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WASHINGTON – Some new information has recently come to light regarding a very ironic turn of events involving Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. The two Gun law advocates were apparently planning to hold a press conference last October in which they would push their legislation that would essentially prevent licensed dealers from selling a firearm if they don’t get a clear go ahead from the FBI Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The bill they were pushing then was in response to one of many recent mass shootings, and particularly a shooting in South Carolina that had killed nine people inside a church. The church shooter was identified as one Dylan Roof, who used a 45 caliber Glock pistol which he had been able to acquire because the FBI’s background check system had not completed his check in the allotted time according to current gun laws.
Before the planned conference, Chris Harper Mercer fired upon people at a community college in Oregon which resulted in 10 total deaths. The senators had to then cancel the planned press conference about their new legislation and about the recent mass shooting, because of a mass shooting.
“We planned to announce it, then the shooting occurred, and we had to postpone it because the perception would have been inappropriate. We decided that we should be expressing sympathy, which we sincerely felt at the time, rather than advocating a particular policy position”, Blumenthal had revealed in a recent interview.
The most common downfall of legislations similar to what the Connecticut senators were proposing is the question of whether or not their changes would have prevented the shooting itself. This was hard to answer for most especially with the shooting in Oregon because the firearms were purchased legally.
“One of the problems is that the common question about any proposal is, ‘Would that have prevented that tragedy?’ — so there’s sort of a mentality or a mindset that proposals have to fit the last mass shooting. But of course the mass shootings continue to occur tragically and unnecessarily. We need to view the issue in totality, to work toward preventing these tragedies whenever and wherever they occur”, Blumenthal had explained.
One of the main issues right now with the current system is that it allows gun dealers the right to go ahead with a transaction if the FBI is not able to complete a background check within three business days. This loophole was the reason Roof was able to purchase his Glock despite having admitted to using drugs when he was arrested earlier in the year. That fact alone would have already disqualified him from purchasing the firearm.
Republicans however view that inadequacy of local law enforcement and the FBI’s system as the main contributors as to why Roof was able to purchase a firearm.
“It’s disastrous that this bureaucratic mistake prevented existing laws from working and blocking an illegal gun sale. The facts undercut attempts to use the tragedy to enact unnecessary gun laws. The American people, and especially the victims’ families, deserve better.” Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.