News reports indicate that next week, President Obama will unveil new regulations intended to force some non-firearms dealers to run background checks before selling guns. Since the database against which background checks are run is close to useless with respect to mental illness, and since lawbreakers won’t run searches in any event, such a change will have, at best, symbolic value. I will have more to say about that later in the weekend.
For now, I want to note that gun crime–suddenly the Democrats’ favorite topic–is something about which the Democrats have never been serious. We already have many federal and state laws and regulations on the books. Gun rights advocates often suggest that instead of enacting still more laws and regulations, the government would do better to enforce the ones already on the books. They are right.
President Obama purports to be deeply concerned about gun crime. But how has his administration done with respect to prosecuting those who violate the laws already on the books? This chart, from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, tells the story:
The Clinton administration talked a good game on guns–remember the “assault weapons” ban?–but when it came to actual law enforcement, its record was horrendous. (Someone should mention that to Hillary.) Things shaped up considerably under the Bush administration, which achieved record levels of gun-crime-related convictions. But when Barack Obama became president and Eric Holder took over the Department of Justice, enforcement went straight downhill. Over the course of the Obama administration, it has only gotten worse. Today, gun convictions are down 35% since the Bush administration peak in 2005 and 2006. Obama and Holder had an agenda, but it wasn’t law enforcement.
So on guns, as with regard to most other issues, Barack Obama is all talk. He isn’t interested in solving problems, he is just seeking political advantage. His corrupt administration can’t end soon enough.