(Editor’s note: This article was a submission from freelance writer Max Slowik)
At a daily briefing at the White House, press secretary and spokesman Josh Earnest was unable to provide an explanation for why Americans are buying more and more guns in record-setting numbers.
Americans bought more than 185,000 firearms on Black Friday, setting a new record for greatest number of background checks performed in a single day, edging out the previous record by about 6,000 checks.
“I don’t know [why], I really don’t,” said Earnest, writes the Washington Times. The briefing took place days after President Obama again called for increased gun control in response to the San Bernardino terrorist attacks.
“It’s tragic that in the immediate aftermath of a series of high-profile mass shootings, that people feel like they have to go out and purchase a gun,” said Earnest. “That ready access to guns and that proliferation of violent weapons of war has not led to fewer gun deaths. It’s tragic that even in the situation where we have lots of guns on the streets that lead to lots of innocent Americans being killed, that the response to that is that a whole lot more guns end up on the streets. That’s tragic and ironic.”
Earnest also pushed for the widely-panned “no-fly no-buy” list, a policy that would prevent anyone on the TSA no-fly watchlist from passing a background check to buy a gun.
“It is not our view that we should wait until somebody who’s on the no-fly list, walks into a gun store, legally purchases a gun, and kills a bunch of innocent Americans, before we pass a law preventing it,” he said. “That’s a common-sense view. The President believes that that’s in our national security and that’s why we believe quite strongly that Congress should take action…and close the no-fly no-buy loophole.”
The “no-fly no-buy” proposal would further deny Americans their rights without due process, behind a wall of government secrecy. Earnest was unable to say if this or any other proposed legislation could have prevented the San Bernardino attacks.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone at the White House has failed to link proposed gun control laws with the sale of firearms–after all, the President has had the nickname “Gun Salesman of the Year” since his first year in office. If anything, the confirmed presence of radical terrorists acting on U.S. soil has given Americans even more reason to buy guns.
With the President now in his last year in office, it’s easy to write off policies like these as last-ditch attempts to pass any anti-gun legislation; “no-fly no-buy” stretches “common sense” beyond its limits, to the alarm of people across the country. But it also shows just how far the current administration is willing to push the issue.
For the pro-gun community, it’s not a huge surprise to hear that there are politicians who would make a due process exemption for gun owners. But “no-fly no-buy” goes farther, putting it in black and white terms for everyone to see.