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The gun debate seems to be dying down a little these days, and from all indications gun rights advocates have carried the day. We’ve successfully kept our rights from being trampled by knee-jerk legislation, and that has the other side pissed. Nevertheless, the standard background noise of agitation for more draconian control over firearms ownership is ever-present as a recent Quinnipiac poll points out. However, despite the average American apparently wanting more gun control, it seems like they also realize that it won’t do a lick of good in stopping mass shootings. . .

First, some discussion of that leading table. Republicans don’t support increased gun control, Democrats do. Shocking, right? And the lopsidedness of the numbers is telling — 82% approval from democrats versus 66% disapproval from Republicans. But while the numbers might indicate strong support, the reality is that those who responded that they want more gun control aren’t enthusiastic about their beliefs.

Gun rights supporters are ferocious advocates for their rights, but gun control advocates are more akin to those who stand outside foreign countries’ embassies in DC with signs for a couple hours — they care just enough to make a cursory effort and feel good that they’ve “done something.” But the issue isn’t really important enough to them to put up any kind of sustained fight. They’re fickle, which is why gun control advocacy flares up like a case of herpes after a mass shooting and then goes away as if it were never there, just waiting to flare up again down the road.

It’s the same thing that happened after 9/11 with airport security. People wanted the government to do something to protect them and what they got was, in the end, more intrusive, costly and ineffectual than they needed. But it filled a mental need to make air travel “more secure,” and so here it stays.

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The issue is that the majority of Americans understand that gun control doesn’t stop criminals. It can’t prevent the next Sandy Hook, and won’t make a movie theater impervious to attack. Well, on average at least. More Democrats seem to think that gun control would prevent crime and stop shootings, but that’s because they’re looking at it backwards. Take, for example, this opinion from one of my high school buddies who said this to me during a Facebook fray:

Pools, staircases and fireworks aren’t specifically and solely designed to wound and kill. Guns are specialized weapons, which, if not handled expertly are extremely dangerous. Call me an idealist but I don’t want to live in a world where something like a gun is pervasive. No matter how many tangential arguments you can come up with for wider guns ownership being a good idea, at its heart, the idea of creating and distributing more guns is escalation. When has that ever been a good thing?

The issue here is that these Democrats see guns as causing crime. In their mind, the only thing that guns are used for is to kill people and that they are inherently dangerous. They blame the gun for the murders, not the person pulling the trigger. But they don’t blame the airplane for 9/11, they don’t blame the bus when the driver rams it into a building, and they don’t blame the knife when someone stabs their partner to death. To them, guns cause crimes and are never useful as defensive weapons. No matter how many facts you throw at them they prefer that view of the world. No matter how wrong it is.

A little lower down on the page is this gem:

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Background checks. Apparently there’s some big support for it.

Let me say this: I’m not opposed to universal background checks. Well, the concept at least. The idea of performing a quick verification that the guy I’m about to hand a gun to isn’t a felon would be amenable to me, so long as it isn’t actually a back-door for a firearms registry. The issue is that while there’s support for “universal background checks,” the systems proposed are complete and total shit. Which is where the Democrats are losing their marbles: they can’t understand why someone wouldn’t just read the title of a bill and vote for it. Certain members of my own family are like that, only caring if the title of the bill sounds good and not actually bothering to understand how the interior is a pile of crap. In other words, low information voters of the highest order.

What’s my take on this poll? Meh. Things are back down to the “background” level for gun control, at least for now. And we’ve laid the ground work to repel future attacks on our right to keep and bear arms. But while our culture eats their strategy for lunch, world events beat the crap out of both of those things. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming years.

62 Responses to Poll: Americans want More Gun Control, But Know It Won’t Work

  1. Hell, I’ll support background checks of all gun buyers

    Run a check on me once, give me a card, and then let me buy as many damn guns as I want, whenever I want, from whomever I want.

    The catch is you are not allowed to know when, where, from who, or how many I buy… deal?

    • That last sentence is the key to the issue. I would also support checks on all sales IF there was a free way to do it AND if all records are immediatly destroyed. No serials saved, no names or addresses saved, no quantities recorded, NOTHING.

