Skip to comments.The Absurdity of “Universal” Background Checks
Posted on 04/10/2013 8:24:14 PM PDT by marktwain
Those who favor universal background checks on gun buyers make some ridiculous arguments. For example, opponents correctly point out that gun buyers with criminal intent will always find channels that require no background check. Gunrunning is among the oldest professions, and the black market will always be with us. Thus the promise of universal background checks -- even if that were a legitimate government activity -- is a fraud, because universality cant possibly be achieved.
Supporters, however, challenge this argument by contending that it proves too much: If requiring background checks is futile as a crime-fighting measure, they ask, why should we have laws against murder, rape, battery, and robbery? Those laws will never stop everyone from committing a crime, so whats the point?
This argument is flawed. Lets remember that the background-check requirement is intended, prophylactically, to keep guns out of the hands of those who would do harm to others. In contrast, the prohibition against murder and other forms of aggression is intended, retrospectively, to legitimate the apprehension and prosecution of people who have committed offenses against person and property. Yes, deterrence is also intended, but the main objective is to permit action after the fact.
Supporters of background checks may respond that a universal requirement would permit the government to go after those who have used guns aggressively. But this argument has no force whatever, simply because if someone commits aggression with a gun, the government already has grounds to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrator. What value is there in being able to charge a suspected mass murderer with illegal possession of a gun as well?
The practical argument for mandated background checks depends solely on its potential for keeping guns out of the hands of those who would use them to commit crimes. (However, it would not have stopped Adam Lanza in Newtown or other mass murderers.) On that ground the argument fails, because people with criminal intent will find ways to buy guns that do not require a check. Proponents of background checks seem to think that a government decree will dry up the black market. But why would it? Sales will go on beyond the governments ability to monitor them. Out of sight, out of government control.
Proponents also mock those who predict that so-called universal background checks will lead to gun registration and confiscation. But this is not an outlandish fear. (The ACLU shares it.) Since guns will continue to be bought and sold without background checks, a national registry is the likely next step in the crusade to deter such transfers. The civil-liberties implications are harrowing.
Thus the case against mandating universal background checks withstands scrutiny. This measure would not keep criminally minded people from acquiring guns, but it would give a false sense of security to the public by promising something they cannot deliver. What will the public, which favors background checks, call for after the next atrocity? A total prohibition on guns and confiscation?
While it wouldn't prevent crime, a background-check law could impede persons without criminal intent from obtaining firearms for self-defense. Many law-abiding people dont buy a gun until theyve been threatened -- a woman by her estranged husband, for example -- and they will be reluctant to buy one outside the law. (Someone with a conviction for a felony drug charge or other victimless crime cannot legally possess a gun. Why such people should be barred from an effective means of self-defense is a mystery that ought to be explained.)
This criticism of so-called universal background checks demonstrates the futility of the proposal. A more specifically moral (and libertarian) criticism is that mere possession of a firearm entails no aggression whatever, regardless of a persons background, and therefore should not be prohibited. Government may not properly interfere with someone because he might commit a crime. (Of course businesses owners have a right to deny entry to people with guns -- just as gun owners have a right to patronize other businesses.)
But, some will say, isnt a requirement for background checks worthwhile if it might save one innocent life? And what if the requirement might cost one innocent life? Is one innocent life more valuable than another?
Sheldon Richman is vice president and editor at The Future of Freedom Foundation (www.fff.org) in Fairfax, Va.
Register illegals not legals
Confiscation has already started in NYS. I cannot think of a better reason to prohibit background checks and wipe federal databases of ANY information about citizens that could be possibly misused by government itself.
Biden said they can’t even handle the background checks they do now. And they do millions a year.
anytime you order a gun online it’s an ffl and background check. anyone buying from a store has a background check done. Thieves do not buy guns from gun stores. they get their guns illegally on the street. Or they steal them from law abiding gun owners, like Adam Lanza did. Lanza did try to buy guns at a gun store the week before and he was turned down, the background check didn’t go through.
Aren’t Universal BC’s done by Hollyweird?
The gun-control advocates know that a certain percentage of legal gun-owners will obey the law. The problem is that many others will decide to become criminals, knowing that the law cannot be enforced.This will breed contempt for law, just as prohibition did and the war on drugs has.
A complete lacking of understanding of criminals, their motives and disincentives must be a prerequisite for becoming a democrat/liberal/progressive.
If we wish hard enough all the bad people will just become good and blow bubbles...
Background checks for guns should be as simple and unintrusive as registering to vote. Buying a gun should be as easy as voting. Both are constitutional rights. I think they should be linked.
“Of course businesses owners have a right to deny entry to people with guns -”
Assuming that’s true, would it be an infringement if there was a law making it illegal for people with guns to enter a business if the business owner denies entry to people with guns?
“-just as gun owners have a right to patronize other businesses.”
The author’s worldview is to narrow. There may be no other businesses to patronize.
