Veteran group’s ad calling for gun control is misleading (+ video)

The group is running television ads calling for “background checks” for all firearm purchases. The veteran in the ad is Glenn Kunkel, a Marine who fought in Iraq and is a recipient of the Purple Heart.

In the ad Kunkel states that he “… had to get a background check before joining the Marines” to use an AR-15 (M-16) style rifle. Kunkel then states that anyone can get such a rifle. He goes on to say that anyone who wants a similar AR-15 style rifle should be required to have a “background check“.

This ad is misleading for the following reasons:

  1. To join the military a background check is required to determine the person (enlistee) is qualified to serve. This has nothing to do with the type of weapon a person will carry, or in some cases not carry a weapon at all while serving in our military.
  2. Once in the military background checks are conducted if the service member is required to have a security clearance above confidential. This is necessary to insure there is nothing that would make the service member a security risk.
  3. There is no relationship to a weapon and the induction or security clearance background checks.
  4. The video makes a direct correlation between the type of rifle and the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. The video makes no mention of the mental status of Adam Lanza, the killer.
  5. There is no record that Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook killer, purchased any of the guns he used in the shooting.

The New Haven Register reported:

Two former top investigators who are now on the faculty at the University of New Haven offered insight into the statement by a witness that Sandy Hook School was Adam Lanza’s “life.” Lanza had attended the school as a child.

“I found that very interesting,” said Peter Valentin, a lecturer in the forensic science department at UNH. “Why would a person his age consider an elementary school his life?”

William Tafoya, a retired FBI agent and a professor at UNH known for his accurate profiling in the Unabomber case, said the school probably had some importance in Lanza’s life, something he either associated with very happy or very unpleasant memories.

The video is misleading in its basic premise that it is the gun and not Adam Lanza that is to blame.

All firearm purchases from Federally licensed gun dealers require a database check. A background check would require a law enforcement agent to investigate each and every person wishing to purchase a fire arm. A very costly and time consuming process. Background checks are an intrusion into the privacy of the individual and would require that person to give authorization for the purpose of purchasing a firearm.

BTW, the weapon shown in the Vote Vets video is not a military grade weapon, the one shown is simply a semi-automatic look alike of the one Kunkel carried in the Marine Corps (usually an M-4 carbine). The one Kunkel carried is not the same as the one he is firing. It appears from the video that that weapon he is firing is his personal firearm, which he purchased.

Be wary when anyone who uses the term “background check”. It connotes government expansion and control on an entirely new level.

Here is the video ad from

RELATED COLUMN: Sen. Jeff Flake: Universal background checks ‘a bridge too far’