      But Liberals don’t see that side of it and we never will get them too either. If they don’t give a damn that the NSA watches and records everything they do, why would they care about firearm registration…

      • Ah, but many of them do care. The NSA’s nefarious doings can be a handy piece of common ground between gun owners and “liberals” — they may be wrongheaded on the Second Amendment, but they’re heavily invested in protecting the First, Fourth, and Fifth.

        It’s a great opportunity to point out that the Bill of Rights is an interlocking system of protections, not a pick-and-choose buffet. When they see some of their most cherished rights being ignored and trampled, it helps them see our side. They may not understand why we’re so worked up about the 2A itself, but they may begin to understand where we’re coming from in terms of protecting civil rights and privacy in general.

    • Two specific issues here:

      1. Who decides what “background” is being checked and what may be a disqualifying event? What level of such event disqualifies a buyer? If you are conducting a private sale and the check comes back, “Sale not authorized”, how do you prevent the guy from taking the gun anyway? And just for argument’s sake, in some jurisdictions it is a disqualifying event to have been CHARGED with a crime, not even convicted of said alleged crime. Where is the bottom level where an agency or government authority may go in searching for reasons to determine that an individual (you) is no longer authorized to exercise his/her natural, civil and Constitutionally protected Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

      2. Every single felon, or person with mental illness, was NOT a felon the day before he/she was convicted or mentally ill the day before he/she was so diagnosed. No law or background check system can EVER prevent these people from obtaining a firearm and then deciding to commit a crime or go off the deep end the following day/week/month/year.

      So what, exactly, is the point of ignoring the “…shall not be infringed.” mandate of the Second Amendment and giving any government body or official the authority to create a list of prohibited persons? At what point will your name appear on that list?

      First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
      Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
      Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

      The Second Amendment means what it says and you cannot give away part of it to any government authority and expect they will not take the rest as well. Criminals and mental cases will get guns no matter what laws you are willing to give up YOUR rights to pass. I am NOT willing to give up my rights because YOU are uncomfortable with certain groups of people exercising their same natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights. If you have a problem with criminals and the mentally ill having weapons then deal with those INDIVIDUALS effectively, do not think that giving the government camel’s nose a free pass under the tent is the solution.

      If citizens are armed there will soon be a whole lot less criminals, with or without background checks. If a person is insane and decides to go on a shooting rampage amongst a group where some are prepared to shoot back there will soon be one less criminally insane person in the world. THAT is gun control.

      • Great points Cliff and well sad. Yep I feel like yelling sometimes “What part of shall not be infringed do you not understand”.

      • My only question is this: Where (specifically) does a law state you will lose your 2A rights when CHARGED with a crime? Suspended – sure, not a fan, but typically when the charges are dropped (due to plea, insufficient evidence, etc) rights are still there… i am not saying it isn’t this way, but if you could cite specific examples please?

    • Well try this on for a concept: No background checks for any adult walking around freely. If you were in prison but are out now (not escaped), you’ve paid your debt to society and are expected to be a responsible citizen. If you were in a mental institution but are out now, the doctors have indicated you are not a threat to yourself or others. The wasted money and manpower spent on a useless background check system that cannot do anything to stop someone that has never before been caught in a criminal activity, well that can be spent on actually stopping crime and/or keeping those locked up that truly threaten us. The posession (or purchase) of a gun is not a crime. The criminal use of a gun is. End of story.

  2. I’ll offer another theory.

    Look at the raw number of weapons in circulation.There are more lawfully owned guns in Tenessee alone then there ever were in Australia or England.That’s why a total buyout of gun owners was possible in those two countries,and logistically impossible here.

    Lets say there was political will to shred the Constitution .$1000 x 300 million is a big ass nunber,and that’s assuming every heirloom 1911 and AR is valued the same way.Even a Federal government in love with deficit spending can’t swing that tab, and the antis know it.

    What we have to look out for is the “long con”,in the form of higher fees and obstructions to ownership.Their goal isn’t a ban tomorrow:it’s bleeding us dry over time so that they CAN afford to buy out civil weapons in circulation.

    • You assume they want to actually buy the guns back…

      They don’t reimburse people when they snag cocaine, do they?

      • The dynamics are different with firearms,because there are people who legally own guns.There is no such case for legal ownership of cocaine.

