In a propaganda failure that could only be described as “epic”, Eleanor Clift at The Daily Beast used the story of John Hokanson Jr. to illustrate why there needs to be tighter controls on weapons sales in America. John Hokanson Jr. is bipolar, and has been committed to mental health facilities more than once. During the course of a normal BATFE background check, this would disqualify him from purchasing a firearm. Hokanson lied on the form, and was able to purchase a rifle from a gun dealer in California. Lying on that form is a felony.
The gun stayed in his apartment, not having been fired at anyone. Even in the hands of this disturbed felon, the gun did no damage, it created no threat. It never got up on its own and shut up a school. It didn’t call out to John in his dreams “shoot me John, use me to kill people!” it just sat there.
In fact, the only time the gun left the apartment, was when John was once again waiting for evaluation to be admitted to a mental health facility. His sister broke into the apartment, stole the weapon, and relinquished it to a gun turn in program, probably for a cash reward. John says this infuriated him at first, that his sister would break into his apartment and steal his weapon, but now he says he sees the wisdom in it, and loves her for it. Not because he would hurt anybody else of course, but because he might have killed himself.
If Mr. Hokanson is a confessed criminal with mental health problems serious enough to think the government can help anybody with anything, perhaps his suicide would be the best thing society could hope for.
Hokanson is now very concerned that other people might commit felonies just like he did, and he wants the government to do something to prevent this from happening. He’s very concerned that even if people don’t lie on the BATFE form, they can just exploit the “gun show loophole” and obtain a weapon anyway.
It escapes him, apparently, that someone who is willing to commit a felony to obtain a weapon, doesn’t need to buy a gun from a reputable dealer. If John goes off his meds again and wants a weapon, he can buy one from any number of his fellow felons without so much as a handshake, loopholes or none.
With this in mind, we can see why it’s really important that guns be readily available to everybody. All these gun control restrictions, even those supported by the NRA, do nothing but disarm people who obey them. People like John Hokanson, who are mentally ill and willing to risk imprisonment just to obtain a weapon, aren’t terribly likely to care what laws are passed. When they do go off the rails and decide to murder innocent people, they prefer those people be disarmed. That’s why most of your mass shootings take place in gun free zones, like the recent Elliot Rodger incident, and last night’s shooting at Seattle Pacific University.
So the next time you’re considering legislation, ask yourself “Am I taking advice from a mentally ill criminal?”. If they write for The Daily Beast, appear on MSNBC, or work for any government agency, the answer is probably yes. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in public policy or psychology to see the obvious problem here. Just a little bit of common sense.
Unfortunately, common sense seems a little less common every time I check the news…
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