U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., who led the fight in 2013 to impose so-called “universal background checks” on all firearm transfers—along with the gun registration regime that the Obama administration admitted such a scheme would require—told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday that his schemes “made sense” in 2013 and “make sense now.”
But as A.W.R. Hawkins pointed out, Manchin’s anti-gun proposals don’t make sense from a political or public-policy standpoint. First, the Manchin-Toomey bill wouldn't have prevented the crimes they cited as its justification—as Manchin publicly admitted—since Adam Lanza stole the firearms he used at Sandy Hook, and since many mass shooters either pass background checks or obtain their firearms through illegal channels. And second, while the scheme can’t stop the vast majority of armed criminals, who obtain firearms illegally, it does criminalize honest, innocent and harmless transfers of firearms between law-abiding people.