Twenty-three year old Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, before taking his own life. Cho had been ordered by a court to seek mental health help, and had a history of bizarre behavior and violent threats. Cho picks up a Walther P-22 pistol he purchased online on February 2 from an out-of-state dealer at JND Pawn shop in Blacksburg, across the street from Virginia Tech. Cho purchases a 9mm Glock pistol and 50 rounds of ammunition from Roanoke Firearms for $571. On April 16, 2007 hco murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech.
Now Republicans want to open the “Crazy Peple” loophole up again at the behest of the NRA.
Wednesday morning, the Senate decided to join their brethren and sistren in the House of Representatives and vote to place guns in the hands of people too mentally unstable to manage their own bank accounts. Really.
With every Republican and a few mindless Democrats joining them because “please don’t hurt me, voters, already supporting my opponent” seems like sound strategy, the Senate gave its imprimatur to H.J. Res. 40. This will rollback the Social Security Administration (SSA) policy begun under President Obama to share with our NICS background check system the 75,000 individuals who are unable to work because of “severe mental impairment” and an inability to manage their own Social Security benefits.
No worries—here’s your AR-15!You might think to yourself, given that we’ve just learned that the Trump Campaign had regular get togethers with Russian intelligence to share secrets and play Twister last year, that the Senate might have something better to do with its time. You might also think that Republican legislators who pretend to support better mental health after each mass shooting would gag at the irony piled upon hypocrisy of passing legislation such as this. But then you’d have to have never observed the people running the majority in both our House and Senate.
When folks out there—usually those who have busy lives and understandably just want Washington to solve our major problems—ask “why can’t both sides just work together and get common sense, moderate legislation passed?”, this is your answer. This is why.
For there’s a legitimate debate to be had about many gun laws proposed by those, like me, who think we need much stricter regulation. It can honestly be contested whether someone who has passed a background check should have the right to an assault weapon, or whether that’s too much military firepower for citizens to possess in a democratic society (my position). There can be legitimate arguments also about how loose or stringent we should make concealed carry laws for legal gun owners. I’d argue that without proven need, a written test and serious time on the range, it’s a no go, but others can make legitimate cases for other positions.
There, however, is no legitimate argument for not requiring that people purchasing firearms do what private babysitting services ask of their employees: a comprehensive background check. Why would any sane society not do every single thing in its power to prevent those who have proven criminally violent or incapable of taking care of themselves from getting their hands on weapons that kill?