Few things irritate me more than blatant hypocrisy or double standards where gun politics are concerned. Cue Mark Kelly who was recently spotted in a Tucson, Arizona gun shop purchasing an AR-15-style “assault” weapon, a 1911 handgun, and various “high-capacity” magazines.
Some may remember Mr. Kelly as the retired astronaut husband of former southern Arizona Congressman Gabrielle Giffords, who, among numerous others, was shot by Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson two years ago. Still others may recognize him as the co-founder of the new anti-gun – in particular, anti-“assault” weapon – group called Americans for Responsible Solutions.
At any rate, once Breitbart journalists began picking at his apparently contradictory behavior he published the following Facebook posting a couple of days following the purchases:
I just had a background check a few days ago when I went to my local gun store to buy a .45. As I was leaving, I noticed a used AR-15. Bought that too. Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes. I don’t have possession of it yet but I’ll be turning it over to the Tucson PD when I do. Scary to think of people buying guns like these without a background check at a gun show or the Internet. We really need to close the gun show and private seller loop hole (emphasis added).
Kelly claims that he was simply attempting to make a point with the purchases. Of course he was. For sake of the argument, what point was that again? That massive government databases and related policies are just not effective or trustworthy? If this is the case, I rejoice; we can now abolish the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001, the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) databases, and all sorts of other State-sponsored high-speed databases, tracking, and surveillance systems and policies. What about the fabled “gun show” and “internet” loopholes? Unfortunately for hoplophobes, dealers at gun shows are in fact required to conduct background checks prior to firearms transfers, just as firearms purchased via the internet are required to be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensee who must then carry out the check and transfer. Like unicorns, these loopholes are fantastical beasts that make for good stories but tend to disappear in the daylight. The only true “loophole” he mentioned is the absence of required background checks in private individual sales, a freedom that has no appreciable relevance to the illicit firearms trade and is at any rate an entirely unenforceable policy absent a national firearms registration requirement and subsequent registry (you know, the one that is too fast and untrustworthy in determining who is and is not clear to possess firearms.. come to think of it, I now agree with Kelly’s aversion to modern database technology, if for different reasons).
Kelly’s Facebook post also indicates that he intends to turn the AR-15 into the Tucson Police Department. In a fabulous display of Big Government irony, such a selfless act of removing the weapon from the “streets” (that is his story and he is sticking to it) will likely fail due to potential state laws requiring the department to resale the firearm to help balance its bloated budgets. Kelly reportedly plans to keep the handgun, however. This despite his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year that implied the supposed ease of access to semiautomatic handguns was a contributing factor to Loughner’s actions. Perhaps someone should notify the former (?) space cadet that a 1911 is a semi-automatic firearm as well, lest he appear quite foolish in light of his own testimony. I suppose gun control is appropriate so long as the ruling class is exempt from the burdensome rules.