        If the opposition wants to disarm the masses ,force isnt an option.There literally aren’t enough people to send.The other side has to convince people to willingly hand over the goods, which means cutting come checks.No first world nation recently has disarmed by mass ,forced confiscation.

        • I don’t think that there’s simply “not enough people” to disarm gun owners. That might be true in Alabama or Texas, but issuing a “disarm and detain” order in Mass or CT or RI or NJ would be very easy and probably very quick. Places outside of the blue states would also be easy to disarm and detain if the police force and the Fed are anti-gun. It really depends on local law enforcement. Look at the start of the Holocaust; in the 30s, it wasn’t the SS death squads shooting German Jews and others. It was the local German police and the local SA units. Know your local police, and hope they care about your rights. If you can vote out the bad ones, great. But a lot of places don’t have elected police.

        • I have to disagree with your statement about forced confiscation. Russia, New Zealand and the UK forced gun confiscation via gun registration as the first step.

      • Something something 4th Amendment. You can’t confiscate property that was purchased legally without recompense. It would be, in effect, expostfacto punishment, which is unconstitutional.

        • Just like some other rights “shall not be infringed”…. right? How’s that working out for folks like us in NJ, CA, etc…

        • How much did the government pay to buy back unused alcohol the day prohibition went into effect? It had been lawfully purchased and posessed before the law took hold. I’m not aware of any buy back programs in place.

        • @KevinMA, prohibition was done by Constitutional amendment. An amendment to the Constitution cannot be unconstitutional. Thus, the 18th Amendment overrode the Fifth, and the booze in the distilleries and breweries could be confiscated without compensation.

          No mere statute can override the Fifth Amendment.

        • Dred Scott any one.
          “The ruling overturned the Missouri Compromise as unconstitutional, since it ruled that as slavery was protected in the Constitution, Congress could not regulate it in the federal Territories and deprive a slave owner of his property without due process”.
          Sound familiar?
          The Supreme Court in that case, upheld a complex string of reasoning for an incredibly evil part of the constitution that allowed slavery yet now can’t seem get its group mind around a rather simple concept and words “Shall not be infringed”.
          Proof that are rights hang by threads.
          I’ll do the math on lives lost in a new civil war versus what a handfull of crazies can do in a theater or elementry school with an AR.
          You don’t need to burn the flag until they tell us we can’t.
          Nor do you need your guns, until you do.

    • The long con is exactly what they have in place in states with tight gun control. For example, in Connecticut, starting next April residents will need to spend over $200 on required classes & fees just to purchase a long gun, be it a 10/22 or a double barrel trap shooting gun (they banned all “assault weapons”). A pistol permit is already over $400, with those fees raised steadily over the years by government fiat. They are trying to get it to the point where more people will throw their hands up and say “it’s not worth it” between the fees and expenditure of time, basically just backdoor civilian disarmament for future generations. Of course, it will have exactly 0 effect on crime, but they can all pat each other in the back for having “done something”.

      • To finish the thought,every household which says “we can’t afford it” is another family not exposed to the benefits of gun ownership.And so their kids grow up hearing just one side of the issue:the Antis.

        Eighteen years later,buying a gun not only is legally difficult,it’s socially taboo .I’ve seen this effect firsthand in my own family.Out of all my cousins in my family,I’m literally the only one whose not a Brady loving Democrat .Yet my mom and uncle grew up in my Granddads home .He was a factory worker with a Winchester 30-30,before the dark days of the FOID act.

        The other side thinks in terms of generations, not election cycles.

      • Exactly, it is cultural extinguishment, you can’t pass on a tradition to your decendants if the tradition is to expensive troublesome and legaly dangerous.

  3. I have an idea lets have this National Instant Check System to handle back ground checks once you pass its good for a year and its on a card you show the card and you buy your weapon without half a billion background checks and anytime you lose your gun rights it flags you in the system.

  4. Guns are specialized weapons, which, if not handled expertly are extremely dangerous.

    That one gave me a good chuckle. “If not handled expertly?” Plutonium is extremely dangerous if not handled with expertise. The basics of gun safety, on the other hand, are not much more complicated than a PEZ dispenser. Ammo goes in here, you pull this thing, it comes out here at this end. If guns were “extremely dangerous” when handled by non-experts, we wouldn’t allow soldiers or police near them.

