South Carolina governor Nikki Haley might have flip-flopped on her position regarding the Confederate battle flag, but she’s holding firm to the far-right’s view that waiting periods for gun purchases are a Very Bad Thing. The FBI was unable to verify whether Charleston shooter Dylann Roof had a record that would have barred him from purchasing a gun within the mandatory three-day waiting period, so the gun dealer used his discretion to sell the gun. Haley doesn’t believe extending waiting periods will correct that.
When the feds say they are going to do something, we take them at their word that it’s going to get done. And the fact that it didn’t get done is terrible. And it’s one more thing that these families are going to have to go through that they don’t deserve to have to go through.
I think we need to look at the fact that it’s not about time. It’s about technology. You know, this is something, when someone has a charge filed against them, it should go into a database and it should be shown immediately to anyone that’s looking at it.
So, I would be more interested in what went wrong. What sort of — why are they dealing with paperwork and not dealing with technology that they wouldn’t have had this to start with?
The data on Roof’s February arrest was not in the federal system because the arresting department hadn’t entered it properly into their system, according to the Washington Post. The whole thing was mucked up, and the FBI was unable to complete the background check.
Federal issue or state issue, why don’t these people support anything that could help? How, exactly, would this hurt law-abiding citizens? The NRA’s “Point of Victory” fund posted how repealing the mandatory waiting period in Wisconsin was a victory for gun rights. Their explanation for how that works is that waiting periods create a needless burden on law-abiding citizens, as well as this:
SB 35 repeals a 1979 law enacted to allow time for background checks, and to create a so-called ‘cooling off’ period for someone intent on committing a crime. Today, background checks can be completed while a customer is still in the store, and statistics routinely show waiting periods have no impact on homicide rates. In fact, studies show crime rates are higher in states with a waiting period than in those without.
They provide no links or cites to those studies. One has to ask, though, what happens when a local or state agency fails to properly file paperwork that prevents the background check from being completed while the customer is there. Do they get the gun anyway?
Governor Haley, and the FBI, acknowledged that Roof may not have been able to get a gun from a dealer had they been able to complete their background check. That’s not to say he would never have been able to get a gun period, but the shooting might not have happened, because he could still be trying to get a gun with which to do it.
Congressional Republicans are still crying to enforce existing laws. They have a point, but when they’re pushing to repeal existing laws (like in Wisconsin), the cries to enforce existing laws rings very hollow. Furthermore, when the problem lies between the FBI and local and state law enforcement, and not solely with the FBI, enforcement of existing laws becomes far more problematic. These individual departments need to fix their systems, and the FBI needs to fix its system. It’s not a matter of simply “enforcing existing laws” as the right, and as Haley, says. It’s far, far more complicated.
So, the question remains, how does extending the waiting period for a background check hurt law-abiding gun owners, when it doesn’t change whether they can ultimately purchase the gun? It might be a band-aid right now, but it could end up being a band-aid that saves people’s lives while we fix those holes. Haley, and the rest of the GOP, would rather pander to the NRA and their insanity, lest they fall out of the NRA’s good graces.
Watch her remarks below:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itP7aujNxpw?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
Featured image via screen capture