I think it's even worse than that. Yes, the useful idiots on the left believe as you say, but their masters in the royal court know better.
They have no intention of disarming their partners in the overthrow of our country. They only intend to disarm those who would resist their treason.
Just another basic human right. Right?
The reason: if that gun owner fails the background check, it will not prevent them from having a gun; they've still got all of whatever guns they had before.
Your insight, I regret, is likely true.
I hate to think such things of American government officials.
Of course businesses owners have a right to deny entry to homosexuals. -
Just another basic human right. Right?
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How about last year the ‘Philly Cheese Steak’ (or a similar type establishment) had a sign that simply stated:
“Order in ENGLISH only”
And he got dragged over the coals...While the sign may have been a ‘little over the top (wink wink)’, there should be absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Do you expect him to hire someone to speak Farsi, Tagalog or whatever Nationality may venture into his store?
NOW, if he is in a predominately Filipino neighborhood, it would behoove him to speak or at least hire someone that spoke Tagalog on his payroll.
Fine if he doesn’t want their business (kind of stupid if that is where he is located) BUT it should be none of the Governments business to ORDER him to HAVE to communicate with anyone that may walk into his store.
When I first went to Japan and the rest of the Far East in the mid 50’s, ALL the people that worked in relationship to US learned to speak English because they knew it would be easier to get our money that way.
Of course the more Sake or Torys you drank the less important the language barrier became BUT that is another ‘story’ in itself.
BTW in VA if you go into an establishment armed and they have a posted sign that they ‘don’t want guns in store’ etc, the only charge you can get is trespassing.
I am sure if you make a point of it, the more liberal cities/towns/counties, would find other stuff to charge you with.
But since ‘they’ can’t ‘frisk you without probable cause’ if you are carrying concealed, who is to know?
I pay no attention to the store owners ‘wishes’ but if it comes to the point where I have to brandish or draw, the owner and other customers will be falling over themselves ‘thanking me’ because the situation will have gotten desperate and just about ‘out of hand’.
Questions that should be on the background check:
Are you muslim?
Does obama give you a tingle down your leg?
Answering “yes” gets a rejection.
A florist in WA state is being sued (prosecuted?) for refusing to sell flowers for a “gay” wedding. Business owners are not allowed to choose to allow smoking in their establishments. If business owners are not allowed to make these choices what right do they have to refuse to allow law abiding gun owners?
Business owners are not allowed to choose to allow smoking in their establishments. If business owners are not allowed to make these choices what right do they have to refuse to allow law abiding gun owners?
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I feel if I own a business and the majority of my customers ask me to not allow smoking, it should be my decision, based on whatever, understanding I may lose some business over my decision no matter what I chose.
It should NOT be the Govt’s place to come in and tell me I can’t allow smoking.
There was a ‘controversial’ County Administrator in Fairfax County VA who proclaimed that forcing businesses to abide by this law was setting a dangerous precedent.
He was stating that ‘maybe’ the Govt could give guidelines, even ‘people classes’ to owners BUT if he owned it etc, let the decision be his. When people start to not come in, he will either change his mind or change his method of business.
Remember when ‘they’ started this no smoking business, at the time I was a 4 pack a day Regular Camel smoker and I even figured there was nothing wrong with a designated non smoking area for those that didn’t want to be around it in a restaurant.
But even ‘me and my ilk’ giving in to the slightest minutiae in this regard has led, in about 25-30 years to NO SMOKING in public parks and stadiums (cigarettes anyway, the law doesn’t seem to apply to ‘rock concerts’ in stadiums..)
Denver is a perfect example of that political hypocrisy. They now have marijuana clubs where you can go and smoke dope but it’s illegal to open a cigar or pipe club.
They now have marijuana clubs where you can go and smoke dope but its illegal to open a cigar or pipe club.
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THAT is so hypocritical that even as sardonic, sarcastic, and cynical as I may be, I hadn’t put that idiocy together.
If you are up to your chin in feces and someone throws a bucket of phlegm at you, do you duck?
That is about the same type of choice we are starting to get when it comes to elections.....
Of course businesses owners have a right to deny entry to people with guns -
In some states you can be sued out of existence by the government for not wanting to take photos, sell flowers or bake a cake for a “Gay couple”. Something I think that’s covered under the right to freely associate.
But another right, the Right to keep and bear arms, is routinely being denied by other businesses under that same right of Free association.
It’s a strange, strange time we live in. So why do I keep getting these premonitions that the tsunami of history is about to hit at any moment.
All of this “background check” crap is a way for the government to establish a new “Ministry of Information” that can be used by all governmental factions from local to the national level to control the population and punishment thereof for infractions of any and all (constitutional or non-constitutional) directives and laws laid down by our Marxist/Socialist government.
Next, we will have information funneled into it by a new generation of “Hitler’s Youth” who keep the information flowing into the system through our public indoctrination centers (schools and colleges) by reporting their parents, family members and all “friends” to the system.
I’m afraid so. Traitor A or Traitor B.