    • I came in to comment on this exact point as well. When people talk about how you have to be the love child of Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton not to kill/main while handling firearms, you can bet you’re dealing with someone who knows absolutely nothing about these machines. They see them in movies, that’s all they know. And most of them are tool idiots in general.

      In fact, firearms are among the safest objects in my house. They are engineered so that one has to be stupid, inattentive, ignorant, or immature to cause unintended harm with them. The whole point of firearms being designed to kill is inaccurate. That’s because *they are also designed not to do so*, since the need to kill in self-defense is something we all hope we will never have to face.

      Firearms are actually designed NOT to kill…till the specific need arises. Meaning they are designed to be safe until activated to project lethal force. If someone overrides the safety features with stupidity, malice, inattentiveness, or degeneracy, no amount of legislation is going to restore those safety features.

      Only once did I ever injure myself with a firearm: a pinch blister disassembling a P226.

      Never hurt myself with our panoply of mighty power tools either, including the ones designed specifically for arboreal murder (the chainsaws).

      By contrast, more times than I can remember I’ve been injured by–meaning stupidly injured myself–kitchen tools.

      Then there’s the bathtub, the shower, and the stairs. Falls being the leading cause of “accidental” deaths in American homes.

      http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=22436364

      Evidence that it’s best to spend lots of time at the range and gravel pit.

  5. And when “universal background checks” fail to lower violent crime & mass murder incidents the gun haters will push for more so called “common sense” gun control laws. Any new gun control laws & the people who support them can FOAD as far as I’m concerned.

  6. 72% of Americans want “gun control” (i.e., want the world to be safer)
    72% of Americans like guns (i.e., want to be able to defend themselves).

    Nothing really surprising here.

  7. It’s because when you say “gun control” people think “Laws that will keep weapons out of the hands of criminals”. There is still a disconnect. If gun control worked that way, I would be all for it.

    Unfortunately, gun control only affects the law abiding. After the Navy Yard shooting, I am now starting to question how much I am for background checks anymore. However, the general public who are not gun aficionados don’t think of gun control as something that takes away their rights, and so they are all for it.

    • Yes, exactly. Such high support for gun control in the abstract contains a lot of willfully wishful thinking.

  8. I wish we could just divorce California from the West. Actually, I wish the pollsters would — the *real* West isn’t represented very well by polls like this, considering that the megacities of Southern California outweigh any 3 western states (or more), population-wise.

    On another note, I recently read some research on the metrics of social change, and it seems that in most sea-change cultural moments, the majority doesn’t necessarily rule — a committed, persistent minority of about 30% is all it takes to push the pendulum in a different direction (think gay marriage). This could be good news for us. The other side may have a bigger number of people who casually agree, but we have more people who are willing to fight.

  9. Keep in mind that the knife cuts both ways. Every poll that says people favor background checks is a poll that says people favor the Coburn Background check amendment, but why is it that the Democrats wouldn’t even allow it to go up for a vote? Why do they hate the American people so much?

    • What’s even more interesting is that the same Democrats who tell us that our rights should be subject to a poll also insisted that their rights in Colorado should not be subject to a vote.

  10. I saw a poll that said around 70% of people in the US of A believe the second amendment is to defend against a tyrannical government.

    According to this poll; In the same breath; those same 70% are saying they want that same potentially if not outright tyrannical government to have control of who can buy and sell guns. (Head shake and face palm)

    Talk about not thinking through the logic of one thoughts and beliefs. Also not having an understanding of history.The end result of a modern public school education

    • Good point. When you explain to people the implications of gun control and how it could lead to a tyrannical govt, most people will say they don’t want that.

  11. I say get rid of back ground checks all together, all these crazies keep passing them and obtaining weapons…

    If it doesn’t work why waste the taxes dollars.

  12. Did the polling info have a question about issue priority? On a 40,000 feet level, most people will say they favor background checks, especially if couched with the mentally ill aspect, but that support never translates into any trouble for an elected official because to the vast majority of the population (90+%) it is a low priority.

