A couple of months into the pandemic and we still have an awful lot going on. People are staring job loss in the face. Smart people know that extra $600 a week in their unemployment checks isn’t going to last forever, even as their employment fades into the mists. Others are oblivious to the reality picking up speed and coming down the hill right toward them like the boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Shelves in the supermarkets are still looking a little lean. People all over the country are reporting shortages on staples like beef, to say nothing of toilet paper still being hard to come by. Further, there’s little reason to see this situation doing anything but potentially getting worse in the coming weeks.
So, to address this, do you think various members of Congress are focused like a laser on this?
Of course not. Not when they can score political points by going after guns, especially the scary-sounding “ghost guns.”
Senate Democrats introduced a bill banning untraceable “ghost” guns Thursday amid concerns that the coronavirus pandemic is fueling a spike in demand for the weapons.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) led a group of 15 senators in introducing the Untraceable Firearms Act, which would cover both the ghost guns, their components like unfinished frames and receivers and gun-making kits. The legislation would also require that online kit manufacturers and distributors have a manufacturer’s license, put a serial number on the kits’ frame or receiver and conduct background checks on purchasers.
Blumenthal said in a statement the legislation was urgent in light of reports that demand for the weapons, which can be made using kits or by 3D printing, is rising during the coronavirus outbreak.
“This pandemic is spurring a deeply disturbing demand in untraceable weapons,” said Blumenthal. “Congress must act urgently to stop these homemade ‘ghost guns’ before they spur the next horrifying wave of gun violence.”
I addressed the practicality of such a demand in a post on Thursday. The short version is that such efforts are beyond stupid.
Of course, Blumenthal knows this. He’s so out of touch right now that he thinks this is a winning strategy. Right now, Americans are losing their jobs and looking at food shortages, all while hordes of recently released criminals continue to plague the land, and his thought is how to infringe on people’s Second Amendment rights?
Of course, Blumenthal and his fellow members of Congress are going to eat no matter what and he knows it. What he clearly doesn’t seem to know, though, is that with millions of new gun owners, a lot of long-held myths about guns and gun control in this country have been exposed. People know just how difficult it is to get a gun in many places. They’re disillusioned about gun control.
Instead, they want guns. Many who were handy bought kits and less than 80 percent receivers because they could at least get them and start building a gun in their workshops since they had nothing else to occupy their time.
The upside is that this is Dick Blumenthal in the United States Senate. Even without the partisanship that divides everything in Congress today. Captain Stolen Valor wouldn’t be likely to convince too many in the majority to stand with him on such an idiotic hill.
But, then again, Sen. John Cornyn is quoted as saying he may not bother to oppose this proposal. For him, he argued that it’s buying an assembled gun or an unassembled one, but that’s not a fair standard. A truly unassembled gun would have you buying a completed receiver. Those still require background checks.
This is about taking a bit of metal or plastic that’s not a receiver and turning it into one. As noted in Thursday’s post, there has to be a dividing line. There has to be a point where that “bit of metal” is no longer a receiver, and that’s where people will start with such things if they’re inclined to do so.
The sooner everyone understands this, the better off we’ll all be.