Police arrested a convicted felon for possession of drugs, a police badge, a gallon jug of gun powder with fuses and bottles of butane…and guns.
Take note, NRA: A convicted felon near Tacoma, Washington, had guns. According to KOMO News, a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy found a stolen car while on patrol, and recognized one of the homes nearby as belonging to Scott Varnsickle, a man already on probation with the Washington State Department of Corrections.
When the deputy told the Department of Corrections that he was suspicious of Varnsickle, they decided to send officers to check out his trailer. They found marijuana plants at first, and arrested him on the charge of violating a previous drug sentence. Another check revealed four handguns, two AR-15 magazines, a revolver that was missing its barrel, along with more drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The thing with Varnsickle’s guns is that the NRA says that we should get guns out of the hands of criminals, and then works to block anything that might actually do it through the GOP. A Quinnipiac poll from July of this year shows that an overwhelming 92% of Americans favor background checks on all gun buyers, including 89% of Republicans. While the exact wording of the question was somewhat vague, “all gun buyers” presumably means those who buy guns at shows and anywhere else, in addition to stores. So why isn’t this done yet? Because the NRA and the GOP won’t let it happen. Letting it happen means less money and influence for them.
But the NRA, and the GOP, blame Obama for not prosecuting criminals caught trying to buy guns. The failure is not just with prosecution, however. At gun shows, and in other ways, someone can go buy a gun without the seller ever knowing that the person they just sold to couldn’t legally buy a gun.
Politifact has a story on the NRA’s position on background checks, which shows that they once supported checks with no loopholes for anybody, ever, but has since changed their position. Now the NRA says that we have to fix the current system, and implies that once we do that, everything will be better. Except it won’t, because who knows where criminals like Varnsickle get their guns. They could have been stolen, but maybe he bought them from a gun show. He could have gotten them from another private seller who’s somehow exempt from having to do a background check, and thus, didn’t know about his record.
Or perhaps Varnsickle got them from family or friends, who should be prosecuted, but can’t be very easily, because the state would have to prove that those people knew of his criminal record first. Regardless, without closing all those loopholes in background check laws, people like Varnsickle will continue to get hold of guns.
Sadly, thanks to the NRA, there’s a reasonable chance that this guy’s yet another criminal who slipped through the cracks of our current background check system. These aren’t the cracks of a broken system, as the NRA keeps claiming. They’re the cracks that the NRA intentionally keeps open, to drive both fear and gun sales.