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Bipartisan Gun Background Checks Act of 2019 Goes Against Public Opinion

With Democrats now in control of the House of Representatives, and despite losing seats in the Senate, the anti-gun crowd is pretending to have a national mandate to erode the Second Amendment. The panacea for the nation’s ills, it would seem to them, is to really make sure anyone looking to buy a firearm must clear a background check. Doing so, they say, would eliminate mass murders and greatly reduce gun violence. They even claim the majority of U.S. citizens want stricter gun laws.

A prime example is a recent Op-Ed by two former GOP members of the House of Representatives and published in the Washington Post. Ryan Costello, who formerly represented Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District during the past two terms – before losing his most recent race. That district is where Robert Bowers used an AR 15 and handguns to murder 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The other former GOP representative is Carlos Curbelo, who formerly represented Florida’s 26th Congressional District the past two terms, before losing his most recent race. Curbelo’s former district contains Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School, where Nicholas Cruz used an AR15 to gun down 17 former classmates in a gun-free zone.

Like many failed, short-term politicians, Costello and Curbelo now are paid lobbyists, this time as strategic advisers for Everytown for Gun Safety. That organization is backing the latest foolish effort to “curb gun violence” by continuing to do virtually the same thing, while expecting a different result.

Costello and Curbelo claim the so-called Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 would have stopped the bloody attacks in their own districts, and prevent future deadly attacks.

In their Op-Ed, they claim, “As conservatives with a deep respect for the Second Amendment and as former Republican members of Congress, we urge our fellow Republicans in the House and Senate to get behind this legislation to require background checks on all gun sales.”

They continued, “If you watch a lot of cable news or subscribe to National Rifle Association newsletters, you would be forgiven for believing that gun safety vs. believing in the Second Amendment is an either-or proposition. The truth is, the American people know that our right to protect our families goes hand in hand with laws that help keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. The Bipartisan Background Checks Act is not only consistent with the Second Amendment; it’s also as common-sense as any piece of legislation we voted on during our combined eight years in Congress.”

So, two junior former members of Congress claim in the very short time they both spent in Congress – a combined eight years over just the past two terms – nothing this good ever showed up to protect innocent lives. But, a quick glimpse beneath the surface shows they are pushing a blatantly false narrative.

The narrative goes like this: Requiring a “background check for every gun sale — not just for sales by licensed dealers, as the Brady Act has required since it went into effect in 1994, but also for unlicensed sales between strangers who meet online or at gun shows. It is a common-sense way to fully carry out the spirit of that existing federal law.

“This bill doesn’t take away anyone’s guns, create a firearms registry or threaten the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. It simply ensures that people who would fail a background check if they attempted to buy a gun from a licensed dealer in a brick-and-mortar store can’t go to an unlicensed online seller to buy a gun without the check.”

Yet, what they propose would have stopped nothing. Cruz and Bowers bought their firearms legally and submitted to background checks. Cruz passed his background check with no issues whatsoever. Bowers had no criminal history or history of violence. Neither bought a firearm from online sources or alleged unlicensed dealers. In fact, virtually all online gun sellers require FFL transfers to complete transactions. That means background checks.

The formers GOP representatives claim polling data show the general public backs stricter gun laws, yet, Gallup public opinion data shows that is not the case. Most recent polling results from Gallup shows about 46 percent of U.S. citizens are dissatisfied with current gun laws and want them to become stricter. The same poll shows a majority of those polled – about 52 percent, are satisfied with the current state of gun laws, or want them made less strict. Only 2 percent had no opinion.

Clearly, there is no mandate to push legislation that would accomplish nothing – aside from the further erosion of Second Amendment rights.


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