Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee defends release of arms dealer

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee defends release of arms dealer
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Sheila Jackson isn’t a big fan of the Second Amendment. She’s repeatedly offered support for gun control; just about any kind of gun control you care to imagine, actually.

Which is why her recent comments about Viktor Bout are so interesting.

The notorious Russian arms dealer has been linked to countless deaths and provided weapons to some of the most awful people imaginable, but Jackson doesn’t see that as a huge problem.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), who once said disdainfully that “gun manufacturers run America” appeared on MSNBC host Joy Reid‘s program on Friday and said of convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, “his weapons might have been used to kill Americans. He has not killed Americans.”

That’s an interesting position to take, especially considering how her party tends to blame the gun industry for the actions of third parties who misuse their products.

Why is it that Glock or Smith & Wesson or Daniel Defense are responsible for what someone else does simply because they made the gun, but Viktor Bout isn’t responsible for the deaths of Americans despite knowing selling guns to people he had every reason to believe would kill Americans?

I mean, look at Bout’s resume, will you?

The New York Post said in July that trading Bout for Griner and Whelan would be a “blunder” as Bout supplied guns and various weapons to “the most vicious warlords in the world,” helped the Taliban take power in Afghanistan, and enabled “murderous groups to kidnap and train thousands of child soldiers,” whom he taught to use rape and torture as methods of war.

Bout began his career in arms dealing after the collapse of the Soviet Union, taking Soviet-made weapons and selling them to warlords and rogue states in Africa, Asia, and South America. The UN accused Bout of supplying arms to Liberian President Charles Taylor to fight a civil war in Sierra Leone.

Now, understand that I don’t think gun dealers are responsible for what others do with their guns, at least in a general sense. If someone walks in and asks the clerk how many school kids they can kill within 10 minutes and the guy sells the gun, then maybe we can talk. That’s not what happens.

Yet if there’s no reason to suspect someone is buying a gun with ill intent, then there’s no chance of fault. Yet people like Jackson Lee routinely want the gun store and the manufacturers to be sued over this.

That’s their right, of course, even if it’s horribly misguided.

What I can’t tolerate is the hypocrisy we see Jackson Lee displaying here. She and her party want to vilify every lawful gun store in the country–gun stores that conduct background checks and will often not sell a gun to anyone that feels too sketchy regardless of what the NICS check says–while giving Bout the same benefit of the doubt she denies American stores.

It’s baffling that she can’t see this hypocritical approach.

Then again, if it weren’t for double standards, it’s unlikely Jackson Lee would have any standards at all.