Astronaut Mark Kelly spends much of his spare time trying to limit the gun rights of law-abiding gun owners. He is the husband of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a victim of a mass shooter. He is now calling for a nationwide gun control campaign.
Kelly, who founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group in favor of tighter firearm restrictions, said 40 percent of guns are sold without background checks.
“We have laws that make it easy for domestic abusers and stalkers to get their hands on guns,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
That debunked 40% figure is from a survey taken in 1997 that has not been accurate ever and certainly isn’t now. The dubious statistic of guns that avoided background checks — which is actually 35.7 percent — comes from a small 251-person survey on gun sales two decades ago, very early in the Clinton administration. Most of the survey covered sales before the Brady Act instituted mandatory federal background checks in early 1994.
They are referring to inheritances for one thing, where the gun is handed down.
Economist John Lott, the author of several landmark studies on the real-world impact of gun control, has concluded that if you take out transfers of guns either between FFLs or between family members, the remaining number of transfers falls to below 10 percent.
We don’t know the figures today but it’s likely in the single digits. The mass shooters, however, obtained their guns legally and not because of a so-called loophole.
The way the questions was worded was also a problem.
There is no gun show loophole either.
Kelly said lawmakers in Washington need “to close these loopholes that make it very easy for the mentally ill to get firearms.”
When asked what law would have stopped the tragedy in Oregon, he couldn’t come up with one.
“You know — you know, with individual events, I mean, sometimes there isn’t a specific law that you can point to that would prevent a tragedy like this from happening. But with the combination of some really commonsense things that most Americans support, you know, stuff like let’s require a background check before anybody gets a gun, and let’s try to get people identified as mentally ill if they are dangerously mentally ill, and then let’s get that information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is managed by the FBI. So, you know, often in the case of these mass shootings, if there were a couple components, if we did things better, some of these, not all of them, but some of these tragedies could be prevented.”
The information on the mentally ill often doesn’t get to the federal government because the states don’t send it, not because we don’t have laws requiring it.
The Oregon killer wasn’t given help for his mental issues so far as we know and it wouldn’t have helped in his case just as it wouldn’t have helped in many of the previous mass shootings.