In response to a question on policing–focused on whether “we ask too much of police in our country?”–Kaine responded by talking about officer relations with community members, mental health reforms, and gun control.
He segued to gun control by mentioning gun violence, then saying:
I’m a gun owner, I’m a strong Second Amendment supporter, but I’ve got a lot of scar tissue because when I was governor of Virginia there was a horrible shooting at Virginia Tech. And we learned that, through that painful situation, that gaps in the background record system should have been closed and that could have prevented that crime. So we’re going work to do things like close background record checks and if we do, we won’t have the tragedies that we did.An ambiguous point in Kaine’s statement needs to be clarified and an inaccuracy needs to be addressed.
The ambiguity that needs clarification is the fact that the Virginia Tech gunman passed a background check for his gun–background checks were in place and the gunman submitted to one to get the firearm he used to kill innocents in the Virginia Tech gun-free zone. The inaccuracy that needs to be corrected is Kaine’s intimation that there are loopholes in the background check system that need to be closed in order to prevent “tragedies” from occurring.
In truth, the background check system is one that looks back–thus the name “background” check. If the person buying the gun has no criminal or mental health record in his or her past then there is nothing to trigger a rejection during the background check process. In other words, background checks do not stop latent criminals, only actual ones. To pretend otherwise is to...
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