POLITIFACT ADMITS: Handgun Waiting Periods Don't Save Lives

You would think that anyone with a modicum of common sense would know that handgun waiting periods have little to no impact on criminal activity.

Professional criminals do not get their firearms through legal avenues, but through theft, the black market, straw purchases, and the Department of Justice.

Opportunistic and “crime of passion” criminals running on emotion either typically A). already have firearms, or B). use other objects as weapons when a firearm isn’t available, typically to the same deadly end, and typically though much more prolonged and brutal attacks with impact or stabbing weapons.

Politifact felt compelled to challenge a Wisconsin State Senator who mentioned this self-evident fact.

Amid a surge in murderous gun violence in Milwaukee, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted to repeal a state law that requires a two-day wait for handgun purchases.

Just before the April 21, 2015, vote, the author of the bill, state Sen. Van Wanggaard, made this waiting-period claim:

“There’s no statistical evidence that it reduces violence whatsoever,” the Racine Republican declared.

With the repeal bill moving to the GOP-controlled Assembly, and likely headed for GOP Gov. Scott Walker, let’s see if Wanggaard is right.

It must have nearly killed Politifact to concede that Wanggaard’s statement is “mostly true.”

Wanggaard said, “There’s no statistical evidence that” a waiting period for handgun purchases “reduces violence whatsoever.”

There is research to indicate that handgun waiting periods are linked with lower suicide rates. But we did not find evidence that waiting periods coincide with less violence being committed by one person against another. If such evidence emerges, we may revisit this item.

As it stands, Wanggaard’s statement is accurate but needs clarification — our definition of Mostly True.

But even that admission is selling Wanggaard short. The ruling should have been “Entirely True,” and here’s why.

Politifact—always reliably left-leaning in their biases—cited only well-known gun control sources throughout their “fact check,” and didn’t bother to challenge their “experts” nearly as much as they did this state senator.

If they were that honest, they’d have to concede that there is no evidence whatsoever that a 48 hour handgun waiting period even prevents suicide.

Sadly, depression is a real and seriously debilitating mental illness for many people, and one that we have not been able to fully understand the root causes of, much less successfully treat. People suffering from long-term and cyclical depression and other mental health maladies are simply not struck by a one-off desire to harm themselves that never again occurs.

Sadly, I’ve witnessed this firsthand with numerous people. I’ve seen the results of both successful and unsuccessful attempts more times than I care to think about, and the one common denominator is that those people who seriously want to end their lives will eventually find a way to do so.

The best these anti-gun “experts” can legitimately claim is that a 48-hour waiting period may keep someone from using that specific implement to end their lives during that very brief time period. The reality of the matter, however, is that there are many options for suicide other than firearms, as the incredibly suicidal and gun-free Japanese people can attest.

Both sides of the debate would like to find a way to get people in deep mental distress the help they need to find their way out of the pain and hurt that they are experiencing. Unfortunately, waiting periods have no impact on the seriously intent on taking their own lives

These waiting period unfortunately do serve as an impediment to protecting the lives of those law-abiding citizens who may suddenly find themselves needing a firearm to protect themselves and their family.

It’s time to end waiting period in the 10 states that still have this archaic requirement on the books.