Why gun control wouldn't have stopped Texas standoff

AP Photo/Jake Bleiberg

While the push hasn’t been as significant as it might have been, there has been a push for more gun control following the standoff in a Texas synagogue earlier this month. That’s hardly surprising.

Those who have been part of that push claim that with stricter gun control laws, the gunman would never have been able to obtain a firearm. Without a gun, he couldn’t have held anyone hostage.

However, that’s simply not true.

“Texans with known histories of violence can easily acquire weapons, including assault weapons, without a background check or sale record, no questions asked,” Ari Freilich, the state policy director at Giffords, a national gun control group, also said in a statement, reported by the Texas Tribune. “This is obviously a particularly attractive source of weapons for people who know they would not pass a background check.”

However, President Joe Biden, who spoke on Saturday after the hostage situation had been resolved, said Akram’s gun was illegally purchased.

“Allegedly, [Akram] purchased…[the weapons] on the street,” Biden said. “Now what that means, I don’t know. Whether he purchased it from an individual in a homeless shelter or a homeless community, or whether — because that’s where he said he was — it’s hard to tell.  I just don’t know.”

Gun control advocates have suggested that background checks could stop incidents like this, but in fact, this should be an example of where gun background checks make no difference. Akram didn’t attempt to legally purchase the firearm, because he couldn’t do so.


Akram didn’t try to buy one lawfully. He didn’t even attempt it, so far as we can tell, because he couldn’t. He broke plenty of gun control laws already on the books by obtaining a firearm in the first place.

“But if Texas had universal background checks, it would have stopped him,” someone might respond. Of course, such a person would be an idiot.

It’s not like Akram scoured the internet looking for private gun sales he could take advantage of. The fact that he wasn’t an American would have been obvious and most gun owners looking to sell a firearm or two would notice the British accent and ask to see some proof of citizenship. Something.

He didn’t even try.

Instead, he apparently went to the most desperate people he could imagine, people who would sell anything for a few bucks, and bought the gun there.

What gun control laws would have prevented him from doing that? He bought the gun off the black market because he knew he couldn’t have done so otherwise, and you’re not going to legislate the black market away. By definition, the black market is already illegal.

I get that the anti-Second Amendment types will continue to push for gun control in the wake of anything, but as per usual, their “solutions” tend to ignore the reality of what actually happened and instead are little more than a wish list of things they wanted anyway.

But none of that stuff would remotely impact what happened in Texas earlier this month. Not in any way, shape, or form.