Despite the defeat of new gun control laws on the federal level, the antis are still running around proclaiming “nine out of 10 American favor universal background checks.” The stat-based kvetch reminds me of nothing so much as that old advertising tag-line “four out of five dentists recommended sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.” Like the Trident gum come-on, the UBC claim is an attempt to reframe gun control as a socially acceptable, indeed desirable practice. It most assuredly is not. Americans have a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Any law—any law—that infringes on that right is wrong and should be resisted. Anyway, what the hell is a Universal Background Check when it’s at home? Well . . .

I tried to explain the concept and its dangers in a post entitled Universal Background Checks for Dummies. [Click here to read.] Bottom line: under a UBC system the federal government would be involved in the sale or transfer of any gun from any citizen to any citizen. You don’t have to read Gun Control in the Third Reich to know that’s insane. (Review on its way.) In fact, given the dangers of civilian disarmament, the federal government shouldn’t be involved in the sale of transfer of ANY firearm, period.

But that’s not the way the National Shooting Sport Foundation (NSSF) sees it. The NSSF has conceded that ground when it comes to new gun sales, all of which require an FBI background check and a permanent paper record of the buyer’s name, address, ethnicity, driver’s license and social security number. So when the industry lobby group (NSSF) lobbies against UBC it has to thread the needle. Like this . . .

“A vast majority of guns sold at gun shows are sold by licensed dealers who are required by federal law to conduct background checks before guns are sold. Do you believe additional federal laws like universal background checks are necessary for gun show sales?”

That’s the way the NSSF phrased a survey question to “prove” that Americans don’t really support Universal Background Checks. What it’s actually saying: private firearms sales between individuals at gun shows are statistically insignificant. So who needs them? The result?

(courtesy NSSF)

Only four out of ten Americans support so-called “universal background checks” at gun shows after being informed that the vast majority of firearms sales at these shows are transacted by licensed retailers that already conduct such checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as required by federal law.

That’s 53 percent [as above] for those of you keeping score. And for those of you who aren’t, how do you define “vast.” Would the response to that question have been the same if it asserted that “four of ten gun sales at gun shows don’t require a federal background check”? No one knows the exact percentage of private vs. dealer sales at guns shows, but it seems pretty clear that the NSSF is stacking the deck in a “pay no attention to those private sales behind the curtain kinda way.”

My thought: celebrate those private, under-the-federal-radar firearms sales! They protect against government confiscation of privately held firearms (if Uncle Sam doesn’t know where they are, it’s a lot harder to take them away). They are a bulwark against tyranny. Again, that’s not how the NSSF sees it. In fact, they want to strengthen the current federal background check system.

The [1200] Americans polled also said by a combined 74 percent margin that conducting background checks against an incomplete database was not effective . . . The poll also discovered that 92 percent of Americans agree that the states should submit all records of persons federally prohibited from owning a firearm to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (NICS), passing legislation if needed.

Thanks, NSSF. We now know that nine out of ten Americans want to “improve” the system that already puts all Americans at risk of firearms confiscation. Does the NSSF not know (or care) that the federal government could easily change those criteria for prohibition either through legislation or (worst case) executive fiat? Can it not imagine the consequences? Apparently not.

The poll also found that Americans want a National Instant Criminal Background Check System with a dependable and accurate database, which supports the goal of the FixNICS initiative we launched in 2013 and will continue in 2014.”

The general public has come to believe that laws can stop criminals and crazies from purchasing, keeping or bearing arms. It’s simply not true. Truth be told, the current background check system only pretends to keep Americans safe while putting them in grave danger of unimaginable horrors. Anyone who promotes this dangerous fiction—even if they’re doing to to prevent increased gun control—is making a Faustian bargain. Regardless of its popular or firearms industry support.

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104 Responses to Who Cares How Many Americans Support Universal Background Checks?

  1. In the new America….the democracy… things like the Constitution are no longer the law of the land, the era of good feelings and the ability to garner 51 percent support to overthrow individual rights is the norm. Mob rule and “group rights” are the new thing. Individualism is a disease.

    • And one of the major reasons for the attempt by our Founding Fathers to create a Constitutional Republic rather than a democracy was their historical understanding of the limitation of democracies (bread & circus’) and they strong desire to create a government where a bare majority of the voters could run roughshod over the other (slightly less than) half.

      It has taken the lawyers 230+ years to figure out how to beat the system, but I wonder if it is too late to stop the rot?

