2001: Eric Holder used 9/11 to argue more gun control laws

In the wake of the revelation about Holder’s comments on brainwashing people against guns, I dug up this 2001 article from Lexis Nexus where, just weeks after 9/11, Holder penned an article in the Washington Post using the tragedy of 9/11 to argue for more gun control – specifically, private gun sales at gun shows:

In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the nation is eager for ways to increase security at home — and understandably so. These unspeakable crimes have taken thousands of innocent lives, devastated countless families and made us feel a new and terrible kind of vulnerability. Throughout the country, people are having the same conversations: How could this happen? How do we cope with it? And what can we do, as a nation and as individuals, to safeguard against further acts of terrorism? …

One measure that is an essential part of any plan is the need to tighten our nation’s gun laws, which allow the easy and legal sale of firearms to terrorists and criminals. While we are appropriately discussing requiring criminal background checks on airline pilots, baggage handlers and airport security personnel, federal law does not require background checks on all firearms sales. In the interest of national security, this should be changed immediately.

Under the Brady Law, gun buyers must undergo criminal background checks only when they buy firearms from licensed dealers. And that law has made our communities safer, stopping nearly 700,000 criminals and other prohibited people from purchasing firearms in the seven years it has been in effect. This requirement has resulted in only a minor inconvenience to law-abiding citizens, which has been far outweighed by the strong benefit to society of keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.

Unfortunately, unlicensed sellers are permitted by law to sell firearms with no background check whatever. Millions of firearms change hands every year through this back-door yet perfectly legal method, giving criminals and terrorists remarkably easy and undetectable access to weapons. This legal loophole must be closed immediately. We can no longer allow the purchase of firearms through the Internet or a newspaper ad, at a gun show or a flea market, or in any other type of sale from an unlicensed seller, without any background check or other record of purchase. The stakes are too high.

While the reasons should be self-evident, there are numerous and chilling examples of the need to extend the background check to every firearm sale. Just last year, for example, a previously convicted felon and terrorist, Ali Boumelhem, went to a Michigan gun show, where he was legally exempt from a background check, and purchased assault weapons, shotguns, ammunition and flash suppressors that he intended to ship to the terrorist group Hezbollah. Fortunately, Boumelhem was already under FBI surveillance for suspected terrorism and was captured before he was able to ship the weapons to Hezbollah.

In Florida, four people were convicted last year of smuggling guns and other weapons from the state for use by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. One of the convicted IRA terrorists, Conor Claxton, testified that he was shocked by the variety of weapons available in Florida at gun shows and through newspaper ads. “We have nothing like this at home,” he said.

Indeed, if Osama bin Laden, who is under indictment in this country for the bombing of our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, were to go to a willing or unwary unlicensed gun dealer at a gun show, no mechanism is in place to prevent him from obtaining a weapon of his choice. Unfortunately, the gaping holes in our current law have likely allowed thousands of undetected firearm purchases by criminals and terrorists. This kind of terrorist loophole in the laws of the United States is simply unacceptable and must be closed.

In addition to background checks on all gun sales, records used to check the eligibility of an individual to purchase a firearm should include whether the potential buyer is on an FBI or other law enforcement watch list of suspected terrorists. …

Congress must take immediate action to close these two gaping loopholes in the law. Our national security requires it. And the public should demand it.

Seems to me if we go down this road it would kill all private gun sales, even from neighbor to neighbor. Who has the money and ability to do background checks when it’s not their livelihood?

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