Yesterday, I critiqued an article in The New Republic by Claire Groden which argued the anti-police protesters weren’t to blame for the murders of two NYPD officers last weekend and that the responsibility was that of the gunman alone.
Today, The New Republic is singing a different tune. According to an article written by Rebecca Leber, it’s the NRA’s fault that the two officers are dead:
The last year when Ismaaiyl Brinsley—the man who killed two New York City cops on Saturday—should have been able to buy or carry a gun was 2008, when he was convicted of felony shoplifting, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to more felonies after he shot a woman’s car with a stolen handgun. Over his life, he had 19 arrestsin Ohio and Georgia.
As a felon, Brinsley was barred under federal law from buying a gun. Had he undergone a background check, he would have failed it and authorities could be notified. Yet the National Rifle Association argues that bad guys will get their hands on guns regardless of the law. The lobby points to violence in states with strong gun laws as evidence of gun control’s ineffectiveness.
In fact, it’s weak gun laws that enable felons, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill to arm themselves. Whereas licensed gun sellers must conduct background checks, unlicensed secondary market sellers face no such requirement in more laissez-faire states.
So Leber contends that if only Brinsley had undergone a background check, the two officers would still alive. Well, let’s take a closer look at that AJC article shall we:
His record started just before his 18th birthday in 2004 with a simple battery charge in Atlanta. From there he seemed to be arrested almost every subsequent year with charges ranging from disorderly conduct to carrying a concealed weapon. In 2007, he was charged with criminal trespassing in DeKalb County. By 2008, the year he turned 22, he had been convicted of felony shoplifting, a conviction that should have barred him from carrying a firearm. But by the summer of 2011 he got a stolen Phoenix Arms .25 caliber, semi automatic handgun and shot a woman’s gold, 2007 Chevrolet Malibu in Cobb County. He resisted when police tried to arrest him.
You read that right. Brimsley used a stolen gun during the 2011 incident. Interesting that Leber does not see fit to mention that detail.
Yes, it’s true that Brimsley should not have been able to carry a firearm. But as the above paragraph establishes, Brimsley was a criminal who held the law with little regard. As evidenced by his actions on Saturday, Brimsley had even less regard for the people who enforce the law.
Yet Leber’s article would have you believe that Brimsley had somehow legally obtained a firearm despite his felony conviction and was able to obtain one because of supposedly lax gun laws thanks to the NRA.
The fact is, at this point, we do not know how Brimsley obtained the weapon he used to kill the NYPD officers. The weapon was not reported stolen. It was purchased at a pawn shop in Georgia in 1996 when Brimsley was 9-years-old.
What we do know is, given his previous criminal history and the hatred his in heart, even the most restrictive gun law would not have deterred Brimsley from murdering two police officers, never mind shooting his own girlfriend.
But it’s always been much easier for the The New Republic and The Left at large to blame the NRA. I very much doubt that anyone remaining at The New Republic would have the gumption to condemn the excesses of some of their allies who wanted, and then got, dead cops.
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