    While this is somewhat good news for gun rights supporters, it isn’t all good news. Human nature and emotions have to be considered. Human emotions are what cause the disconnect from the first two items in the post. Do you favor UBCs, why yes. Would UBCs stop mass shootings, well probably not. This mixed message is born out of our human nature and arrogance that we can prevent all bad things and we should be trying to do “something” to that effort. We reflexively reject that sometimes bad things happen and there is/was nothing that we could do or could have done about it.

    This is the reason for the storm surge or herpes flare up as the author put it. Most folks just do not know the realities of firearms or crime because they have no interest in either, but human arrogance tells them that they are smart and have a good grasp on the world around them, hence what they think is correct regardless of their unperceived lack of knowledge and emotional cloudiness.

  13. If NICS was open to private sellers, I’d use it. But the Feds will never open it up, because they could never enforce a record keeping requirement. FFLs can lose their licenses if they don’t have proper records. Private sellers, not so much.

    So it’s not about the check. It’s all about the records. Always the records.

  14. I would think that per background checks and mentally ill, etc. that it would behoove us to promote a proper version that us RKBA’ers support. Outside of the inevitable post-tragedy cycle. With proper public relations, as in, not led by the NRA. The other side has successfully demonized my NRA to the point they cannot lead the discussion, just support.

    • The other side has successfully demonized my NRA

      If you believe in polls, that’s just not true. The NRA has a higher rating than Congress or POTUS.

      • Which means nothing, right? Anything the NRA (Wayne really) says will get trounced and ignored. Let someone else be out in front with NRA supporting. It is all about influencing the enemy.

      • Liberals and the press LOVE Wayne because he is so easy to demonize. OFWG, pawn of the firearms industry, etc. I think it would be smart for Wayne to go to a strictly administrative role behind the scenes and appoint someone like Colion Noir as the official spokesman for all NRA press functions.

  15. One thing that can’t be overstated in these cases is how little the average non-gun-owning citizen (and the occasional gun-owning one) actually knows about gun laws. Nearly every time I get into an argument with a nominally anti-gun acquaintance, they present a laundry list of things that they think should be illegal, 90% of which already are. I’d imagine that if you spoke to the average poll respondent who agrees with a generic statement that “we need stricter gun laws” and pressed them for specifics, they would give you a list of things that are already on the books.

    • “…shall not be infringed.”

      Every one of those laws already on the books, and every one proposed in some gun controller’s wet dreams, is already an unconstitutional law. You cannot dream up ANY law regarding guns that is not prima facie a violation of the Second Amendment.

      Sorry, the Second Amendment says, and was intended to say, “The government has no authority to pass any law making the exercise of this natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right illegal under any circumstances.”

  16. Too bad we don’t have a breakdown by Red state vs. Blue state. Red state numbers would probably be like the South or rural numbers. I live in Washington state which is very blue (Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia) west of the Cascade Mtn range but very Red east (Spokane, Pullman, etc.). Sometimes I wish the Blue states would just leave the Red States alone and we will see who has the better economy, quality of life, crime rate, etc in a few years. I’m, a big fan of free market capitalism and gun rights. I suspect Red States like Texas would beat the socialist states like NY, CA, and IL. Already CA is loosing jobs to Texas. The Red State divide has even made parts of my home state wanting to secede from Colorado. One county wants to join Red state Wyoming and several NE counties want to form their own state like West Virginia did when it split from Virginia. Gun rights is an issue in those counties in Colorado.

  17. Gun control neither prevents criminals from acquiring firearms nor brutally attacking/injuring/killing citizens. So let’s illustrate the utter insanity and futility of gun control with a parallel that everyone can grasp. Many people claim that 1 out of 3 women will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetimes so let’s implement “sex control”.

    Right off the bat, the very term “sex control” comes across as ridiculous. The first thing that pops into almost everyone’s mind is, “There is no way that government can control sexual activity.” And that is correct. So let’s follow it through. Here are several aspects of sex control:
    — Sexual activity licenses are required to engage in legal sexual activity.
    — Sexual activity licenses require 8 hours of training.
    — Sexual activity license fees vary between $40 and $400.
    — Subjects of personal protection orders cannot have a license.
    — Felons cannot have a license.
    — A background check is required each time you acquire a new partner.
    — States are not required to honor sexual activity licenses from other states.
    — Government defines and criminalizes “high capacity” sexual activity.
    — Businesses who wish to sell sex products need a federal license.
    — Background checks are required for every purchase of sex products.
    — Businesses must keep a logbook of the people who buy sex products.
    — Government can inspect those logbooks any time.

