Shaun King, writing at theNew York Daily News, reacted to the deaths of three Baton Rouge police officers by claiming that background checks cannot work; therefore, it is time to confiscate all “assault rifles.”
King’s contention is that background checks do not stop latent criminals, only actual ones. People like Omar Mateen, the San Bernardino attackers, the Dallas police gunman, and the Umpqua Community College gunman acquired their guns “legally” and are part of agrowing list of high-profile attackers who did the same.
Ironically, during Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) 2013 push for universal background checks, Breitbart News argued that background checks would not work because they only stop people who have a criminal record; they will never stop people who have criminal intent but no record to show for it. Moreover, they cannot stop people who are so determined to carry out a criminal act that they are willing to die while doing it. Manchin confirmed this when he admitted that the very gun control he pushed following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School would not have prevented the attack.
So the King Daily News article says it is time to confiscate all “assault rifles.” Although King cites estimates of 30 million “assault rifles” in America–the vast majority of which have never been used in a crime–he wants such guns taken from all citizens, law-abiding or not.
King admits that high-profile crimes have demonstrated the impotence of other gun controls in addition to background checks, including waiting periods and training and licensing requirements. Because of this, the piece suggests the only solution is the “ban and complete eradication of assault rifles from everyday citizens,” describing this as “responsible reform.”