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Police Chief Embarrasses Lindsey Graham At Gun Hearing

The police chief of Milwaukee called out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — an opponent of gun safety regulation — for echoing National Rifle Association talking points about the uselessness of expanding background checks for all gun purchases. The organization argues that the government should enforce existing laws instead.

During a heated exchange at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) proposed assault weapons ban on Wednesday, Edward Flynn pointedly interrupted Graham’s claims that the federal government is failing to deter individuals from misrepresenting themselves in the background check process by failing to prosecute people who were rejected from purchasing a weapon as a result of their false claims.

Flynn argued that rather than embark on a “paper chase,” law enforcement officials are focused on preventing people from purchasing guns illegally, eliciting loud applause from the audience:

[quote]GRAHAM: When almost 80,000 people fail a background check and 44 people are prosecuted, what kind of deterrent is that? I mean, the law obviously is not seeing that as important…. We absolutely do nothing to enforce the laws on the books…

[quote]FLYNN: Just for the record, from my point of view, the point of a background check…

[quote]GRAHAM: How many cases have you made? How many cases have you made?

[quote]FLYNN: It doesn’t matter, it’s a paper thing. I want to stop 76,000 people from getting guns illegally. That’s what a background check does. If you think we’re going to do paperwork prosecutions, you’re wrong. [...] We don’t make those cases. We have priorities. We make gun cases. We make 2,000 gun cases a year, senator, that’s our priority. We’re not in a paper chase. We’re trying to prevent the wrong people from buying guns. That’s why we do background checks. If you think I’m going to do a paper chase, then you think I’m going to misuse my resources.

Watch it:

In a separate exchange with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), John Walsh, the United States Attorney for Colorado argued that background checks are designed to deter criminals from purchasing weapons, noting that individuals who fail a check are effectively prevented from buying firearms. He added that “there’s no way the Department of Justice could have prosecuted all 1.5 million people who were rejected over that 15 year period.”

Indeed, the “low number of prosecutions in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, is consistent with other years” and is often seen as a poor use of resources. Prosecutors must prove that “the person knew they were lying when they tried to purchase the firearm” in order to secure a conviction which “usually carries a maximum sentence of just six months.”

Graham said that limited resources for police departments is a reason to bolster gun ownership, arguing that citizens would have to take the law in their own hands and protect themselves. “What this police chief is facing, is what every police chief is facing, less money so you may have to defend yourself,” he explained.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 903/01/2013

Lindsey Graham (R-Closet) brags about owning an assault weapon.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 103/01/2013

Yes R1, but it is a really, really tiny one.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 203/01/2013

Lindsey Graham is an embarrassment to the human population.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 303/01/2013

Graham would not be embarrassed by anything said by anyone. He's a major POS and the slime just slides off him.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 403/01/2013

He is a legend in his own mind. As small as that mind may be.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 503/01/2013

Don't South Carolianians see that he's gayer than a tree full of parrots? Surely, they must whisper.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 603/01/2013

What the fuck? He's ok with background checks but only if it actually means that people who try to get guns and are turned down are punished? Is that what he's trying to say?

That makes zero sense at all. First of all, why is trying to get a gun and being turned down a crime? Second, even if trying to buy a gun when one knows one shouldn't could be penalized, that is not the main purpose of background checks - far from it - the purpose is to make sure people who are deemed ineligible for gun ownership don't get the guns.

What a fucking idiot! And the witness didn't take this bullshit.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 703/01/2013

The man is a nitwit. How on earth he ever got elected, God only knows.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 803/01/2013

The Milwaukee PC was on some show on CNN or MSNBC today. I was impressed. Very smart and articulate.

by John McCain's Left Cheekreply 903/01/2013
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