Another example of backward thinking from a gun banner house organ…
The National Rifle Association argues that such checks won’t deter felons and other ineligible purchasers determined to acquire guns. But the numbers belie that contention: More than 2 million would-be purchasers have been denied since the existing system was launched in 1994.
Get a load of this. The reason to believe expanding background checks is a good idea is because the current system has already forced 2 million ‘would-be purchasers’ over a speed bump. Two million! That’s a big number! It’s got to be a good thing! We need more people stopped by the government*! More! More! That means fewer guns, right?
No doubt people managed to buy guns anyway. But others were likely deterred — and a system of universal checks would make illegal purchases even more difficult.
Oh. Well, okay, maybe the current background check system doesn’t mean fewer guns. But that’s the reason to do it more! Harder! After all, we’re making it more difficult! And that’s good. Citizens should find it difficult to do what their masters disapprove. ‘Legal rights’ is such a bothersome principle, now that we’ve done away with the fiction of ‘natural rights.’
The real holdup in the negotiation over expanded background checks involves recordkeeping — specifically, whether private sellers should be subjected to the same requirement as licensed firearms dealers to maintain sales records.
Of course they should. In a perfect world — that is, in a world without the NRA — guns would be treated like automobiles. The government knows who owns a particular car and when, and to whom, it is transferred.
Okay, two things: First, if I sell a car to some guy I’m not required to keep the sales records in perpetuity, and god help me if I can’t produce the paper on demand, or if he later drives the car drunk and creams a busload of nuns and orphaned cheerleaders.
Second – the writer says that last bit as if it’s a good thing. The success of car registration, its quiet acceptance by the lowing herd, the way it permits our masters to keep us all nicely inventoried in the stock yard, is a good reason to do the same thing with guns? Seems to me it’s a good reason to start agitating to do away with car registrations.
*Full disclosure: I once failed a background check for a gun purchase. No, I’m not a felon. (Well, okay. I’ve never been indicted or convicted of a felony.) No, my crime was a matter of record-keeping. I had a day off work to take care of some chores, and I did the most pleasurable one first: I bought a new rifle. At a gun store. Then I went to the DMV and renewed my driver’s license. Had I turned those two chores around there probably would have been no problem. But the gun store ran the DL I gave him, which was no longer valid by that time, and…
Yeah. While we’re at it, let’s talk about the constitutionality of drivers’ licenses.