Last week the Obama administration emailed out a set of talking points to celebrities, seeking to enlist their help in the White House's push to expand background checks on gun purchasers. I suppose the White House legitimately believes that Americans will be persuaded by semi-literate tweets from John Cusack, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.
Someone sent a copy of these talking points to Mike Rowe, and after his epic response, the White House is probably sorry that they ever sent them out in the first place. I will tell you that I am a huge and unabashed fan of Mike Rowe, who regularly competes with Steve Harvey for the coveted title of Leon Wolf's Favorite Television Personality, so in my opinion the whole thing is worth a read. But the key point is that Rowe, who is not an NRA member or a gun nut, demonstrates very clearly that the White House is just playing politics with a problem that's already in their power to solve:
The White House would be mistaken to assume that I oppose background checks on gun purchases. I do not. I’m just skeptical that expanding a broken system is the best way to keep guns away from bad guys and lunatics.
Currently, thousands of people deemed mentally incompetent by the courts are NOT registered in our National Check System. That’s insane, if you’ll pardon the irony, in part because it’s so easily correctible. Likewise, The ATF says that most states report less than 80% of their felony convictions to the national system. As a result, nearly 7 million convicted felons are not currently registered. Is it any surprise that nearly every mass killer in recent memory passed a background check?
Seems to me, our current system is only as good as the records in it, and right now, those records are laughably incomplete. But even more troubling are the tens of thousands of people who ARE in the system, that keep trying to buy guns illegally with absolutely no consequence.
Lying on your application to purchase a firearm is a federal offense, but very few are prosecuted for doing so. According to Politico, the Feds have prosecuted just 1.5% of all those individuals who have attempted to purchase a gun illegally. If my math is correct, that means 98.5% of people who are NOT allowed to own a gun, have not been prosecuted for trying to buy one.
Maybe it's a manpower problem? Maybe it's a resource problem? But whatever the reason, many thousands of individuals who try to purchase a gun illegally are allowed to keep on trying. Many eventually succeed, and then use that gun in the commission of a crime. This strikes me a serious problem. And yet, I’ve received no tweets from my favorite action heroes, asking me to support an effort to fix the system we have. Why is that?
That's right, the Obama administration wants to expand the background check system when they are incapable of or unwilling to enforce the background check system that we already have. Passing a new law or executive order is nothing more than show posturing designed to demonize gun rights supporters, and no halfway intelligent person should believe otherwise.
Come to think of it, that's probably why the Obama administration sent these talking points to celebrities.