Remember how the GOP is always touting "enforcing existing laws" as the best way to address gun violence? Well, now that President Obama is trying to do just that by requiring private gun sellers to fully comply with existing law, not so much.
Here's an excerpt from a letter to President Obama and then-Attorney General Eric Holder signed by 20-plus GOP lawmakers in the run up to the failed 2013 vote on new gun safety laws:
“We must all be looking for ways to prevent senseless acts of violence and the taking of innocent life but the best place to start would be enforcing the laws that Congress has already enacted.”
That sentiment has been echoed by many GOP presidential candidates over the past couple years.
Chris Christie, 2015: "We don't need new laws in this country to be able to do that—we have laws that exist now. We just need to enforce the ones that we do.”
Enforcement became the GOP mantra after the National Rifle Association (NRA) finally broke its silence on the December 2012 Newtown massacre and CEO Wayne LaPierre emphasized prosecuting the gun laws that already existed.
He blasted what he called “the political class here in Washington” for pursuing new gun control measures while failing, in his view, to adequately prosecute violations of existing gun laws, finance law enforcement programs or develop a national registry of mentally ill people who might prove to be “the next Adam Lanza,” the gunman in Newtown.
In fact, the NRA mocked President Obama's Tuesday announcement—while he was making it—as old hat, because they totally thought of it first.