It can be done. You just can’t do it in one fell swoop. You must do it in steps.
You take the first step in 1934 by making some kinds of guns bad, requiring them to be registered with the government and levying a special tax on them. This is to establish the idea that while some guns are OK, other guns are bad. This will be handy later on.
You take the next step in 1968. You pass laws adding more restrictions on gun ownership and sales, most notably establishing the requirement of a government-issued license for a business to sell guns. This will be handy later on.
Your next step is in 1993, when you pass a law creating certain classes of citizens who are prohibited from possessing guns, as well as adding a requirement that licensed dealers (created in 1968) run each prospective purchaser through an FBI background check before selling them a gun. This will be handy later on.
It is now “later on.” It is 2019, and none of this has had any impact on criminal gun ownership. Although that is not the true objective, you point this out and insist that we must take yet another step.
So far you have managed to outlaw certain types of guns and certain types of gun owners, and to require that sales from licensed dealers obtain government permission before proceeding. The problem is that citizens are still allowed to transfer (some) guns to each other without the participation of a licensed dealer (1968) or a background check (1993).
This next step is to pass laws requiring “universal background checks.” (2019) This will now close the loop and ensure that no guns of any type (good or bad) are transferred to any citizen (good or bad) without government permission. And although some would say this is a “good first step,” they are now only two moves away from the end game.
The next step is to point out that “universal background checks” have been ineffective in reducing crime (though they were not intended to reduce crime) since you don’t know who in America owns all the guns. You can’t tell if people are complying with the background check law without gun registration. So you pass that law…to “close the loophole”…and now you have everything you need. All the pieces are in position to take the final step and eliminate private gun ownership in America…at least by law abiding citizens.
We have established that some guns are bad, and the government decides what those are. (1934)
We have decided that some people are bad and prohibited from gun ownership, and the government decides who they are. (1993)
The government has a list of guns and gun owners. (?)
Remember, every time they pass another law, it is referred to as a “good first step”…right before the next one.
“What’s wrong with requiring a background check to buy a gun?”
I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me that question, but a story that surfaced this week might help provide a little clarity.
When a NICS background check is submitted for approval, one of the possible responses is “denied.” In the event of a denial, the applicant has the option of appealing the finding. The problem which surfaced this week is that the FBI announced that it is stopping the processing of such appeals “indefinitely.”
Due to the volume of new NICS background checks, the FBI says it has had to reassign personnel normally dedicated to the appeals process to handle the increase in new requests. What this means is that if you have been denied and appealed that finding, you can suck it.
But what’s the big deal? I mean, the 7,100 pending denial appeals are all bad people…aren’t they?
Not necessarily. While there are certainly some in that pool which were rightly denied, many are denied simply due to mistaken identity or other inaccurate information. Those people are being denied access to a Constitutionally guaranteed civil right for no other reason than bureaucratic inefficiency.
But hey…you have to break some eggs to make an omelet, and and you have to violate some rights to insure that criminals can’t get guns, right? That assumes that the existence of the background check system actually keeps guns out of criminal hands. While anti-gun rights organizations are fond of pointing to the number of NICS denials as evidence of the effectiveness of background checks, the truth is that these numbers have little to do with the way that criminals acquire guns.
Think he’s appealing a denied NICS check? (It’s a trick question: he’s not submitting to a background check in the first place)
This is because criminals simply do not submit to background checks. Criminals most often get guns from friends and family, black market street sources, or they steal them. Therefore, criminals are largely unaffected by the NICS system. So who does submit to background checks? Law-abiding citizens, that’s who. So the most likely person to be appealing a denied background check is going to be a law-abiding citizen who is the victim of mistaken identity or inaccurate information in the NICS system.
So as your mechanic might say, “there’s your problem right there.” Law-abiding citizens are denied access to a civil right, and criminals go about their business…simply because the government can’t get around to it. That’s what’s wrong with background checks.
— Dave Cole