Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., appears determined to use the weekend’s atrocious mass murders to pass legislation he says he’s wanted to pass for years.
That legislation, however, wouldn’t have done anything to prevent those shootings, based on current available facts.
At a Tuesday news conference, Schumer called for new gun background check legislation in the wake of weekend shootings in Ohio and Texas and batted away questions about other gun bills.
Flanked by New York Republican Rep. Peter King in the parking lot of a Long Island Walmart, Schumer called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to “do the right thing,” and call the Senate back to vote on background check legislation passed by the House earlier this year.
The day before, Schumer teamed up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call for the same thing.
During questions at the end of Tuesday’s news conference, however, Schumer dismissed the idea of working on other gun policy proposals instead.
When asked about joining discussions with Republicans senators tasked with brainstorming legislation in response to the shootings, Schumer said, “We’ve discussed this long enough. This bill has bipartisan consensus; the experts, the groups, everyone all believes it’s the right thing to do. Discussions are fine; let’s pass this bill now.”
When asked about the “red flag” policy now supported by President Trump, Schumer said that “there are lots of other things that could be done. This is number one to Peter, to me, and to America.”
When pressed for further comment on the matter, Schumer said that “the idea of a ‘red flag’ law is okay, but it doesn’t substitute for doing this; it’s not enough.”
The legislation Schumer refers to is also known as H.R. 8. It was introduced just a few days into the new Congress and passed the next month. It extends federal background checks, requiring them for private firearms transactions that don’t cross state lines.
The problem with taking that position in this instance is that it doesn’t appear that the House-passed background checks bill would have done anything to prevent either shooter from getting their guns.
We know that the gun used in the Dayton shooting was bought online and transferred through a federal dealer, which would have required a background check.
And while it remains unclear whether or not a background check was performed in the case of the El Paso shooter, authorities say he purchased the gun legally and there’s been nothing reported about his past that would have disqualified him from being able to do so.
As CR Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz explained earlier this week, “Basic criminology teaches that most murderers first build up a prior rap sheet before committing the ultimate offense … Unfortunately, most of these mass murderers defy that trend.”
Background checks can’t catch people who haven’t done anything to get themselves into the background check system to begin with. Expanding them to private, in-state transactions can’t change that fact.
Video of Schumer and King’s news conference is available here:
Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Pete King call for the Senate to pass bipartisan gun safety legislation that has been passed by the House. Courtesy: WNYW
Posted by Fox News on Tuesday, August 6, 2019