  2. “… the antis are still running around proclaiming “nine out of 10 American favor universal background checks.” ”

    To which I usually respond with some variation of “how embarrassing for you to have such a huge majority but still be unable to enact all your gun control schemes. Are you sure you have such a large percentage of support?”

  3. The entire concept of prohibited persons is flawed and is the issue with background checks. The 1968 GCA created and enforced this idea that there should be people in society denied the right to bear arms. That some people “shouldn’t have rights.”

    Do felons or drug users or the mentally unstable lose other basic rights when they aren’t incarcerated? Should people permanently lose the right to privacy and warrants because of a single action? I dislike violent felons, but if we trust them
    To be members of society with access to gasoline, automobiles etc, firearms should be included as well.

    Felonies and mental health issues are defined by the government. And the number of things that are a felony have steadily gone up and up. The antis will realize they don’t need more gun control. Just make everything a felony and people will naturally be disarmed quickly. Toss in a broad definition of mentally infirm (eg ever taken anti-depressants) and you’ve now barred most of society from ever owning a firearm again.

  4. It’s funny…lately I’ve spoken with friends regarding background checks, felons not “losing” their rights if they’re not incarcerated, etc. In each instance I’ve gotten them to at least rethink their opinion, many of which have changed. And not because I’m telling them their opinion is wrong…I just ask questions in order to get them to think. Which is how many of my opinions regarding guns have changed recently. Anyway, it gives me hope that one day we will get closer to “shall not be infringed”…and a safer country for that.

  5. So I get that we want to push back against gun control, but is the new meme that all background checks are bad, because that’s the vibe I seem to be picking up on lately. That seems a bit silly considering we don’t want violent felons to just be able to walk into a gunshop and buy whatever guns they want. Or is there something I’m missing?

    • The something you’re missing is that the beef applies to private sales. Knowingly selling to a “prohibited person” by anyone is a crime. A felon can’t “walk into a gun shop and buy whatever guns they want.” It’s on you as a private seller to find out by whatever means.

      • No, read the article again, it is implied strongly that all background checks are bad not just the new push for checks on private sales.

        • “…it is implied strongly that all background checks are bad ”

          They are.

          To oversimplify just a bit… a background check requires me to prove I am innocent before I am allowed to participate in exercising my rights. That makes the right not really a right and the whole thing a violation of the concept of due process of law (innocent until proven otherwise).

          So ultimately, yes, background checks are a bad thing.

        • JusBill’s response was describing the content of the law, not necessarily his evaluation of whether it’s good or bad law. Yes, the article does evaluate the current law as being bad in requiring any check at all.

    • While I know we’d like to think background checks “keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people”…they don’t. All they do is stop someone who is on a prohibited list from buying one from a licensed dealer. They can still steal them, buy on the street, etc. And if someone commits a heinous crime, they should be incarcerated for a LONG time, possibly for good, after a fair trial and if convicted by a jury of their peers.

      The real problem with UBC, or ANY required check, as I see it, is they do almost nothing to prevent/deter crime…while being a huge opening into possible abuse by the government. With a few keystrokes all of us could be on the “forbidden” list, for no reason, whether through a mistake in identity, or because the govt just doesn’t want you to have a gun. And that possibility is not something I’m willing to trade some PERCEIVED safety for.

      • Not to mention the waste of resources spent on a program that seems to accomplish nothing other than hindering us the good people of the gun. Dismantle it and redirect the resources to something useful, not trying to create more criminals that inadvertantly break some minute detail of these laws.

    • Manimal, a few thoughts ….

      Purchasing a firearm is one of the only “constitutional rights” that requires a mandatory background check. We don’t require background checks for those who want to practice religion, or those who want to publish their thoughts in a newspaper / journal / book / blog / etc., or those who want to go out and speak to the world about what they think and/or believe. We should not require background checks for those who want to defend themselves against murders, robbers and rapists.

      A gun registry will undoubtedly eventually lead to gun confiscation. Look at California and New York. Look at history. Background checks enable the creation of a gun registry (as Farago pointed out in his Universal Background Checks for Dummies post), whether it’s legal or not for the government to do so.

      Background checks are subject to mistakes. Think about all of the people who have accidentally ended up on a “no-fly list” (e.g. Ted Kennedy). Any mistake denies a law-abiding citizen the right to keep & bear arms. It may be temporary, but it also may cost someone his/her life if they have a threat against them.

      A background check system is subject to endless possible expansion by adding more medical conditions or crimes to the list of what makes someone a “person prohibited” from owning a firearm.

