Gun violence lowest since 1960s, except in gun free zones
(SOURCE) President Obama has once again threatened to use executive action to ensure that background checks become mandatory on all gun sales. However, the White House has admitted such a law would have done nothing to prevent this week’s San Bernardino shooting.
As several gun control measures proposed by Democrats were shot down in the Senate yesterday, the White House continues to look to a possible executive order that would change the meaning of the existing law to force all gun sales, even private ones, to go through the background check system.
It is unclear how this would be enforced. Currently, it is estimated that upwards of 40% of guns that change hands, do so without background checks. Many are not even sales.
In addition, the majority of mass shooters in recent years all actually PASSED background checks.
The shooters at Virginia Tech, the Aurora Colorado movie theater, Fort Hood, Isla Vista, the Washington Navy Yard, the attempted mass killing at Arapahoe High School ALL passed background checks.
The shooter at Washington Navy Yard even managed to buy his firearm after the background check system was supposedly strengthened following the incident at Virgina Tech.
The BATF has determined that Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two shooters in San Bernardino, also legally purchased two of the weapons at a gun shop in Corona. Two others were legally purchased and given to him by a friend, federal officials said Thursday.
When asked Thursday if he believed that Obama’s proposed executive action on background checks would have prevented the massacre, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, “Of course not.”
ABC News reporter Jon Karl asked, “Did [Obama] have any indication… if Congress instituted stronger background checks, it would have prevented this incident?”
Earnest responded, “In this incident, of course not.”
“But the president is confident, and I think common-sense-thinking Americans are confident, that if there are things that Congress can do to make it harder for individuals who shouldn’t have guns from getting them, then Congress should act and pass a law accordingly, because that law can be implemented in a way that doesn’t undermine the the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” Earnest added.
The reporter kept on at Earnest, asking him why the White House continually says it makes sense to institute more background checks, while admitting that would do nothing to prevent mass shootings.
“The president made these comments specifically when asked about this shooting. So I’m wondering why he kind of immediate fell back to Congress needs to pass more gun legislation.” Karl stated.
“Because the president is determined to ensure that these kinds of incidents of mass shootings aren’t considered routine, and he’s determined to press Congress at every turn to take steps –” Earnest said.
“But you just acknowledged that his proposal wouldn’t have done anything to prevent this incident,” Karl replied
Earnest then again claimed ”we are talking about future incidents,” and added that there are “too many members of Congress that are terrified of the NRA.”
The reporter still didn’t let up, asking “What is the relevance to what happened in San Bernardino if the provisions you are talking about, as you acknowledged, would have done nothing to prevent this shooting? Why is it part of this discussion?”
Earnest said, “This discussion is about what we can do to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
He also claimed that while it is “hypothetical,” tougher background checks “could” prevent terrorist incidents. Earnest did not expand on the point when asked how so.
While the Obama administration is seemingly hell bent on going after stricter gun control, research from Pew Research Center, the FBI, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals that gun violence in the US is actually on the decline, and is at its lowest since the 1960s.
In addition, gun crime, despite an exponential increase in privately owned firearms over the same period, has steadily declined for about 20 years, except for high-profile shootings in gun-free zones.