AP Photo/John Locher
Bernie Sanders is characterized by some, including myself, as something of a doddering old man. He’s like the grandpa on “The Simpsons” who may well yell at clouds at any given point.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are taking him seriously. He almost won the Democratic nomination in 2016, and he’s still up in the lead pack this time around. As a result, it’s no surprise that he’s talking about gun control. After all, it’s a requirement to be anti-gun to run this year.
However, Bernie did himself no favors in his latest comments about gun control.
Sanders touted Medicare for All, as well as proposals for gun control. He called for expanding background checks, banning “assault weapons,” ending the “gun show loophole” that allows people to purchase guns at gun shows without background checks, and for shutting down what he called the “straw man provision” — which he claimed would allow someone to “walk into a gun store, buy a dozen guns, and sell those guns to criminal elements.”
(In fact, according to the pro-gun control Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, straw purchases are already illegal under federal law: “Federal law prohibits straw purchases by criminalizing the making of false statements to an FFL [federal firearms-licensed dealer] about a material fact on ATF Form 4473, or presenting false identification in connection with the firearm purchase.”)
Holy crap, that’s some next-level derp right there.
Straw purchases are, indeed, illegal. The problem is that they’re illegal but rarely prosecuted, which then leads to armed criminals using guns illegally and law-abiding citizens somehow being on the hook for it.
The fact that Bernie thinks this is allowed is baffling, but it also illustrates how little attention anyone should pay to him on anything else. If he thinks there’s a provision of the law that allows me to buy dozens of guns with the intent to sell them to criminals legally, why should anyone take anything he says seriously?
The answer, of course, is that you shouldn’t. The “gun show loophole” doesn’t exist either, for example, so it’s no surprise that he’d spout still more nonsense about guns.
Where this becomes a real problem is that there are people who heard that and thought, “Holy crap! That’s legal? That’s ridiculous. We should do something about that right freaking now.” Only, it’s crap. It’s complete and utter crap. Yet they’ll run with it, and we’ll be debating this for months at a minimum, all because the ancient commie didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.
Though, I’m being a little unfair with Bernie.
After all, none of the other candidates know jack about guns either. He’s not the only one getting fundamental parts of firearm laws wrong. Even military veterans are misrepresenting things, for crying out loud. Bernie is hardly unusual in this regard.
That, however, is the problem. The very people wanting to regulate our rights into non-existence don’t even understand what’s allowed under current law and what isn’t. This should bother anyone, regardless of where they stand on the Second Amendment.