      Background checks don’t do job they ostensibly are designed to do – keep guns out of the hands of criminals. They do not stop a criminal from obtaining a gun permanently. They only stop the criminal from obtaining the gun from that dealer through legal means. They can get someone else to buy them a gun or they can steal one. Or, if necessary, they can attempt to use a fake gun or an alternative weapon in a crime.

      So, to sum up …

      They are a violation of the US Constitution;
      They have been proven historically to lead to gun confiscation, which can lead to mass murder;
      They are subject to mistakes, which leads to the denial of the RKBA;
      They can be manipulated to deny the RKBA to an expanding number of persons; and
      THEY DON’T WORK.

      • And, even *if* they worked 99% of the time… shall not be infringed; a constitutional amendment is necessary for government to legitimately be able to require a background check for firearm purchases. As the Constitution now stands, background checks are a ‘shall not’ for government. All of these private individuals AND firearm dealers who worry about “violent felons” could simply pay for a commercial background check on the internet for their potential buyers. Hell, they could even form their own private business to do just that. That is, of course, if they were genuinely concerned and thought that background checks were effective. 😉 They could put their own money where their mouths are and stop sucking from the government teat for ‘free to them’ background checks and inciting our government to violate the Constitution.

    • Correct. Asking the government for permission to exercise a fundamental right is bad. It turns the presumption of innocence upside down and focuses on the wrong people, expending 99% of the resources on innocents instead of the bad guys.

      To keep guns out of criminal hands, we need to focus on the small minority of violent criminals who commit most of the murder and violent crimes. You do that by carefully monitoring them and putting them in jail when they get out of line.

      The whole “background check” meme is just a foot in the door, designed to eventually morph into a national registration system.

    • There was a time when just about anyone in this country with a couple bucks could mail-order a handgun or rifle directly to their door with no government involvement at all. Homicide rates back then were lower than they are today. So how do background checks keep violent people from committing violent acts again?

      Maybe we need to focus on why our society is becoming less civil and more violent, and stop with the farcical “security theater” of background checks.

    • Since the felon can walk out on the street and pretty much buy any firearm wanted, and certainly can buy any firearm needed to commit a crime, what is gained by preventing them from buying at a gun store?

      I could go and illegally buy a handgun for less than $200 within two hours, or I could go to the gun store and spend 90 minutes on paperwork, then wait ten days to pick up the firearm.

      If you are a criminal, why would you chose to buy from the gun store? You already are breaking the law, the tiny additional penalty for illegal purchasing that firearm is not a deterrent to anything. Even if there were no background checks, you’d be making the purchase in front of people and leaving much more of a trail than purchasing on the street.

      Plus, since it doesn’t work to reduce crime, what happens is that the very same people advocating more background checks, when it isn’t effective, instead of reconsidering their premise (fewer firearms = less crime) they double down on failure and say it wasn’t effective because it didn’t go far enough. There need to be 20 day waiting periods, medications need to be on the background check, school records need to be added, then when none of that reduces crime, again the argument is that it’s not expansive enough, and psychological testing needs to be part of the process, soon the argument will be that simply desiring to own a firearm means you have mental issues, so you shouldn’t be able to own a firearm.

      Naturally, only people who have a desire to stay out of legal trouble will be affected by these background checks, private legal firearm ownership declines, and as such, criminal activity increases, and the increase in crime is used to drive home gun control laws against law abiding citizens.

      • “they double down on failure and say it wasn’t effective because it didn’t go far enough.”

        This is what the people who want larger government programs say every single ^@%#@#$ time a program fails. It didn’t work … so we need more of it.

        … never considering that maybe the program doesn’t work because it is just a bad idea.

    • Manimal, let me address that since I’m pretty sure that RF and I agree pretty closely on this issue.

      “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

      You will note that the Second Amendment defines what the Founders considered to be a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected individual right. It also includes a CLEAR prohibition against the government infringing on that right. Nowhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights or specifically in the Second Amendment is the government at any level given the authority or power to create, monitor and enforce a list of persons who, in the opinion of the government, MAY NOT EXERCISE their right to keep and bear arms.

      To agree, however minimally, that the government DOES have that authority automatically changes the RKBA from a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right, to a privilege granted by the government according to whatever standards they decide to establish.

      In the larger historical scheme of things, to grant that everyone has this right, even if they make us VERY nervous, at least gives each of us a chance to defend against criminals or mental defectives. To give up that right for some fantasy that the laws and the government can and/or will protect us from the criminals and mentally defective only turns us from citizens into subjects and eventually to victims of whatever tyranny the government decides to impose.

      “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Bejamin Franklin.

      • I get all that. Thanks for the responses.

