He said the woman ran out of bullets but threatened to shoot the intruder if he moved.
Holy shit, Loganville? I’ve been to Loganville. Anyway, this guy managed to drive away before passing out. She injured a number of internal organs and it’s not clear that he’ll survive.
Would this man have harmed this woman and her children? Only he and God know. But I do know this: in that situation, I wouldn’t want to cling to the hope that the serial criminal who’d broken into my house was going to be merciful. And I wouldn’t want to sit there and wait until the cops arrived.