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Gun Policy: Roy Blunt Open to Background Checks, Says "Bans on Things" Don't Work

Categories: Politics

Roy Blunt on Fox News.jpg
Senator Roy Blunt on Fox News. Full video below.
Questioned about gun control this weekend, Republican Senator Roy Blunt said that there have been "bans on things" for a long time in this country that don't "make any difference at all" -- but he's not entirely opposed to better background check systems for gun sales.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, full video below, Blunt says, "I think we ought to talk about that," in reference to the role of background checks in the increasingly heated gun debate across the country.

Blunt's comments come on the heels of lawmakers in Missouri proposing a bill that would effectively override any federal orders to regulate firearms.

Here's the full interview with Chris Wallace, with comments on gun control beginning at the 6:20 mark.

"Let's see what they come up with in terms of specific proposals," Blunt says about possible universal background checks. "Certainly at Newtown, you know, what an incredible tragedy for every family involved, for that community... It was a terrible thing that those families frankly will never recover from, but let's talk about changes that would've done something about that. So far, I don't see that."

Speaking of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, Blunt adds, "He had mental problems and he had a history of problems with securirty officials.... But how do we share that information better? Let's do things that will make a difference here rather than take one more opportunity to go at an old agenda."

He continues, "We had bans on things for a decade that didn't seem to make any difference at all, but during that same decade, our willingness to share information about mental problems, our willingness to share information between security officials and police officials all declined."

Asked again about background checks and screening potential gun owners, he says, "I think we ought to talk about that."

In terms of closing loopholes, Blunt says, "Gun owners are generally for that, but you've gotta have a proposal that works -- that doesn't create the problem of people not able to have the firearms that they'd like to have. The Second Amendment is there and is part of the Constitution and you can't just decide you want to avoid the Constitution because you've come up with some reason the Constitution no longer works."

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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9 comments
DeaconDandy
DeaconDandy

I never said anything about motor vehicle registration not being used as a form of taxation; I said it's not the reason we made it a law. 

I'm also not connecting the two: I'm pointing out why we grant people the privilege of driving and why we revoke that privilege when they can't follow the rules and why the same should apply to firearm use. Which, it just so happens, it already does. 

Finally, if you're going to fall back on the Constitution, you should probably address the inconsistency of granting someone the power to own an M16 but not granting women the right to vote or African-Americans the right to do anything unless a white person said so.

12judges
12judges

It most certainly is one of the reasons it was made law in several states in addition to several other reasons.  And driving is a privilege, firearms ownership is a right.  One is something you are allowed to do because the government lets you and collects taxes, the other is something inherently yours because you are human.  There is a distinct difference.  You're right that there are already laws governing firearms in the US but only because the 2nd amendment and others recognize the need for superiority of government force and legitimacy to enforce the laws.  The government does not and should never have a monopoly on the use of violence.  That is most certainly the intention of the 2nd amendment.  And lastly, I am no more relying on the constitution to defend the 2nd amendment as I'm relying on it to defend the 1st...or 4th....or any of the other amendments which were all created equally and for a reason.  That includes the ending of slavery and universal sufferage regardless of creed, race, or sex.  The consitution is very consistent.  The amendments are all equal.  That includes the 1st, 2nd, and 13-15 and 19.  My inherent right to own weapons is just as valid and equal as an african-american and woman's right to vote.  No less, no more.

DeaconDandy
DeaconDandy

We do not make people register automobiles to enable taxation. In fact, that's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard, along with CONFISCATION OF GUNS BLACK HELICOPTERS OH MY. 

12judges
12judges

It hurts arguing with a fool but I think I'll give you as much rope as you want.  If what you say is correct, than explain to me why most states in the country require the payment of motor vehicle sales taxes and fees prior to recieving a plate or tag?  Here is the link to the MO DMV http://dor.mo.gov/motorv/titling.php on titling requirements in the state of Missouri and taxes required and you should also read the following http://home.comcast.net/~dsmjd/tux/dsmjd/rkba/spencer.htm on why your attempt to connect gun registration with motor vehicle registration is moronic.  The ability to drive a car is not protected by the consitution, my right to own firearms is.  That is but one of many of the differences between the two.

DeaconDandy
DeaconDandy like.author.displayName 1 Like

That is not why we make people register their automobile. If that were the case then we would make people register bikes and skateboards. We make people register their vehicles because those who aren't fit to drive will be arrested if they get caught driving. But by all means keep talking about the black helicopters and the fictional confiscation of guns. 

12judges
12judges

First , you're confused...registration is different from a driver's license.  Vehicle registration is required by every state and was instituted as a counter to theft and to enable taxation of private property.  As provided by numerous court precedents no person has a reasonable expectation of privacy on the public roadway or street, regardless of whether they are walking, biking, skateboarding, or driving.  Your extension of your argument to bicycles and skateboards is ludicrous but keep making it if it makes you feel better.  And btw, confiscating guns is exactly what several US Senators are proposing in coming days and what NY state just passed several days ago.  If you can't tell the difference between paranoia and WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING OR BEING PROPOSED than your judgement is beyond repair. 

DeaconDandy
DeaconDandy like.author.displayName 1 Like

That sounds pretty stupid. Why aren't gun owners against registering motor vehicles?

12judges
12judges

Because unlike guns no registration of motor vehicles was immediately followed up by government confiscation of those motor vehicles.  It isn't the government's business to know how many guns I own anymore than it is their business to know how many couches or microwaves I own...or any other household goods for that matter.  Motor vehicles are parked and travel on public roadways payed for by taxes.  What is in my house is paid for by me, is by definition private property, and is none of the publics' business.  If you believe guns should be registered because they are dangerous than by that logic cameras should be registered because people use them to create child porn and all computers should be registered because some use them hack into the CIA.  Be very careful...before you know it there is no such thing as privacy.  Get it?

12judges
12judges

Completely agree with Senator Blunt.  I and many other gun owners would not be opposed to closing the infamous and cliched "gun show loophole".  As a solution to the small percentage of crime guns actually purchased without a background check it is not a bridge too far to ask all gun buyers to submit to one.  That said it is critical to see how the legislation would be written and exactly how they would ensure gun sales are tracked in a system that is already overloaded beyond belief.  It is also critical that no such system would require firearms registration, that is a non-starter for 90% of firearms owners.

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