The National Shooting Sports Foundation (the trade association for the firearms industry whose mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports) recently announced that they’re lining up with The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Million Murdering Mothers Mom March, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center, the Legal Community Against Violence, Americans for Gun Safety and Mayors Against All Illegal Guns in support of reasonable, common-sense, gun control measures. Find that hard to believe? So did I, until I read this piece from the Shooting Wire . . .
Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, told users of the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) today that industry fully supports Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell’s call for making mental health and other prohibiting information available to NICS to ensure that illegal firearm purchases are prevented.
I guess that means that Larry, the NSSF and (by implication) the entire firearms industry is in favor of closing the gun-show/private sale “loophole”? After all, we must ensure that illegal firearm purchases are prevented, right? Larry continues, providing more detail:
“Firearms retailers nationwide rely on NICS to facilitate and ensure the lawful transfer of guns to law-abiding citizens, and the efficient system, which our industry supports, can be made even better with the addition of mental health adjudication and other prohibiting records,” said Keane.
By prohibiting records, I guess Larry means things like the VA’s submission to NICS of some 114,000 records of vets who needed someone to help them deal with “disability compensation, pensions, survivors’ compensation, and other VA payments on behalf of a veteran, surviving spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent,” which prompted the introduction of the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act. I suppose that if MAIG gets their “terror gap” law passed Larry will be in favor of that, too. After all, we must ensure that illegal firearm purchases are prevented, right?
But wait, there’s more! Larry has another brilliant idea.
Keane also voiced NSSF’s support for legislation that would allow federal firearms licensees (FFLs) to conduct a background check on their current or prospective employees, an action currently prohibited unless the retailer is transferring a firearm to the employee. “Performing employee background checks are one way that retailers can ensure the integrity of their staffs and, ultimately, their businesses,” said Keane.
Who here believes that if this change is successful we won’t soon hear shrill shrieks from the antis about the need to “close the retail employee loophole?” Because you know that as soon as some retailers voluntarily run checks on their employees, all gun sellers who don’t will be demonized and the Bradys et al. will want to make the checks mandatory. Oh, wait. They already do!
But since even the NSSF admits that there are holes in the NICS check system, obviously we need to require retailers to get (and pay for) complete background checks. And not just on their employees who sell guns, but any employee who could gain access to the guns for sale.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: I am completely unreasonable on the subject of civil rights (and that includes gun rights). You cannot yield an inch to the antis. By agreeing that “some people just shouldn’t have guns” the camel’s nose is under the tent and pretty soon you’re going to wake up with a flea-ridden hump in your face.
I often quote L. Neil Smith’s classic “the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right” but there is another author who sums it up very concisely:
A person who can’t be trusted with a gun, can’t be trusted without a custodian.
Now if we could somehow convince the NSSF of that . . .