Editorial argues lack of background checks led to Buffalo

AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

The First Amendment, like the Second, applies to everyone. It means ignorant people can say ignorant and stupid things. Frankly, this isn’t news to anyone who has ever spent five minutes on social media.

But it’s always amusing when a member of the press, much less an editorial board, get an opportunity to pen an op-ed, then manages to mangle reality so severely as to be unrecognizable.

That’s what happened at Irish Central, a publication targeting Irish-Americans. You see, according to them, the problem in Buffalo was insufficient background checks.

Polls show that over 90 percent of Americans, including the vast majority of gun owners, and sensible members of the Republican Party, support universal background gun checks. Such laws have been blocked by Congress at the behest of the gun lobby, one of the most powerful forces in America.

That refusal to seek universal background checks led to the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo last weekend when an 18-year-old, who had previously been questioned by police about his extreme views, was able to carry out a massacre of innocent people with a legally held gun.

It was not just any gun. The weapon used was the Bushmaster XM-15, an assault rifle, the very same model that was used in the massacre of innocent children at Sandy Hook, Connecticut in 2012. The gunman had even altered the structure of the rifle to make it possible to shoot more bullets.

The problem, of course, is that the alleged Buffalo killer passed a background check. This is despite the red flag law passed in New York that was supposed to prevent just that.

It’s one thing to believe in universal background checks, but it’s quite another to try and pretend that the killer only obtained his weapon because there weren’t enough background checks when he passed one. This is something anyone could have learned just by looking at the Wikipedia entry on the shooting, for crying out loud.

Yet this editorial couldn’t bother to do even basic research to see how the alleged killer got his firearm.

If they can’t do that, why should we take them at their word on anything else?

I mean, they’re also using old polling numbers as well, but that’s about par for the course with anything to do with gun control. They latch onto one poll that tells them what they want, then beat it to death.

But taken with the basic lack of understanding of the essential facts of what they’re trying to editorialize about, it’s clear that this particular editorial board has less understanding of gun laws than my cat.

There are many arguments one can make for universal background checks. I don’t agree with any of them, but there are some that I could come up with that would almost make me reconsider.

This ain’t one of them.

Of course, after any mass shooting, the anti-Second Amendment types typically use whatever they can to try and push their favorite agendas down people’s throats. Most, however, at least, have enough sense to not pretend the shooting was caused by a lack of a law that clearly would have had no impact.

Unfortunately, Irish Central can’t say that.

Instead, they really made themselves look ridiculous. There’s a stereotype of the Irish being pretty bad about drinking. An editorial this horrendous makes me think there’s a lot more truth to that than many would believe.

After all, someone had to be drunk to think that a guy who passed a background check to buy a gun would be thwarted with background checks. Hey, I know! Why don’t we also ban murder? That would stop him dead in his tracks!

They need to do better.