The Democrats who pushed for the bill claimed the passage was a victory for President Obama in his quest to curb gun violence.
Under current laws, a federal background check is required on all purchases of firearms from federally licensed firearms dealers.
The new bill, if approved, would expand those requirements to the firearms sales between private individuals as well, and would also close the well-known “gun show” loophole, which doesn’t require background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows.
We tend to side with the Republicans — who unanimously voted against the bill — on this issue.
Instead of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals — who have an uncanny knack at getting their hands on guns, regardless of what laws are out there — this bill will instead make it more difficult and expensive for law-abiding citizens to buy guns.
This certainly appears to be a stepping stone to what will ultimately become a federal registry of all gun owners.
We’re not arguing that background checks are a bad thing. They keep those who have a history of violence or drug use from purchasing firearms.
But to hail this bill as a victory against gun violence is ridiculous. When will these politicians learn that criminals get their hands on guns regardless of what laws are enacted? When will they learn that, for the most part, the people hurt by gun control laws are the law-abiding citizens who already do things by the book?
This bill is another example of politicians clamoring to claim moral victories in the wake of a national tragedy.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.