A year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-5) claims Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are standing in the way of new gun laws that would save lives.
In an editorial published in the Sacramento Bee Sunday, Thompson noted that in the 12 months since 26 people were killed in Newtown, CT, another 10,000 people have been shot to death in the United States. Thompson touted a bill he co-authored with Pete King (R-New York) that would expand background checks.
People on all sides of the gun-violence-prevention issue have said their goal is to keep guns out of dangerous hands. But you cannot achieve this goal without background checks. Background checks are the only way of knowing if a person buying a gun is a criminal, a terrorist or dangerously mentally ill. The evidence shows background checks work when they are used. Nationally last year, background checks identified and denied 88,000 sales to prohibited purchasers at licensed dealers. However, there is no way of knowing if those 88,000 prohibited purchasers, after being denied at a licensed dealer, then bought a gun at a gun show or over the Internet with no questions asked. This is a huge loophole that costs lives.