Testimony in yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “assault weapon” bill produced at-times contentious exchanges between two witnesses for the bill, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado John Walsh, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn, and Sen. Lindsay Graham, particularly over the subject of non-prosecution of those who lie about their criminal histories on background checks.
“Nearly 80,000 Americans were denied guns in 2010, according to Justice Department data, because they lied or provided inaccurate information about their criminal histories on background-check forms,” The New York Times reported in January. “Yet only 44 of those people were charged with a crime.”
“How many prosecutions “have you taken up for failing a background check since you’ve been U.S. Attorney?” Graham asked Walsh, who admitted “Off the top of my head, I’m not aware of any.”
“What kind of deterrent is that?” Graham challenged. “Why aren’t we prosecuting people who fail a background check?”
“It’s a paper thing,” Chief Flynn shot back when it was his turn to answer questions. “I want to stop the 76,000 people who are buying guns illegally. If you think we’re going to do paperwork prosecutions, you’re wrong.”
Meanwhile, the Orwellian “Think Progress,” which does neither, is proving that the lying left has no shame by telling its readers “Police Chief Embarrasses Lindsey Graham at Gun Hearing.” But then, Flynn always did enjoy a special relationship with the media.
Walsh, in a later back-and-forth with Sen. John Cornyn, argued against prosecuting people who had failed background checks, claiming it wasn’t needed since the prohibited persons had been stopped from buying guns, wholly disregarding the possibility that a criminal thwarted by one obstacle may simply find another way, and that way often produces victims.
“There’s no way the Department of Justice could have prosecuted all 1.5 million people who were rejected over that 15 year period,” Walsh maintained, leaving open the question of how many more millions of otherwise peaceable citizens who simply want to be left alone will become “criminals” should they elect to ignore the new infringements on their right to keep and bear arms being proposed.
The hypocrisy of those backing such infringements is stunning, and not just because the citizen disarmament lobby frequently boasts about how many dangerous criminals have been kept from buying guns thanks to the Brady Act, wanting to enjoy the benefits of such claims, but dismissing them when it comes time for an accounting. Note they’ll never change their claim to one of stopping 1.5 million paperwork violators unworthy of prosecution.
Long-time readers will recall my asking about the disconnect between criminals deterred and criminals prosecuted was the genesis of the “Authorized Journalist” meme: Attempting to ask about it at a public media event resulted in being threatened by law enforcement because they only recognized journalists whom Joe Biden has since termed “legitimate media.”
Here the government has had a perfect opportunity — for many years — to identify criminals they already have “registration lists” on, people presumed by the United States government to be dangerous and unfit to possess firearms, and who have voluntarily incriminated themselves by lying on a form that states right at the top, in bold letters and in no uncertain terms:
WARNING: You may not receive a firearm if prohibited by Federal or State law. The information you provide will be used to determine whether you are prohibited under law from receiving a firearm. Certain violations of the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 921 et. seq., are punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000 fine.
And their excuse is they don’t have time, that it’s not worth going after paperwork violations, and that it’s awful tough to prove what’s on people’s minds and that they’re willfully lying? If that’s the case, why have they pulled out all the stop persecuting the Reese family, ultimately acquitted of or having all major charges against them dismissed, with the U.S. Attorney going so far as to withhold evidence from the jury resulting in the judge ordering a new trial on the remaining counts, that basically, the Deming gun dealers should have known a government plant was lying? The Reese’s were supposed to know what a U.S. Attorney and a major metropolitan police chief say they’d be awful hard-pressed to prove somebody is lying when they’re clearly prohibited and attest that they’re not?
(Just a reminder I feel compelled to raise at this point lest anyone think I’m endorsing punishment for “gun control” violations — I’m merely pointing out the hypocrisy of those who do. This hasn’t changed my belief that any form of registration and permitting is a clear infringement, including being required to undergo a NICS check or fill out a 4473. My longstanding observation remains unshaken that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian.)
If you’re a regular Gun Rights Examiner reader and believe it provides news and perspectives you won’t find in the mainstream media, please subscribe to this column and help spread the word by sharing links, promoting it on social media like Facebook (Dan) and Twitter (@dcodrea), and telling your like-minded friends about it. And for more commentary, be sure to visit “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.”