John Boehner Seems to Not Understand How Laws Work

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks during a press briefing March 14, 2013 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Boehner commented on deficit reduction negotiations with U.S. President Barack Obama during the briefing.
Prefers state of nature. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Earlier today, John Boehner told CNN, confusingly, that even though he wants a “real background check on everyone,” he is not in favor of a new law expanding background checks to encompass … uh, everyone. (Currently, you can buy a gun at a gun show or from a private seller without having to pass a background check. Over 90 percent of Americans think that’s dumb.)

They should actually do a real background check on everyone,” Boehner said. “And they – the Department of Justice ought to enforce the law. Then laws are being violated every day; there’s no prosecutions coming out of the Department of Justice.”

He continued: “And laws don’t mean much if they’re not going to be enforced. We’ve got plenty of laws on the books. Let’s go and enforce them before we just load up more laws on law-abiding citizens. Criminals don’t respect the law. It will have no effect on them.”

Boehner also seems to be completely ignorant of how background checks work.  Although he claims that current law isn’t being enforced, our limited background-check system has denied 1.8 million gun applications since 1994, according to the Justice Department. The felons and fugitives who failed their background checks didn’t need to “respect the law,” because it wasn’t up to them whether or not to obey the law. The gun seller was told by the FBI not to sell them a gun, and the gun seller complied, because laws. 

Boehner Seems to Not Understand What Laws Are