Dem Rep. Maloney: Background check would have stopped the Boston bomber

Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, for one, is not giving up on the quest for more gun control measures, and is convinced that further gun legislation “will pass eventually” — but she drew a few rather dubious conclusions in the process.

As it stands right now, Tamerlan, as we know now, was on the terrorist watch list, so we know a gun check would stop him. If there was a background check, as it stands now, Tamerlan… or the next terrorist, can go to any gun show, and buy a hundred-round magazine. They can buy all the assault weapons they want, no questions asked. The gun lobby has the upper hand now, even though 90 percent of Americans want gun safety. This in no way infringes on the right of law-abiding Americans… but for the terrorist, for the bad guys, let’s pass sensible gun-safety legislation.

Er, “we know a gun check would stop him,” really? That’s quite the conclusion to draw, considering that A) the most recent update from ABC reports the only gun recovered so far from the scene of the Tsarnaev brothers’ shootout was a semiautomatic handgun with its serial number scratched off, suggesting that it was probably purchased through illicit means that wouldn’t have subjected to a background check no matter what; and B) the brothers somehow neglected to register for gun permits as required in Massachusetts, suggesting that they were pretty unconcerned with the law — as also evidenced by their blowing up a busy street with pressure-cooker bombs. (Not to mention, that “90 percent” figure is getting wildly overused as an indicator of public opinion that isn’t nearly as robust as it makes it out to be.) Lawmakers have been arguing over introducing some stringent coordination between the terror watch list and background checks, but let’s not make it sound like universal background checks would have definitively thwarted the Boston bombing nor are a reliable method for thwarting terrorism in general, shall we?

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