Chris Wallace to Gabby Giffords' Husband: Background Check Didn't Prevent Wife's Shooting

March 31st, 2013 2:38 PM

The gun-hating media are convinced that background checks are the panacea that will prevent mass shootings in the future.

Don't include Chris Wallace amongst them for on the most recent installment of Fox News Sunday, the host told gun control activist Mark Kelly that a background check didn't prevent Jared Loughner from purchasing the weapon he shot Kelly's wife Gabrielle Giffords with in January 2011 (video follows with transcript and commentary):

MARK KELLY: I think any bill that does not include a universal background check is a mistake. It's the most common sense thing that we can do to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from having access to weapons.

I mean, the system that we have right now, we have 40 percent of all Americans who buy a gun buy it without a background check, and that's probably where most of the criminals and the mentally ill are going. I mean, we know from a poll that has been done with criminals in prison that over 80 percent of them get them through that loophole.

So, it would be a mistake not to address the thing that 92 percent of American households support and 74 percent of NRA members support, which is the universal background check.

WALLACE: All right. Well, let's pick up on that, because the main feature of what is going to be in the Senate bill and what you are pushing and are pushing today is the universal background check. This week, you went -- or rather, recently, a few weeks ago, you went to a gun store in the Arizona area, and bought a .45 caliber hand gun, and afterwards discussed the background check you had to go through with your wife, Gabby. Let's take a look.


KELLY: It was very easy to do. It took just like five minutes.


KELLY: You know, that's all we have to do to make sure everybody has to get a background check before buying a gun, to make sure that criminals and the mentally ill can't get one.

GIFFORDS: Universal background check.



WALLACE: Captain Kelly, what do you think that showed?

KELLY: Well, you know, we went in there, my executive director and ours, the executive of our organization, and in five minutes and 36 seconds is the time it took to fill out one piece of paper. You only have to fill out one side and for it to be submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and get an answer. Five minutes and 36 seconds.

So, what it shows you is that it is not the burden that the NRA leadership says, what a background check is. I mean, it's a simple, common sense thing we can do to make sure the criminals and the mentally ill can't have access to firearms.

WALLACE: Well, let's talk about that, because in Gabby's tragic case, the shooter, Jared Loughner, had been suspended from college because he was deemed to be a threat to himself and to others. He went to a gun store, he got a gun, passed a background check. And, yet he was able then of course to go out and shoot Gabby and 18 other people.

And, the NRA says the problem, the problem with the background check is that -- the kind of mental health information, for instance in Loughner's case, doesn't get passed on, so it doesn't get to be part of the background check.


What's also missing in this debate is how much mental health information can legally be passed on in such background checks.

Not surprisingly, much of the media are ignorant of something called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which established very strict security guidelines concerning the dissemination of individual health records.

Just last week, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights announced that it will soon publish a request for information on barriers related to HIPAA that could prevent states from making certain information available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

As such, unless mental health information is included in any new background checks, and such dissemination is deemed legal under HIPAA, Congress and the current White House resident might be implementing a law that does nothing to prevent the mass shootings that have the media calling for stricter gun control.

Much like Obama's 2009 stimulus plan, Washington would be creating legislation for legislation's sake all with the support of an adoring press.