David Harsanyi is a writer and senior editor for the conservative political website The Federalist. I stumbled across one of his articles today in which he claims that Democrats are lying about guns and getting away with it. After reading this blog and checking his sources, I came to the conclusion that he’s either being deliberately disingenuous – or he’s an absolute idiot. Probably a little of both.
At first he states that Carly Fiorina “offered some imprecise words” when discussing the heavily-doctored Planned Parenthood videos. According to Mr. Harsanyi, Democrats and the media twisted her words to then portray her as a liar. The only source he uses to back up his assertion about Carly Fiorina is another article from The Federalist titled “Watch The Video Planned Parenthood And Its Media Allies Deny Exists.”
Sure, the videos are of a sensitive medical procedure involving a fetus, but the footage in question seems to have been taken in a hospital and involves a miscarriage – not an abortion. At the time of her statement, the videos (which are highly suspect) were not released in their entirety, and the committee investigating Planned Parenthood has come up with nothing, as Congressman Jason Chaffetz has admitted. Based on all of these facts, referring to Carly Fiorina as a liar is certainly well within the realm of fairness.
Harsanyi goes on to claim that liberals are making false statements when they say that it’s often easier to buy a gun than it is to buy medicine. I will readily admit that some anti-gun activists can be a bit hyperbolic or exaggerate when trying to make their point. However, David Harsanyi is being misleading when he goes after comedian Judy Gold, who asked why her 13-year-old son could buy a gun but he couldn’t pick up NyQuil or Mucinex at a pharmacy because he wasn’t 16.
Maybe nanny-state, regulation-happy politicians should stop intruding into every aspect of American life, and kids would be able to buy medicine for their mommies without worry. But in California, and I’m just guessing that’s where Gold lives (if we’re talking about New York City, the process for buying a gun is even more difficult) a person must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a rifle or shotgun and 21 years of age to purchase a handgun. A 13-year-old would never be able to buy a gun legally. An adult must submit a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check application, along with a copy of her California driver’s license or a similar ID card.
That already makes it a lot trickier to buy a gun than to purchase Nyquil. You must have that application notarized and include an impression of your right thumbprint—which makes getting a gun, a right explicitly guaranteed by the Constitution, more difficult than it is to vote (one that is not). It can take up to 120 days for the state to get back to you. There is also a background check and a 10-day waiting period. (Source)
The key word here, which he deliberately fails to address, is “legally.” Yes, a 13-year-old kid cannot legally buy a gun, but he could certainly get one from someone who bought a 9mm Beretta at a gun show for the purpose of illegally transferring it to someone. That’s a lot easier to do when there’s no record of who purchased the gun in the first place, no background check ran, and no consistency in gun laws from state to state. A person with a criminal history or who has been barred from ownership due to mental illness can easily exploit the gun show loophole in most states, or just as easily purchase a handgun or an AR-15 from a private seller through Facebook, as I’ve previously shown.
The ironic thing here is that David Harsanyi is lying to back up his claim that Democrats are lying about guns. He specifically says toward the end of the piece, ‘There is no gun show loophole.’ This is a popular conservative talking point that’s been debunked numerous times. California is one of only 7 states that require background checks on all gun purchases at gun shows, but the loophole still exists almost everywhere else and has not been addressed at the federal level thanks to Republican obstruction.
In other words, the gun show loophole is a very real thing. I personally have walked into a gun show here in Lafayette, pulled out my ID and credit card to purchase a hunting rifle, only to be told it was cash only and the seller didn’t care to know anything about me. Legally, he was not required to perform the background check because he was a private seller, and because I was paying cash, there would be no record of the transaction or transfer of ownership.
David Harsanyi is doing gun owners like myself no favors by promoting falsehoods and narratives that conveniently leave out the facts. Then again, that’s just par for the course for the conservative media.
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