        In my lifetime I have never not had to have a background check to purchase a firearm from a gun shop, so it just seems so reasonable and normal to me. (and yes that is probably part of “their” insidious plan.)

        • *Sucessfully* stripping the ability of a free people to exercise their rights is something that must be done over generations. Slowly, over time, government has gained control of what’s being fed into children’s minds through compulsory education. We’ve been churning out generations that not only have no real sense of true Liberty but so many are also downright afraid to be free. The warm glow of the nanny state attracts them in greater numbers as each generation matures into adulthood. Too bad that the warm glow is actually a giant bug zapper. With the usurpation of power on a grand, accelerated scale by government today; we cannot afford half measures in the restoration of our free nation. If these recent generations pass away without restoring true Liberty in the United States of America; the light of freedom will be snuffed out in the world. How long until humanity once again discovers the truths of individual Liberty that are self-evident? 100 years? 1000 years? 10,000 years? I fear that mankind will have to endure global despotism and great suffering before the People would once again enjoy substantial individual Liberty. What happened in those thirteen colonies was something not seen often enough; something wonderful and unique. We would be fools to not fight with every sinew of our beings for freedom now, in our time.

  6. A. Dang I ‘ve said this soooo many times I be getting tired. The NSSF is NOT our friend. It is a protection and marketing organ of the gunnmakers. I refuse to cede my natural and Constitutional rights to them.

    B. When Gallup polled the populace back in 1776 only 3% were willing to fight for independence. So who cares what the 97% think?

    C. They already know who has the guns, Number Six.

  7. “Would the response to that question have been the same if it asserted that “four of ten gun sales at gun shows don’t require a federal background check”?”

    No, I don’t think the response would be the same. But I don’t think the number is anywhere near four in ten, either, at least not around me. I go to the Orlando gun show, and I see guys with a sign hanging on their backpack or a dowel flag in the barrel of their slung rifle. I’m sure those guys make sales eventually, but in comparison to the sales inside the show, where every table but two waaay in the back are doing background checks? Those private sales are quite literally a drop in the bucket. I’d be surprised if they amounted to one in a hundred.

  8. RF, I hear what you’re saying, but at least the NSSF has given us some ammunition here. It’s easier to counter the 90% argument when you can reference a contradictory poll.

    • The counter to the 90% argument is that 100% of government instituted gun control laws, including NICS, are 100% unconstitutional in violation of the Second Amendment. And SCOTUS be damned.

      The government has NO authority to create and enforce a list of persons prohibited from exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights.

      • Cliff, That’s easier said than done in some parts of the nation. For those of behind the lines, your response would result in a blank stare at best, or an outright dismissal at worst. We need ammunition, not canned answers.

  9. What we have is a system of double standards , as far as I can tell almost no follow up checks, about food stamps, welfare, green cards , grants , unemployment money, etc .etc. We have lots people working under the table , getting money both ways ,BUT no one seems to care that this may destroy our country…I am talking about the vast amount of double dippers pulling us down. But look at all the TAX money and real jobs etc. that the people of the GUN … We are helping to SAVE AMERICA…And everyone forgets that gun ownership stop or prevents more crime that all the POLICE ( the police are mostly after the fact) IF they want LESS CRIME and a safe America the Yo Yo’s need to learn what REALY keeps us safe … NO one (bad guy) wants a 357 mag. in the face. they always look for a weak target to rob or attack….WE GUN GUYS are the real hero’s so get off our butts and WAKE UP to the facts of life ANTI’s !

  10. I’m SO tired of how organizations and groups with an axe to grind ask loaded questions of a statistically insignificant hand-picked portion of the US population and then throw the resulting garbage around like it was carried down the mountain writ large on stone tablets. Everybody needs to get real with these surveys, cuz they’re statistical BS.

  11. The NSSFs approach is pragmatic necessity, given that most Americans aren’t even remotely aware of how their government operates.Add in the distressing statistic that out of tens of millions of American gun owners, only 5 million of them are NRA members, and it’s clear the “celebrate government free transactions” line just ain’t gonna fly.

    • Last I saw the NRA was still proud of its role in getting instant background checks passed (and they don’t even bother to claim the alternative would have been worse). So maybe being a member of the NRA isn’t an indication of where one stands on background checks. Or maybe it is, but not in the way you are thinking.

    • If we agree that “government free transactions” ain’t gonna fly as a PR concept due to an ignorant populace should we then just roll over, stop trying and give up? We need to make as much noise and fuss about this as possible and when that (supposed) 90% asks, “What’s up?” we explain it to them slowly, gently, using small words.