    I could go on but you get the idea. This should make it quite clear how absurd sex control is in general much less as a method to reduce sexual assaults. And that should make it clear how absurd gun control is.

  18. I’m for doing away with all gun control, NFA, background checks, ALL of it, I believe I should be able to walk into a gun store and pay cash for an RPG if I choose, I think the results would be very interesting if we (America) went the total reverse on what the gun-control side has/will/is attempting to do.

  19. Other folks here have already covered most of the points to be made, but this stuck in my mind. When has escalation ever been a good thing? Here’s a few I just thought of…

    When Americans with guns won the American Revolution.

    When Americans with guns shut down the Barbary Pirates.

    When Americans with guns won WW2 and stopped Hitler.

    And since those were all military actions, which I’m sure liberals would say don’t count by virtue of the state being the only entity able to bear arms properly,

    When American college students with guns pinned down Charles Whitman so men could take the fight to him and stop his killing spree. Using guns.

    • When Americans (and other people) cut the legs out from under Somalian piracy simply by carrying guns.

      This one isn’t over, but last I heard, merchant ships in the Gulf of Aden are carrying serious weapons and the crews are empowered to use them — and though piracy still happens, the number has gone way, way down.

  20. Again with the 90% support universal background checks? 90% of Americans can’t agree on anything.

    I say again, POLL REVOLT! Refuse to answer polls. Stop feeding the beast that continually turns around and bites us. Spread the word, POLL REVOLT!

  21. We have only kept our rights from being trampled by knee-jerk legislation at the federal level. But some of the big states, it’s a totally different story.

    90% of Americans may agree on universal background checks in the abstract, but that doesn’t mean that 90% agree on any particular piece of legislation to implement that policy. It’s like saying that a majority support balancing the budget. We know for a fact that a majority do NOT support any particular piece of legislation regarding how exactly to do this. The Democrats say the Republican plan is nuts and the Republicans say the Democratic party plan is nuts.

    In addition, a lot of people do not understand the details and nuances of the issue. It’s like asking people whether all school buses should have seat belts or not. This is something that has been being debated for over a quarter of a century now. On the surface, it might sound common sense (yes!), but when you get into the details, you find that seat belts on school buses can be a danger to children as well.

    And finally, it is irrelevant even if 90% do agree on something if that something infringes on a person’s natural right.

  22. Did anyone notice that there is greater support among the Democrats for universal background checks than there is for prohibiting the mentally ill from purchasing guns. WTF? It begs the question of what the background check will be looking for… a republican voter registration?

  23. The problem with “universal background checks” are threefold.

    1. The dreaded 4473 and the mandatory 20 years it has to stay in the gun-dealers bound book, accessible by the ATF pretty much anytime they want. Sure, run a background check for private sales but once the NICS is cleared, hand the 4473 to the buyer so he can file it, shoot it or shred it.

    2. Where are the FFLs? Since the Clinton era and changes to ATF rules, the number of FFLs has declined between 50 and 80 percent. Much harder for folks out in rural parts to find one. My brother in law, upstate New York, is a 30 minute drive from the nearest FFL. Is it worth an hour, gas, and a transfer fee to sell a shotgun to his neighbor? For me to accept universal background checks the requirements for becoming an FFL would need to be relaxed, the fees lowered, so more of us could get into the business of helping our neighbors transfer guns to each other.

    3. There is not one shred of evidence to indicate that background checks of any kind reduce crime. None. Nada. We now have a historically low murder rate in the US. But the last time it was this low, the 1960s, was before background checks, when you could buy a rifle or shotgun and ammo at the local Western Auto, every kid in my neighborhood, starting around age 14, had a .22 (except me, my dad was big-time anti-gun,) students brought their guns to school (left in their cars) for after school hunting, and many schools, including in New York City, had rifle teams.

    Not a lot of wiggle room on number three. My thinking is whatever laws you pass, criminals will find a way around them. Seems to be ample evidence of that.

