This past week liberal Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) spent a few hours speaking about the need to strip Americans of their rights in order to “protect” the people. While Murphy never actually explained how making innocent citizens defenseless would actually make them safer, he did prattle on and on about the evil of firearms. Here’s the problem: most of what Murphy said during his little filibuster was factually inaccurate and incredibly misleading. Thankfully, his fellow Senator, Mike Lee (R-UT), was willing to help Murphy clear the air and right the record. Over the weekend Lee took to social media in an effort to explain some of what Murphy got so incredibly wrong.
One might hope that after the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, Democrats would get serious about protecting Americans from ISIS. But instead of uniting with Republicans to identify common ground in the fight against terrorism, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) launched a 15-hour filibuster Wednesday demanding an end to what he called the “gun show loophole.”
Now Murphy was honest enough to admit that the Orlando shooter did pass a background check, but then Murphy went on to say:
“Let’s say that the Orlando shooter was on a list that prohibited him from buying a weapon and he went to a store and was denied that AR-15-style weapon because he was on that list. But all he would have to do is go to a weekend gun show or go online, and he would be able to get that weapon without a background check.”
This is just plain false. There is no such thing as a “gun show” or “online” loophole to federal background check requirements. Federal law does not care where or when a gun transaction happens, only who is involved in that transaction.
So if you go to a “weekend gun show” and buy a gun from one of the many licensed gun dealers there, you will still have to undergo a background check. Same if you buy a gun online.
What matters is who is selling the gun and how often they sell them. If you sell your friends or neighbors an occasional firearm, you don’t need to conduct a background check. But if you are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, then you do need to administer a background check on every sale.
And that wasn’t the only tall tale Murphy told. Murphy also claimed that: “AR-15-style weapons weren’t legal in the United States until 2004 after being banned for 10 years. It is not coincidental that there was a massive increase in mass shootings in this country after 2004.”
Again, this is just plain false. According to Northeastern University criminology professor James Alan Fox there were about 18 mass shooting a year in the two decades before the assault weapons ban, 19 mass shootings a year in the decade during the assault weapons ban, and 21 mass shooting a year after the ban.
Murphy’s post-assault-weapons-ban shooting spike is pure myth.
Finally, Murphy also claimed, “in States that have imposed those reasonable limitations” on guns “there are less gun crimes. There are less homicides.”
This is also false. While it is true that states with more guns do have more “gun deaths,” once you remove suicides from the equation, the correlation disappears. When you look at just “gun crimes” and “homicides” strict gun control laws have no effect.
Emotions are always high after a deadly attack. Americans want to do something to stop the pain.
But acting on emotion, and not facts, is terrible public policy and a danger to all of our constitutional rights.
Amen, Senator Lee. We need more leaders like Mike Lee defending our constitutional rights instead of rushing to give them away.
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