In a highly offensive political stunt, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., announced Monday night in a Facebook live video that he had walked out of a moment of silence on the House floor for the victims of Sunday’s church massacre in Texas. Congressman Lieu declared that he “will not be silent” and demanded immediate action on gun control.
“My colleagues right now are doing a moment of silence in the House of Representatives chambers,” Lieu said. “I respect their right to do that and I myself have participated in many of them.”
“But I can’t do this again; I’ve been to too many moments of silences. In just my short period in Congress three of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred. I will not be silent.”
By skipping the moment of silence and declaring what he did to the whole world, Lieu instantly drew attention to himself. He took advantage of the situation to make a series of gun control demands.
“I urge us to pass reasonable gun safety legislation, including a universal background check law supported by 80 percent of Americans, a ban on assault rifles, and a ban on bump stocks,” he said.
“We need to do that. We cannot be silent. We need to act now.”
Let’s go through these one at a time, because each of these ideas is an exercise in futility.
First, there is already a background check in place that was supposed to stop the Texas church shooter. It failed. It failed because of a lack of proper law enforcement and a bloated federal bureaucracy. The shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, was previously convicted of domestic violence. In 2012, while he was serving in the Air Force, he fractured his infant stepson’s skull and assaulted his wife.
His conviction for these terrible crimes disqualified him from legal gun ownership. But the Air Force failed to submit his records to a federal database used in background checks. So when a background check was run on Kelley, nothing came up to prevent him from buying a firearm.
A new universal background check law would not have stopped this oversight. If the federal government cannot properly enforce laws already on the books, how can anyone possibly expect the addition of new laws and a new federal database to work properly?
Second, a ban on media-named “assault rifles” like the AR-15 wouldn’t have disarmed Kelley. But it would have disarmed Stephen Willeford, the good guy with a gun who stopped Kelley, and potentially endangered more people.
In an interview with CRTV host Steven Crowder, Willeford revealed that when he confronted Kelley, who had shot up the church with an AR-15 rifle, Kelley was garbed in tactical gear, a SWAT-style helmet with a visor, and a bulletproof Kevlar vest. Willeford said Kelley was also in possession of a handgun at the time he engaged him. Willeford, armed with his own AR-15 rifle, managed to shoot Kelley in an exposed area on his side between the pieces of his Kevlar vest.
In the interview, Willeford stressed to Crowder that if he had not had his AR-15, he would not have been able to stop Kelley, and only God knows what Kelley might have done next.
“If I had run out of the house, and maybe this is a political plug or whatever, but if I had run out of the house with a pistol and faced bulletproof vests and Kevlar helmets, it might’ve been futile,” Willeford said. “I ran out with an AR-15 and that’s what he was shooting the place up with. And I hate to politicize that but that’s reality.”
Third, a ban on bump stocks is largely meaningless, as even the liberal Huffington Post figured out. Bump firing is a technique, not a weapons modification. All a bump stock does is replace the stock on a rifle to make bump firing easier to perform.
Bump stocks are an “insignificant portion of the market,” to quote the HuffPo. Banning their sale will not remove the currently legal gun accessories from the market, and as gun expert Paul Glasco of the TV show “Legally Armed America” explained, bump stocks “are not viable options when it comes to accuracy and trying to be proficient with a firearm,” and “only a jackass would use one.”
So Congressman Lieu, despicably and disrespectfully, walked out on a moment of silence for the victims of the Texas church massacre to push for gun control measures that would be utterly pointless and entirely ineffective at stopping mass shootings or saving those now dead.
All Rep. Lieu’s jackass stunt will accomplish is scoring political points with the ignorant. Shame on him.
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Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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