Anti-gun-rights extremists are moving swiftly to exploit the tragic shooting in Texas to bolster their demand for so-called universal background checks, which gun owners believe is actually an insidious national gun registration scheme.
The Odessa murderer failed a 2014 background check, but he subsequently acquired a firearm via a private transaction. This is an anomaly, since nearly every other mass shooter in recent memory legally purchased their firearms and passed background checks in the process. Two murdered their parents and took their legally purchased guns.
Still, gun control zealots want a sweeping and invasive new national mandate. Public policy should never be decided on a single incident.
Gun prohibitionists hoping to capitalize on this single exception are overlooking an important new development in the investigation. Reports claim the firearm was illegally manufactured and sold, which would preclude the effectiveness of any background check or various other gun laws. But facts never matter to the gun control crowd.
Anti-Second Amendment extremists are presently hailing the decision by Walmart to stop selling most ammunition as well as handguns and modern sporting rifles, the latter because such rifles were used in recent incidents.
Consider this: In 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, 10,874 people died in alcohol-related crashes. That same year, according to the FBI, 403 people were killed with rifles.
Yet suddenly self-righteous Walmart continues to sell alcohol.
The news media, politicians and gun prohibitionists didn’t utter a peep when a legally armed citizen shot a violent madman in a Walmart parking lot last year in Washington state.
When will we see a major newspaper publish an editorial opposing a gun control scheme that penalizes law-abiding citizens? We would like to see where a First Amendment advocate draws the line on an infringement of the Second Amendment.
If we knew what they think is unreasonable, it could open a long-demanded dialogue between anti-gun and pro-rights advocates.
Alan Gottlieb is founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Odessa shooting: Background checks policy shouldn't ride on just this