During a heated debate about gun regulations on Sunday morning, ABC News’ Terry Moran accused Karl Rove of using “Orwellian” language to scare people about background checks, noting that the federal government is not seeking to confiscate guns but rather keep them out of the hands of criminals and people who are mentally ill.
Discussing proposals that would require private sellers to maintain records of the background checks they perform, Rove falsely claimed that the government would maintain a “registry if a grandfather wants to give a treasured shotgun to his grandson or granddaughter” and keep a “national registry of gun sales and gun purchases and gun owners.” Moran hit back at Rove, noting that he was spreading “paranoia” and “fear” in order to build opposition against the measure:
MORAN: Karl — stop scaring people, you’re scaring people with this Orwellian sense, that black helicopters and the government are going to confiscate Americans’ guns. That kind of paranoia fuels…
ROVE: Will all due respect, it’s not paranoia.
MORAN: Who is going to confiscate all of the guns?
ROVE: People have a fear of this. Why do it? Why do you need it? …
MORAN: The result of this is that all the votes that have been taken since Newtown have weakened gun control.
The proposals currently being drafted would require a background check on all gun purchases including those by private sellers while exempting family and temporary transfers. In some of the drafts being circulated, private dealers would have to maintain records for all private sales, while other exempt non-commercial private sales from record keeping. None of the bills would maintain a national gun registry, which is already illegal under current law. But the record keeping provision is important, advocates claim, to ensure that the checks are being properly conducted.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 88 percent of Americans, including 85 percent of gun owners, believe “those purchasing firearms at private sales and gun shows should undergo a background check.”