Forget the thousands of Facebook and Twitter posts from the survivors of the Parkland Florida school massacre. Forget the marches for safe schools and streets. Forget the CNN townhalls and the fight back against the endless attacks from NRA gun lobbyists accusing us of trying to take away their Second Amendment rights.
All of these eminently laudable efforts obscure the fact that for all the media attention that gun regulation reform has garnered, virtually no action has been taken to actually close the loopholes that allow almost anyone to purchase an assault weapon just like the rifles used by the U.S. Army infantry in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at a local gun show.
The Hill published an article today featuring a video made by campaign staffers of Dan Helmer, a Democrat running for the seat currently held by Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA) in that state’s 10th District, that show the candidate walking into a gun show and purchasing an assault rifle without any background checks whatsoever.
Helmer posted the video to Twitter with the comment that he found it “terrifying” that “it took less time to buy a weapon of war than a cup of coffee.”
Last week, I went to a gun show to find out how easy it is to buy an assault rifle. What I found was terrifying – it took less time to buy a weapon of war than a cup of coffee. #VA10 #NeverAgain #VetsVsTheNRA pic.twitter.com/d6bYxe6ADj
— Dan Helmer (@HelmerVA10) April 30, 2018
The brief video shows the entire process involved in Helmer’s purchase at a gun show of a weapon just like the one the veteran of combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan used during his service.
“This is the same gun, same magazine I had in Afghanistan,” the congressional candidate says in the video.
Helmer asks the seller whether he will need to complete a background check to buy one of these deadly weapons, but nope, it was easy peasy to just hand over his Virginia ID and the payment and walk away with “an incredibly dangerous piece of weaponry that’s meant for war,” as he describes it.
The congressional hopeful told The Hill that this gun show loophole that allows such purchases without a background check has to be eliminated.
“There is a huge loophole in the law that makes it legal to buy such weapons from private dealers without doing a background check. This is insane, and it is dangerous. This weapon is similar to the weapons I carried in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there’s no reason it should be this easy to get one,” Helmer said.
Helmer’s campaign says that the candidate also supports an assault weapons ban, a high-capacity magazine ban, and a ban on bump stocks. Meanwhile, his incumbent opponent, Rep. Comstock has been endorsed by the NRA and has garnered an “A” rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund.
With Virginia’s 10th District having favored Hillary Clinton in the last election, and the incumbent Comstock gaining reelection with a slim 52% margin, Helmer has a chance to ensure his own electoral victory in the midterms by utilising the renewed interest in enacting reasonable regulations to protect school children and other potential gun violence victims from people whom no sane society would allow to own such weapons.
Everyone who reads this and feels the same way as he does about fighting the gun lobby agenda should consider supporting his campaign, and, if you are a registered voter in Virginia’s 10th district, voting for him as your next representative to Congress.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.