There is no excuse for what passed as “editorial content” in the Washington Post yesterday. There’s no denying it, either: either the so-called editor who wrote this piece of garbage has not a single clue, not one iota of knowledge regarding what he wrote or he’s lying through his teeth.
Titled, “Guns in Virginia,” this editorial advocates on behalf of a bill before the Virginia General Assembly. The WaPo editor is completely, totally wrong on the intent of the bill and on the premises upon which he builds the argument. Observe:
For years, state lawmakers have defeated bills requiring vendors at gun shows to conduct background checks of would-be buyers. Yet such legislation squeaked by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee by an 8 to 7 vote this week and is poised for a vote in the full Senate. Politicians of both parties, including self-described gun rights advocates, should endorse this modest bill.
Licensed gun dealers in Virginia are required to conduct background checks on buyers, including those to whom they sell at gun shows. Yet, according to the Virginia State Police, up to 35 percent of vendors at the scores of gun shows throughout the state are unlicensed and thus are under no obligation to perform the checks. This makes no sense, and the public is put at risk because felons or the mentally ill are not screened out if they attempt to purchase guns.
Emphasis mine. The statement I’ve put in bold is the crux of the entire argument put forth by the Post and it is 110% pure drivel. You see, what the Post is making absolutely sure they don’t tell you is that the 35% of vendors selling at gun shows who aren’t licensed aren’t selling guns. They can’t. They’re selling leather goods, knives, gun safes, jackets, gloves, hats, and a whole plethora of stuff that gun owners and hunters use and might be interested in. They don’t run background checks to sell people leather jackets because, aside from being a cosmically stupid idea, that’s not required by law. The editors at the Richmond Times-Dispatch are apparently not above actually doing the research because they knew full well that this was the case.
Gun-control advocates often muddy the issue by referring to “unlicensed dealers” at gun shows, of which there are indeed many. They sell holsters, flashlights, hunting knives, T-shirts, books, gun safes — even jewelry. But an unlicensed dealer who sold guns as a business would invite felony charges under federal law.
Damn right they would. This is where this gun-show “loophole” myth falls flat on its face in the sunlight of actual facts. Every single gun sale performed by every single licensed firearm dealer in every single location they perform said sales in must have a NICS background check performed by the dealer or he’s in violation of federal law and he’ll never, ever be allowed to sell guns again. Oh, and he’ll be hit with staggering fines. Oh, and jail time.
The Post knows this and is lying to you and everyone else in a desperate attempt to garner support. Or they don’t understand the topic and have been professionally negligent in the performance of their jobs. Either way, they are actively damaging the ability of Virginians to engage in the political process with correct information. To say they should be ashamed is an understatement. To say that someone at the Post ought to be getting booted out the door is justice but I’ll put money down that it’ll never happen.
The Washington Post owes the people of Virgina a correction and it should be put right there on the editorial page where this blatant falsehood was broadcast. What the Post’s editorial told all of us is dead wrong and they should not be relied upon for factual information where this topic is concerned.
Hat Tip to Jerry Furman, From On High.