Though she still supports stricter gun control measures, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), in a rare moment of honesty from the anti-gun crowd, admitted to the The New York Times that the Manchin-Toomey amendment, which would expand background checks to gun shows and online gun sales, wouldn’t stop criminals from obtaining a firearm for nefarious purposes.
[A] separate gun measure, an anti-trafficking bill, is the subject of talks between Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, and two Republican senators who voted no on the background check bill. The Republicans, Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, are discussing ways they might support the bill, which would criminalize the shipping or transfer of guns to someone who is barred from possessing a firearm.
“I think trafficking can be the base of the bill, the rock on which everything else stands,” Ms. Gillibrand said. “I also think it’s complementary to background checks because, let’s be honest, criminals aren’t going to buy a gun and go through a background check. So if you really want to go after criminals, you have to have to do both.”
Criminals don’t obey laws — that’s why they’re criminals. Over at Reason, Jacob Sullum points out that the push for new gun control laws, though they won’t really reduce instances of gun violence, is basically a publicity stunt; what he calls the “appearance of doing something.”
Sullum writes that the trafficking proposal is just an example of overcriminalization. “That seems a bit redundant, since transferring a gun to someone you know or have reasonable cause to believe falls into a prohibited category is already a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison,” wrote Sullum. “Apparently Gillibrand wants to make it even more illegal, which she says is ‘complementary to background checks.’ There you have the theory underlying the gun controls favored by President Obama in a nutshell: None of these measures on its own will do anything to reduce crime, but if we pass them all together…well, they still won’t do anything, but they will create the appearance of doing something.”
The only thing these measures are going to do if they’re passed is provide more ammunition to the gun control crowd the next time there is a tragic shooting. They’re going to claim that more laws are needed because the laws on the books didn’t work. These proposals, which will come back up again at some point down the road, are just another step down the road to what further restrictions on gun rights.