For those who think the lack of background checks on private gun sales is no big deal, they should think again in light of America’s most recent mass shooting.
The gunman who indiscriminately killed seven and wounded around two dozen others in West Texas over the weekend had obtained the assault-style rifle he used through a private sale. That allowed him to avoid having the seller check his mental history, which five years earlier blocked him from purchasing a firearm.
According to The Associated Press’ reporting on this story, private sales to the sane and insane is not uncommon. It is estimated that 25% to 40% of all gun sales are conducted by unlicensed dealers.
This latest killing emphasizes why Congress should mandate background checks on all gun sales. And while it’s at it, it should ban — or at least heavily restrict — assault-style rifles, which are the weapon of choice in most of these horrific massacres.