As mass shootings continue to plague the United States, most recently in Odessa, Texas, Americans are calling for action to be taken to stem the epidemic. Among the calls to action are universal background checks, which would close federal loopholes and require background checks for private sales. While many states have laws requiring background checks for private transactions, they aren't required under federal law.
Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) wants to keep it that way. His state, which has had at least two mass shootings in 30 days, loosened gun laws the day after the Odessa shooting.
Crenshaw took to Twitter to rail against calls for background checks, lamenting that they would prohibit him from letting friends "borrow" his guns.
Situations like this story are why we protect the 2nd Amendment. Side note: With universal background checks, I w… https://t.co/Vv35UIeHWt— Dan Crenshaw (@Dan Crenshaw)1567565003.0
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) soon responded, incredulous that he'd loan guns to friends he didn't think would pass a background check.
You are a member of Congress. Why are you “lending” guns to people unsupervised who can’t pass a basic background c… https://t.co/76jx4iLycP— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1567605844.0
Crenshaw bristled at the statement.
Just so I’m clear: you think my friends are domestic abusers/criminals? Seriously that’s your argument? That they c… https://t.co/JeNoQORf4G— Dan Crenshaw (@Dan Crenshaw)1567615081.0
Ocasio-Cortez then pointed out to him that Crenshaw himself said that background checks would forbid him from loaning guns to his friends.
You said w/ universal background checks, you wouldn’t be able to “lend” guns to friends. If a background check wou… https://t.co/NMK6y9uCYM— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1567615930.0
As for the claim that Crenshaw's friends could be domestic abusers, Ocasio-Cortez followed up in a thread regarding the relationship between guns and domestic violence.
Herein lies an important point abt domestic abuse: most of it is hidden. You could know an abuser & have no clue.… https://t.co/IdUHqKItmw— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1567616595.0
This idea of “I know the guy, there’s no way he beats his wife” as the way we keep guns out of the hands of abusers… https://t.co/LuoL3cROSl— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1567617196.0
Rapists can have Ivy League degrees. Abusers can look like “good dads” or have high incomes or “great jobs.” Good… https://t.co/CIjjC0D2Xd— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1567617569.0
Domestic abusers can be master manipulators. Plus, domestic abuse is a HUGE indicator for gun violence. That’s why… https://t.co/zbqzt3pF4b— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1567618008.0
According to FBI statistics, more than half of women murdered by a partner are killed with a gun. Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that the House of Representatives passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in April, which closes the "boyfriend loophole" by extending gun prohibition to convicted domestic abusers who weren't married to their victim or don't have a child with their victim.
People applauded Ocasio-Cortez's conviction in rebuking Crenshaw.
@AOC Anyone that disagrees with universal background checks is OWNED by the NRA. I am a Republican and even I get this!— Nathaniel #CountryOverParty (@Nathaniel #CountryOverParty)1567615963.0
@AOC My Queen is absolutely owning @DanCrenshawTX today, my goodness. ⚰️— Andrew Conway 🇺🇸⚖️🗽 (@Andrew Conway 🇺🇸⚖️🗽)1567616557.0
@AOC I say it again. Im a veteran and ive owned guns my whole life. I would NEVER loan a gun to someone to use when i wasnt present.— Jesse Give Kurdistan to the Kurds (@Jesse Give Kurdistan to the Kurds)1567616158.0
In addition to closing the Boyfriend Loophole, the House of Representatives passed an expansive gun reform bill in February, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has let it stall in the Senate. He says he's waiting for Trump's endorsement to bring any gun legislation to a vote.
Listen to the first episode of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!', where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
Be sure to subscribe here and never miss an episode.