A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.
On Tuesday, conservatives weighed in about the reinvigorated debate over gun control following the Las Vegas shooting. National Review editor Rich Lowry criticized calls for measures like background checks:
The go-to proposal is universal back-ground checks, although the perpetrators of mass shootings usually haven’t been adjudicated and therefore have passed background checks, as Paddock did in purchasing at least some of his guns. He had no history of mental illness, and people who knew him didn’t report any bizarre behavior. He had no criminal record, beyond a minor violation years ago. He didn’t even have politics that anyone was aware of. ISIS is claiming responsibility, but the FBI says it hasn’t found any evidence of a connection. His brother seemed sincerely dumbfounded and called Paddock “just a guy.” No enhanced background-check regime, no matter how vigorous, would have stopped him from purchasing guns.
Also at National Review, Kevin Williamson offered potential solutions for reducing gun homicides. He highlighted the need for stronger local and national efforts to prosecute “straw-buyer” cases—in which a buyer enlists someone with a cleaner record to purchase guns—before rattling off several other options:
Jeff Sessions could order — tomorrow — the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago to reverse its policy of refusing to prosecute straw-buyer cases unless they are part of a bigger arms-trafficking case. Prosecutors don’t like to go after straw buyers because the cases are a lot of work and they result in relatively minor convictions of sometimes-sympathetic defendants who orbit the criminal universe rather than being at the center of it. But straw buyers are an important source of illegal firearms for criminals who cannot legally purchase them themselves. We also need to more aggressively prosecute some gun-related violent crimes short of homicide, including handing down real jail time for illegal-possession convictions. The overwhelming majority of the murders in our big cities are committed by men with prior criminal histories. Better probation and parole systems — ours are a joke — might be of some use there. So would better mental-health care.
Commentary’s Noah Rothman took aim at claims that the NRA is primarily responsible for inaction on gun control. “The influence of this group has almost certainly been overstated,” he wrote. “Since 1998, the NRA has donated $3,534,294 to sitting members of Congress. Over nearly two decades, that amounts to approximately $184,000 annually spread out over hundreds of members of Congress. That’s not a bankroll; that’s pocket change.” At RedState, Brandon Morse wrote a post titled “Living In A Free And Dangerous Country Is Better Than Living In A Restricted And ‘Safe’ Country.”
We accept that freedom is dangerous. We accept that misfortune may befall us. That our decisions may hurt us.
We accept that people, maybe me, maybe you, maybe someone we love, will die.
But we accept these freedoms because we know the benefits of freedom vastly outweigh the dangers.
In other news:
Conservatives assessed the optics of President Trump’s visit to Hurricane Maria–stricken Puerto Rico. RedState’s writer known as streiff argued that Trump’s spat with San Juan’s mayor and other factors had hobbled the president. “This trip failed to do what it needed to do on just about every level,” the post read. “In addition to what Trump said, yesterday the administration leaked there would be as many as eight cabinet officials on the trip. As far as I can tell, Mick Mulvaney was the only other VIP. On the whole a very poorly stage-managed trip that created none of the great visuals Trump’s team was able to create in Houston.” Also at RedState, Brad Slager speculated about the political impact of Maria refugees in the United States. “The Democrats see the arrivals as a voting windfall, while the GOP see them as a potential new opportunity,” he wrote. “Marco Rubio has been an energetic voice from Republicans. The only primary candidate to visit the island (Puerto Rico has no Presidential vote, but does participate in the primaries) Rubio was one of the first politicians to visit just after the storm.”