  24. Here is what could be done. Get a license or card or whatever after a background check is completed. The card is good until you do something really illegal. With small annual fee or whatever. Everytime you purchase anything firearm related ffl dealer scans/swipes the card and the answer is yes or no. No record of what is being bought. This can also be done for online orders or person to person transfer…not family related.

  25. I would welcome a free NICS background check or one that offers at nominal cost (Like $5 or less, to generate revenue with the federal government). Then make the program accessible country wide allowing multiple server clusters to run dynamically to spread load the work. Repeating what others have said. If the records where immediately destroyed or not stored on the server. Make it an app for our smart phones, thus allowing folks at gun shows and private trades to be able to it without going through an FFL. Although one thing that I would strongly encourage is all gun-owners have their firearm’s S/N written down and/or pictures taken and stored in a safe place. God forbid your firearm(s) are stolen or lost, you can immediately provide photos to the local police department of your stolen firearms and their S/N’s.

  26. Tell your “Facebook friend” that if he thinks guns are dangerous when they aren’t handled expertly, see what “EXPERTS” with them can do.

  27. If the government wants to improve the background check system, they should do 2 things:

    1) Allow any small gun dealer to get an FFL without having a storefront. Currently, thanks to the Clinton administration’s effort to reduce the supply of guns, you can’t get an FFL if you want to sell guns only at gun shows (Google for question 18a of ATF form 5310 FFL application). As a result someone that wants to sell guns but can’t afford the inventory costs, zoning challenges and overhead of a storefront has to sell illegally or discretely at the edge of the law as a “private individual” and hence can’t run a background check. Rather than throwing these “kitchen table” sellers out of the system like Clinton did hoping they would go away, they should allow them to get an FFL and subject them to BATF rules, audits and oversight like they were before the Clinton administration let political anti-gun ideology get in the way.

    2) Give anyone free, public, anonymous online access to the NICS database. I don’t understand why a federal database of people prohibited from owning firearms can’t be available in the public domain like databases for sex offenders. The NICS system is really a go/no go process and no useful information has to be displayed to facilitate phishing expeditions for identity theft other than what was already known by the user making the query. It’s certainly no more revealing than the FAA’s pilot license query system, which provides more detailed information on people who are most likely law-abiding citizens. Once this system is implemented, you then tell private sellers if you sell or give a firearm to someone and don’t retain a piece of paper that says you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. This would effectively close the so-called private sale loophole and still preserve the anonymity of the parties involved the same way the current background check system does now. If a private sale firearm shows up at a crime scene, the ATF follows their current procedure of using the model and serial number of the firearm to ultimately contact the last FFL that sold the firearm to a private citizen to obtain that citizen’s name and address from the ATF form 4473 the FFL is required to keep on file. That citizen is then contacted and produces the piece of paper from the NICS background check that identifies the second private citizen who is then contacted, and so forth.

    The real benefit of this proposal is how it can help identify the illusive killer with questionable behavior patterns or mental health issues that is causing so many problems. As it stands now there is no easy, fast, non-bureaucratic method for someone to determine if a suspicious person (neighbor, employee, student, etc) is a potential threat to society. If someone thinks an individual could be a threat, a query to a public NICS database would at least tell him or her in a few seconds if the individual could obtain a firearm. Then, armed with that information the appropriate authorities could be notified and they could decide if it was a mistake or whether to investigate further. As it stands now, if you tell authorities you know a suspicious person they will probably ignore you, but if you tell them you know such a person and by the way according to the NICS database he can buy a firearm, they will probably be more inclined to investigate rather than risk embarrassment later if the worst happens. The same would be true if you see a suspicious person with a firearm when the NICS query says he’s prohibited from having one. It would also help provide piece of mind and a method for victims of violent crimes to ensure their assailants either on parole or still at large have not been excluded from the database because of some bureaucratic foul-up.

  28. “Things are back down to the “background” level for gun control, at least for now.”

    At the federal level, maybe. But here in CA, we’re on the verge of having EVERY center fire semi auto rifle made an “assault weapon” subject to registration. Oh yeah, and when you die, it can’t be transferred so you have to turn it in or sell it out of state.

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