If you’re a “low-information voter” who supports universal background checks (UBCs) avoid reading reports on the subject. Even the most fervently pro-disarmament media outlets are having real trouble making the case for UBCs—once they explain what that actually means. And how they would “work.” To wit this from nydailynews.com: “Even under the new restrictions, [Aurora, Colorado spree killer James] Holmes might well have been able to buy guns because he was not diagnosed as mentally ill until too late. But he dramatically illustrates why America needs a foolproof system for separating those who have been officially classified as mentally ill from weapons.” Huh? You want to run that by me again . . .
Holmes was exactly the person who should have been confined and whose record should have been transmitted to the national background check database. More, as soon as the doctor reported his “homicidal” tendency, the law should have required police to seize — yes, seize — all of Holmes’ weapons.
Nope. Still not getting it. Especially not the foolproof part of the program. Doesn’t Holmes’ case prove that the existing background check system doesn’t work for gun store sales?
And what does that failure have to do with “strengthening” background checks to include private sales? While we puzzle over that piece of the puzzle, how does the News reconcile this:
The gun lobby has conjured the fantasy that expanding checks to cover the 40% of weapons sales that now escape them would lead to a national gun registry and, from there, to governmental seizure of weapons. This is propaganda by paranoia.
Despite the screamingly obvious need for thorough national background checks, Schumer has been negotiating for weeks with Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who says he supports background checks — except he wants a system that would immediately destroy the records.
After a gun sale was consummated, there would be no way to verify whether the buyer had submitted to a background check. So why should buyers and sellers go through the hassle?
Schumer is pushing for a searchable database so authorities can trace a gun found in a crime back to the point of sale, where the background check could be verified. But the gun forces recoil from this basic law enforcement tool without regard to the lives hanging in the balance.
I’m confused. Is a federal gun registry the NRA’s paranoid fantasy or a basic law enforcement tool? I’m going with C: universal background checks are a way to enable further gun control leading to eventual confiscation. Which is A without the paranoia.
And anyway, isn’t the reason to “go through the hassle” (thanks for acknowledging the infringement on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms) to stop people like James Holmes from buying guns? So, if it doesn’t work now . . .
By the News’ own admission, “The National Rifle Association and, if you can believe it, even crazier gun crazies appear to be winning the day.” Call me crazy, but I like the sound of that.