AOC Took A Republican Congressman To Task For Saying He Regularly Loans His Guns To Friends
Gun violence is one issue most Americans agree on. According to reports and polls, 86 percent of Americans, including 80 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of gun owners, support universal background checks on all gun purchases. However, Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw thinks universal background checks are too much because he lends his guns to friends and background check would stop that. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned his tweet about letting friends borrow guns into a teachable moment for the Congressman.
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw used a story of a woman defending herself to admit he lets friends borrow his guns to stay safe.
According to the news story, a woman was being robbed by 5 men and used a gun to defend herself. In response, Rep. Crenshaw tried to use the moment to argue against universal background checks on gun purchases. Rep. Crenshaw states that he would not be able to loan out his guns to friends without accountability.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted him and questioned his friends’ inability to pass basic universal background checks.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez took Rep. Crenshaw’s words and posed the question, “Why are you ‘lending’ guns to people unsupervised who can’t pass a basic background check?”
Universal background checks for gun purchases have proven to lower the likelihood of violent and deadly criminal activity with firearms. With a background check, people who pose a danger to others or themselves either through mental disorders or prior felony convictions would be denied access to firearms.
There is currently a national law that all licensed gun sellers have to follow. Democratic lawmakers and citizens are pushing for a stronger law that would also require background checks at gun shows and through unlicensed dealers.
Rep. Crenshaw responded criticizing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
According to Rep. Crenshaw, Rep Ocasio-Cortez labeled his friends as domestic abusers. However, if you refer to the original tweet, Rep. Crenshaw stated that he would not be able to loan out his guns because of universal background checks.
In her usual fashion, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not back down and drop some education on the Texas representative.
According to 24/7 Wall St., New York ranks 48th for gun deaths in the U.S. while Texas comes in at 28th place. California is in 43rd place and Alaska is the No. 1 state for gun-related deaths. Another study by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, states with weaker gun laws, like Texas and Alaska, tend to have higher gun-related deaths.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez continued her educational series of tweets by highlighting the work by House Democrats to close the boyfriend loophole with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The boyfriend loophole refers to a loophole in the Lautenberg Amendment that leaves a chance for domestic abusers to purchase firearms. The amendment only stops abusers who are or were married to the victim, have a child with the victim, currently live with the victim, or are the parents of the victim from purchasing a firearm. This means that boyfriends who stalk their victims are not prevented from purchasing firearms endangering the lives of those men and women who have no legal protection.
Emily Miller, the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun: But Obama Wants to Take Yours” chimed in defending Rep. Crenshaw.
“Emily Gets Her Gun: But Obama Wants to Take Yours” paints the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado as emotional manipulations to erode the rights of legal gun owners. Miller argues that the anti-gun lobby used examples of mass shootings to distort reality and go after gun owners in the U.S.
But, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was not backing down from her argument for background checks and greater gun safety and reform.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there are several factors as to why women do not report domestic violence. Among the long list of reasons, one listed by the police department is that the abuser is seen as an upstanding member of the community. As such, many believe that or witness the law enforcement officers ignoring their pleas for help because of the abusers status in the community.
The public persona as a shield is something Rep. Ocasio-Cortez used to bolster her argument.
LAPD further explains how weapons mixed with abusers can be a fatal combination.
“Where a batterer possesses weapons and has used them or has threatened to use them in the past assaults on the battered victim, the children or self, the batterer’s access to those weapons increases the potential for lethal assault,” reads the LAPD website.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez ended her thread about loaning friends guns by drawing a comparison.
There is a reason people are licensed for various things. It is about accountability and the safety of society as a whole. By lending out guns to people, there is an increased risk of gun-related deaths and promoting the practice can have dangerous and deadly consequences.
During the debate, people responded to Rep. Crenshaw and one person shared a real-life example of the dangers of lending out guns.
Lauren McCluskey was a track athlete at the University of Utah. Her ex-boyfriend, Melvin Rowland, borrowed the gun from his friend, Nathan Daniel Vogel. Vogel and Sarah Emily Lady had purchased the gun illegally because Lady lied on Vogel’s behalf to bypass the waiting period.