Is it too soon to talk about gun control (sarcasm)?
After the mass killings in El Paso and Dayton, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talked with Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R) about how the federal government could prevent similar occurrences in the future. Well he’s got the NRA party line down!
“I’m a strong defender of Second Amendment rights and I’m not really looking to water those things down to pass laws that really are ineffective.”
Well what exactly does he mean by laws that are ineffective? One of them is the push to expand background checks to all gun sales with a few exceptions. He just doesn’t see their effectiveness.
“The vast majority of purchases go through that background check,” Johnson said. “Let me point out: It hasn’t prevented these tragedies, has it? So, I don’t think Washington has a whole lot of solutions in terms of this particular problem.”
Johnson cast doubts about expanding background checks. He voted against such legislation in 2013. He missed a vote on the issue in 2015 but said at the time he opposed the idea.
“I’ll consider pieces of legislation when it’s before me but I voted no in the past because my evaluation is I just really don’t think it’s going to move the needle in terms of effectiveness,” Johnson said Wednesday.
Well…we do know of one local mass murder that may have been prevented by universal background checks. The article even mentions it…the shooting at the Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield a few years ago. And from preliminary reports, the gunman in Philadelphia who wounded six police officers during a stand off shouldn’t have been able to own fire arms either.
Given that we already have background checks for many sales of fire arms…and that requirement has withstood court challenges…extending it to all gun sales should be a no brainer. Will it eliminate all mass shootings? No, of course not, the senator is correct on that matter. But what if it had prevented the Brookfield shooting or that mess in Philadelphia? Wouldn’t saving some lives be better than throwing up our hands as Senator Johnson has done?
But I mentioned that he didn’t feel the same about amendments other than the 2nd. Well, the senator would like authorities to have more access to medical records…cause as we know…all of these shooters are mentally ill.
Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said he’d rather put the focus on making school buildings safer and giving police officers easier access to health and school records.emphasis mine
Seems to me that that access might violate, maybe, the 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments…but hell…who cares…it isn’t the 2nd! And of course, as far as health records…there’s that pesky HIPAA law!
“It’s hard to protect people in an open society without becoming a police state,” he said.
But isn’t providing police additional and new access to personal records exactly one step closer to a police state?
Anyway…I fully support extending background checks on the sale of fire arms to any and all sales. This is a common sense move that…agreed…won’t stop all of the mass murders the US has and will certainly experience…but if it prevents some…it is worth doing. Every life saved is a life saved.