Skip to comments.A universally bad idea ("a 'universal' background check system")
Posted on 03/19/2013 3:01:57 PM PDT by neverdem
Will trampling the rights of law-abiding gun owners really do anything to help keep our children safe? Will piling unnecessary weight on a federal regulatory system thats already drowning help keep guns out of the wrong hands? The answers, of course, are no which is why a so-called universal background check system should be dismissed by any lawmaker who is serious about protecting constitutional freedom and improving public safety.
A mandate for truly universal background checks would put the federal government squarely in the middle of every sale, loan or gift of a firearm between private individuals. In other words, it would criminalize all private firearms transfers, even between family members or friends who have known each other all of their lives.
Such a sweeping and intrusive new mandate would crush the current National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS), which is already overwhelmed.
Under current law, anyone who purchases a firearm through a retail channel whether its online, in a gun shop or at gun show must first clear a check through the NICS. Federal law at this time prohibits more than 10 categories of individuals from purchasing firearms, including felons, the mentally ill, drug users and others.
But it cant be effective unless the NICS database contains good and complete data which it currently does not.
According to FBI data, as of 2011, 23 states and the District of Columbia submitted fewer than 100 mental health records to NICS. Seventeen states submitted less than 10 records, and four states submitted no mental health records at all, not to mention the fact that states arent submitting all the felony records theyre supposed to send to NICS.
In addition to its data problem, NICS is currently bogged down by hundreds of thousands of records that it shouldnt contain. These include the records of veterans who have been arbitrarily disqualified by the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as records that are incomplete or inaccurate a common occurrence, according to the Justice Department.
Lack of enforcement is also crippling the current system. Although its a federal crime to submit false information on a federal firearms purchase form, only 62 out of 72,659 such cases were prosecuted in 2010 and only 13 of those resulted in convictions. This means that prohibited persons who are caught by NICS are being turned loose to obtain firearms elsewhere, rather than being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
According to Vice President Biden, the reason for this near total lack of enforcement is that we simply dont have the time or the manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.
How then does it make any sense to add countless law-abiding Americans to an already overwhelmed and crippled system? Shouldnt the immediate focus be on getting a meaningful increase in the enforcement rate? Shouldnt Congress and the White House be working to get mentally ill people and felons into the database so we can actually have a chance at preventing them from purchasing firearms?
These objectives would be the focus if the goal was public safety. But it isnt.
What were seeing with this current debate is symptomatic of a problem that has plagued Washington for a long time. Tragedy strikes, and very well-meaning sentiment builds around a worthy cause. Unfortunately, it isnt very long before the cause gets co-opted by politicians who care less about the cause itself and more about how the cause can help them advance a personal political agenda.
The leading culprits in this case President Obama, Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), to name a few are lifelong anti-Second-Amendment politicians. Their obsession with universal background checks has nothing do with public safety. Rather, they rightly see such a system as a major advance toward the holy grail of anti-gun laws: gun registration.
In fact, Obamas own Justice Department recently reported that the effectiveness of a universal background check system depends on ... requiring gun registration. In other words, the only way that the government could fully enforce universal background checks would be to mandate the registration of all firearms in private possession something that has been prohibited by federal law since 1986.
Criminalizing private firearms transfers through a universal background check system would not have prevented any of the tragedies that spurred the recent misguided push for more gun control. Not a single one. Such a policy would, however, enable future tragedies by diverting scarce federal resources away from the vastly and dangerously overburdened NICS. It would also unduly burden law-abiding Americans from exercising their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. For these reasons, lawmakers should oppose it.
Cox is the executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action and serves as the organizations chief lobbyist.
With background checks we can catch every criminal and mentally ill person that even looks at a gun./s
It’s not about safety, it’s about control.
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny, but when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
How many times must it be said. It’s not for protecting the “children”, it’s for control of the populace. They know perfectly well that a Gang-banger won’t obey this law either.
If Universal Background checks will result in mandatory registration of firearms even if it does so at the point-of-sale, doesn’t that really demand we ask if the current background checks through dealers are also functionally producing registration each time a gun is bought from a dearler?
I’ve read that after a check is completed the Feds are required by law to dispose of the records(background check records not the 4473).
Something to be said about Thomas Jefferson.
Why didn't they use it on the occupant at 1600?
Okay, let's start with the POTUS, VEEP, cabinet, and "kitchen" cabinet members, and Members of both congressional houses.
Among the items of info, a total, complete, comprehensive, unexpurgated, and official collegiate transcripts, and which must include the full name of the student, the nationality of the student, grades, theses, professors, and texts.
Also, what background check would be complete without a listing of all friends, acquaintances, and associates (especially if their names might rhyme with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn)?
Drug use? Let's require that it all be listed, including substance, frequency, and how obtained.
Background checks should start with those who we trust to represent us, and we trust to follow our Constitution, n'est ce pas?
As to the "mentally ill," such a finding should be in a court of law, preferably by jury.
The two or three up there, you mean?
After seeing what juries do in some malpractice cases, I wouldn't want to trust my fate to a jury.
That's a civil case between an apparently injured party and a supposedly deep pocket. I think that in a case deciding whether to commit a person the tendency would be to avoid adverse judgment, particularly where a reasonable doubt standard comes into play.
Have YOU got 'deep pockets' and have been demonized to the point that your mere existance is cause for a bunch of random people to feel justified in stealing a lot of your money and giving it away?