Despite announcing that he will vote to confirm Christopher Wray to head the FBI, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) couldn’t resist the temptation to trot out his anti-gun talking points during this week’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Wray, described by the Washington Post as “a low-key former senior Justice Department official,” is President Donald Trump’s pick to replace fired former FBI head James Comey. The 50-year-old Wray maintained that demeanor during several hours of questioning.
It was near the end of Blumenthal’s exchange with the nominee at 3:52:28 in the video that he “switched to a different topic” from how Wray might handle certain requests from the president. Here’s what Blumenthal asked, as transcribed by C-SPAN:
“You’ve mentioned the scourge of gun violence in this country. Would you support common-sense measures to stop gun violence? As you know, I’ve championed a number of them, along with others on this committee and in the Senate, including universal background checks. Would you support that kind of measure?”
Wray, a Yale Law School graduate and former federal prosecutor, deftly replied, “I would want to take a look at any specific legislative proposal and get back to you once I had evaluated any specific piece of legislation. But I do support efforts to deal with gun violence aggressively and effectively, and I think my record as a prosecutor and in the leadership of the Department (of Justice) is consistent with that.”
Blumenthal followed up, “In principle, you would support such measures. You’d want to see the details, but for example, on universal background checks, you would not rule out supporting a measure?”
And Wray came right back: “I wouldn’t rule out any common-sense gun reform legislation without having a chance to review it. I would have to review it and make an assessment based on the circumstances. But I can commit to you that being tough on gun violence is something that I would want to be as director of the FBI.”
Wray didn’t promise anything, and wary Second Amendment activists would argue that none of Blumenthal’s suggestions would have any impact on the kind of violence he’s trying to prevent. Criminals using guns to shoot rival gang members in Chicago and other places don’t bother with background checks because they don’t acquire firearms through legal retail means.
Blumenthal and other gun control proponents never seem to understand how their proposals require some level of cooperation from criminals that the criminals have no interest in providing.