Following President Obama’s announcement of new executive action on guns in America, “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe took to social media to lambast it.
Mike Rowe is a familiar name to many Americans. Known for his Discovery Channel show show “Dirty Jobs” and CNN show “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” Rowe has used his celebrity status to showcase blue collar jobs and hard work in the 21st century. His work has been recognized nationally that even Congress asked him to testify before two committee on jobs and the economy in 2011 and again in 2014.
Rowe had enough of his fellow celebrities spreading misinformation about guns that he went to Facebook, as he always does, to bring some common sense dialogue to the issue.
He began his January 15th Facebook post by joking about how his opinion was sought out by the president on gun rights. Instead, Rowe lambasted this administration’s reluctance to enforce current laws related to background checks on firearms.
Currently, thousands of people deemed mentally incompetent by the courts are NOT registered in our National Check System. That’s insane, if you’ll pardon the irony, in part because it’s so easily correctible. Likewise, The ATF says that most states report less than 80% of their felony convictions to the national system. As a result, nearly 7 million convicted felons are not currently registered. Is it any surprise that nearly every mass killer in recent memory passed a background check?
Seems to me, our current system is only as good as the records in it, and right now, those records are laughably incomplete. But even more troubling are the tens of thousands of people who ARE in the system, that keep trying to buy guns illegally with absolutely no consequence.
Lying on your application to purchase a firearm is a federal offense, but very few are prosecuted for doing so. According to Politico, the Feds have prosecuted just 1.5% of all those individuals who have attempted to purchase a gun illegally. If my math is correct, that means 98.5% of people who are NOT allowed to own a gun, have not been prosecuted for trying to buy one.
He adds, “Maybe it’s a manpower problem? Maybe it’s a resource problem? But whatever the reason, many thousands of individuals who try to purchase a gun illegally are allowed to keep on trying. Many eventually succeed, and then use that gun in the commission of a crime. This strikes me a serious problem. And yet, I’ve received no tweets from my favorite action heroes, asking me to support an effort to fix the system we have. Why is that?”
Rowe also said the National Rifle Association doesn’t embolden criminals or oppose background checks:
To be clear, I’m not a member of The NRA. Last time I joined a club it was The Boy Scouts, and that was a long time ago. But from what I can tell, the NRA is not the reason that so many criminals and lunatics are able to buy guns today. Nor do they appear to oppose the kind of overhaul that would give us a more effective check system. In fact, wasn’t it The NRA that demanded background checks back in the mid-nineties, the moment the technology was first made available?
Mr. Rowe added by saying technology is available to track criminals but it isn’t utilized because those in charge of government are beholden to an agenda.
He continues, “Regardless, we now possess the technology to update and maintain an accurate data base of felons, lunatics, gang members, terrorists, B-list celebrities, and other unsavory types that we can all agree should never be allowed to own a weapon. We also possess the ability to identify and prosecute anyone who attempts to buy a gun illegally.”
“But if we don’t have the resources or the commitment to administer and enforce the system we have, why in the world would we want to make it bigger?,” writes Rowe.
Isn’t it great to see celebrities like Mike Rowe add some clarity to the debate on firearms in America? He should be applauded for his defense of the Second Amendment and gun rights.