01/06/2016 01:10 pm ET Updated Jan 06, 2017

The Gun Show Loophole: Common Sense vs. Nonsense

Andy Cross via Getty Images

I support the president's executive action to close the gun show loophole. And, frankly, I don't understand why Congressional Republicans are complaining about it. To me, their arguments seem like nonsense.

When you try to buy a gun in a gun shop, you go through a background check. If it turns out that you are prohibited from owning a gun -- for instance, a convicted felon -- then you don't get it.

But if you buy a gun at a "gun show" or online, even from a gun dealer, then there is no background check. Therefore, one can buy it even if one is a felon, a fugitive, a drug addict, undocumented, dishonorably discharged, committed to a mental institution, etc.

Excuse me, but why would we, the American people, want to establish a system of "universal" background checks for would-be gun owners, and then exclude gun dealers selling at gun shows (or online) from that universe? Why? What's the point? I just don't get it.

Here is an interesting poll from two weeks ago. Question: "Would you support or oppose a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online?"

Democrats: 95 percent support, 5 percent oppose.

Republicans: 87 percent support, 12 percent oppose.

The same poll, last summer, found that 92 percent of all gun owners support universal background checks at gun shows and online.

Jus' plain folks understand this. Why don't the Republicans in Congress?

So the president has taken executive action to extend the background check requirement to everyone who is in the business of selling guns, even if the transaction takes place at a gun show or over the internet. Here are the consequences:

Good: it will be much more difficult for felons, drug addicts and the criminally insane to buy weapons that can kill.

Bad: ???

Enough with the ideology, already. Seriously. If we're going to have laws, then they should be practical laws that actually work.

B-b-b-but what about the "slippery slope"?? Ah, yes, the slippery slope. Yes, I confess, preventing felons from buying guns sends us hurtling -- no, careening -- down that slippery slope, toward...

Personal safety.


Rep. Alan Grayson