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Dave Ross

Mr. Senator let me speak

One of the witnesses, Chief Edward Flynn of the Milwaukee police department, couldn't help himself, and interrupted. (AP Photo/File)

You don’t often hear a senator overpowered by a witness at a Senate hearing but it happened Wednesday – at a hearing into the assault weapons ban.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was saying before we ban assault weapons, we should prosecute the unfit people who try to buy guns; the people who sign that form at the gun shop swearing they have a clean record, but then fail the background check. One of the witnesses, Chief Edward Flynn of the Milwaukee police department, couldn’t help himself, and interrupted.

“Mr Senator, the purposes of a background check -” and Flynn is cut off.

“How many cases have you made?” asked Graham.

“It doesn’t matter, it’s a paper thing,” responded Flynn. “I want to stop 76,000 people from buying guns illegally. That’s what a background check does. If you think we’re going to do a paperwork prosecution …”

Order was quickly restored, and the Second Amendment suffered nary a scratch.

But we started to get a glimpse of what this new world of banning people instead of guns might look like – when the other witness, U.S. Attorney John Walsh, said, “There have been over 1.5 million rejected, we should be proud of that. But there is also no way that the department of justice could have prosecuted all 1.5 million people who were rejected over that 15 year purpose [period.]”

Walsh meant period. He was a little nervous. But this is our dilemma, right? The Senator wants all this law enforcement, but tomorrow across the country the federal furloughs begin – affecting police departments and U.S. attorneys offices – even as a police chief and a U.S. attorney are being told they should have prosecuted 1.5 million more people than they did.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.

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