- The Washington Times - Monday, January 18, 2016

CNN host Mike Rowe slammed President Obama for his executive action on gun control, calling the National Instant Criminal Background Check System a “broken system” that relies on “laughably incomplete” data.

The former “Dirty Jobs” host, who now leads CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” said in a Facebook post Friday that he supports background checks on gun purchases, but remains skeptical whether “expanding a broken system is the best way to keep guns away from bad guys and lunatics.”

“Currently, thousands of people deemed mentally incompetent by the courts are NOT registered in our National Check System,” Mr. Rowe wrote. “That’s insane, if you’ll pardon the irony, in part because it’s so easily correctible [sic]. Likewise, The ATF says that most states report less than 80% of their felony convictions to the national system. As a result, nearly 7 million convicted felons are not currently registered. Is it any surprise that nearly every mass killer in recent memory passed a background check?

“Seems to me, our current system is only as good as the records in it, and right now, those records are laughably incomplete,” he continued. “But even more troubling are the tens of thousands of people who ARE in the system, that keep trying to buy guns illegally with absolutely no consequence. Lying on your application to purchase a firearm is a federal offense, but very few are prosecuted for doing so.

“To be clear, I’m not a member of The NRA,” Mr. Rowe added. “But from what I can tell, the NRA is not the reason that so many criminals and lunatics are able to buy guns today. Nor do they appear to oppose the kind of overhaul that would give us a more effective check system. In fact, wasn’t it The NRA that demanded background checks back in the mid-nineties, the moment the technology was first made available?

“Regardless, we now possess the technology to update and maintain an accurate data base of felons, lunatics, gang members, terrorists, B-list celebrities, and other unsavory types that we can all agree should never be allowed to own a weapon,” he wrote. “We also possess the ability to identify and prosecute anyone who attempts to buy a gun illegally. But if we don’t have the resources or the commitment to administer and enforce the system we have, why in the world would we want to make it bigger?

‪”When‬ there’s a hole in your net, you don’t need a bigger net; you need a smaller hole,” he added.

Mr. Rowe’s post has been shared more than 53,000 times. It follows an emotional plea by Mr. Obama earlier this month announcing executive actions that would expand background checks on gun sales.

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