The positive reaction of the gun control crowd to Obama’s executive orders frankly astonishes me. It would seem that Elliot Fineman of the National Gun Victims Action Council is the only group that’s willing to see this for what it is. When you don’t have a seat at the table, what have you got to lose, really?
Headlines like this are now spread all over the media, “Obama closes gun background check loopholes with executive action.” I can point to dozens of other stories talking about how Obama is now requiring background checks at gun shows and with Internet sales. The media has fallen for this maneuver hook, like and sinker. It’s not surprising, because understanding the truth requires knowing a thing or two about federal gun laws, a topic with which most non-gun people have little or no familiarity.
Word is spreading like wildfire that Obama closed these background check loopholes, when in reality all he did was have Loretta Lynch wag her finger and issue vague threats of prosecuting people selling guns for being engaged in the business without obtaining an FFL. As Volokh Conspirator Jonathan Adler pointed out at the WaPo, “In other words, it is — as the document says — a guidance, and not a substantive rule. It has no legal effect.”
People are being deceived into believing there’s been substantive reform on background checks. That can only serve to dampen enthusiasm among the general public for further measures, “Didn’t Obama fix this problem? It was all over the papers.”
President Obama may have done himself a tremendous favor, in terms of pleasing certain parts of the Democratic base who will cheer these headlines, completely unaware this represents no substantive reform, but he’s done the gun control movement no favors. If I had to bet, the gun control groups probably realize this, but are concerned about the consequences of not seeming to enjoy their bone. Beggars can’t be choosers.
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