“McCain expects broad support for universal background checks”
I hate to say I told you so — oh, who am I kidding; it’s what I do — but the Senate GOP is set to “compromise” on gun-control, enacting the one proposal I predicted they would enact (while proclaiming victory for beating back the rest of the Feinstein agenda), so-called universal background checks.
Which of course are no such thing, because the only people forced to comply will be law-abiding citizens.
The rationale for this intrusion and overreach is a phony set of numbers that are themselves based around a study from the 90s that used pre-Brady data. You’ve heard it: Obama and the anti-gun ground repeat it endlessly. 40% of gun sales occur without a background check, they tell you.
But what they mean is, 36% (rounded up to 40%) of gun transfers (not “sales”) occur without that check. And of that 36%, well over 90% are gifts from family members and/or inheritances. Also, in the original survey that is the basis for this 40% number, people were asked if they believed they’d gotten their weapons from a licensed dealer. But this was not something that was routinely worried about in the early 90s, and many small licensed dealers operating out of their homes didn’t advertise themselves as FFL holders. They were merely local people who sold guns.
So the very impetus for this push for a universal background check is predicated on a series of lies, all of which have been detailed and should be available to any Senator prepared to grant themselves even greater power while placing impracticable restrictions on our rights.
Now, let’s walk through this so that we know just who the GOP members who’d support such a measure are:
1. You are pulled over for a busted tail light and the patrolman sees a rifle in the back seat of your car.
2. The patrolman asks you to furnish proof that you went through a universal background check to purchase the rifle. You reply that after 24 hours those records are destroyed, and besides, the specific weapon isn’t listed on the paperwork anyway. Since you’ve owned the gun legally for over 24 hours, there is no way for you to prove you underwent the check.
3. The officer can either believe you or decide that he’s not taking any chances and confiscate your weapon.
4. You have a right then to go prove your innocence, having been preliminarily found guilty.
5. This will require lawyers and legal fees and you will be deprived of your weapon in the interim.
6. Eventually some court will rule that you were denied due process — that the police cannot presume you guilty until you prove your innocence, especially when no mechanism is in place for you to prove your innocence.
7. At which point, the “common sense” reformers will note that their universal background check — indeed, any background check in the context of showing you have a right to own the weapon (because the same scenario illustrated above can play out now) — is worthless after the initial check (which itself produces tens of thousands of false positives every year, and so is problematic insofar as it keeps law-abiding citizens from obtaining weapons in a timely manner, and at least a percentage of these citizens probably face an imminent threat) unless and until it is tied to paperwork that allows you to show that you aren’t a criminal.
8. And that will be a gun registry. Kept by the government. To protect you! Meanwhile, you’ve been forced to pay legal fees, have been deprived of one means of defense, and have been compelled to surrender your time to the state in order to prove yourself worthy of state sanctioning.
9. Gun violence ended! Career criminals unable to get guns because there’s no way they can pass a universal background check!
How should I put this delicately: any lawmaker who supports an unenforcible law — one that serves only as a precursor to a gun registry — just so they can say they reached across the aisle and “did something,” should be tarred, feathered, and then booted from office. If they be Republicans, there names should become expletives.
Debate will make clear that criminals overwhelmingly get their guns illegally. It will also show that a universal background check has no enforcement mechanism. It is legislation as symbolism, and it is also the next step before a national gun registry.
McCain, Coburn, and Kirk should be ashamed of themselves. They are giving the Democrats cover on this issue — one that can be used to beat them badly with come election time. But one has to have the ability to feel shame first, and I’m not convinced any of these political creatures have that capability.
This is Chris Christie hugging Obama before the 2012 election all over again. A statist is a statist is a statist, regardless of party affiliation. And if the GOP refuses to represent the interests of its constituents, what the hell good is it? Why isn’t McConnell telling McCain, Kirk, and Coburn to shut up and hold the line — that the case can be made very easily against the idea of universal background checks?
And the truth is, the GOP worries more about being cast by the Democrats and media as “against child safety” and “for gun violence” than they do about our natural rights and the Constitution.
It really is that simple. And I hope some of the TEA Party Senator will drop the collegiality bullshit and call them on it directly. We’ve reached that point.