      NICS is the government’s nose under the RKBA tent and even if 90% of the camel is still outside you still have to keep kicking the S.O.B.s nose every chance you get.

  12. The government desperately wants the ability to approve of you prior to allowing you to do anything. The government loves permits, approving and denying permits, and “policing” compliance of permits. Look at NYC, NJ, CA and others. Background checks are quite literally a guilty until proven innocent mentality.

    Smoke weed? No gun for you.
    Ex files a retraining order? No gun for you.
    System shut down? We can’t prove your innocence. No gun for you. You’ll have to wait. Don’t worry, it’s for your safety.
    False positive? No gun for you.
    Broke one of the hundreds of new laws that we add every year? No gun for you.
    On an arbitrary terrorist watch list? No gun for you.

    I had the shipment of my .338 Lapua delayed due to an NICS issue. The only crimes in my record are two speeding tickets (which I was definitely guilty of, by the way). When the Feds have control of the system, they can deny access to anyone they want. Blue states clearly indicate that bureaocrats love to deny rights. They also love *exemptions* for those who they deem important.

    The expansion of the control of the Federal Government is the single most dangerous entity against individual liberty that we have today.

  13. I am glad the NSSF is in the gun-rights game, but I never loose sight of the fact their members are the firearms industry, which wants to make and sell guns, which I want to buy. It’s an industry trade representative, and that is great – our firearms industry needs protecting. If no one made guns, the 2nd Amendment sort of becomes a moot point.

    I strongly agree with RF’s point: you do not defend a civil right based upon countering opinion polls. This is not a democracy – no matter that “the public” or the media says to the contrary – it’s a constitutional republic. The failure of modern democratic socialists states in Europe (e.g, Greece) is that “the people” can vote for whatever they want and it has the force of law. Not in America – at least on the federal level – or at least not yet.

    You don’t defend the rightness of a principle by claiming the other side’s numbers are exaggerated. The numbers don’t matter – the principle does. The US government locked up over 110,000 Americans of Japanese descent who were located in states bordering the Pacific ocean. They did this out of fear. They locked up very few Japanese-Americans in Hawaii, where they made up over one-third of the population.

    So do you defend that action, which was racist and wrong regardless of what the Supremes said in 1944, by saying that “well, at least they didn’t lock up all of them, only those on the West coast?” Or do you say that this was a wrong action because it violates the Constitution? I remember “separate, but equal.” Many states fought desegregation with arguments along the lines of “see, black people have schools, too, so there’s no need to desegregate.”

    Defend the principle. Screw the numbers.

  14. 100 years ago, 90% of voters supported denying voting rights to women and blacks.

    Who cares how popular my civil rights are, as long as the Constitution protects those rights?

  15. Imagine what will happen after the health care law is fully functioning, (if it ever does).
    “Our records indicate you talked with your doctor about depression because your child died of ‘X’ and that he prescribed anti depressants”. No gun for you.

    “We see that you refilled a pain medication 6 times after a botched spine operation. That shows you are addicted to a controlled substance”. No gun for you.

    The more power the government gets, the scarier it becomes.

    • Some very wise people came up with, A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The People have forgotten what it means to be free and what it takes to remain so. 🙁

    • That is a very serious concern of mine as I take Cymbalta for severe arthritis, not for depression. Go figure, anti-depressant discovered to help very bad arthritis. For me it is a game changer. I don’t take it, I am basically on crutches or simply don’t walk. That, plus participation in chronic pain clinics several times over past 20 years, 23 surgeries, and my medical record looks like I’m a junkie.

  16. UBCs are not an infringement.

    Oh wait, convicted felons aren’t allowed to have guns? Why aren’t you standing up for them.
    Oh wait, those dishonorably discharged aren’t allowed to have guns? Why aren’t you standing up for them?
    Oh wait, those who have been committed to mental institutions aren’t allowed to have guns for a period of time? Why aren’t you standing up for them?
    Oh wait, felons aren’t allowed to vote? Why aren’t you standing up for them?
    Oh wait, illegal immigrants aren’t allowed to buy guns? Why aren’t you standing up for them as the 2nd Amendment does not bar them from purchasing firearms in the US.

    I didn’t see 40mm bofors cannons at the gun shop last month. That’s an infringement on my rights!
    I didn’t see a 155mm howitzer with HE shells at China-Mart last week. That’s an infringement on my rights!

    That’s how many of you sound.

    And yes, UBCs are still legal and can play an effective role in keeping guns out of the hands of those who have no business having them. There’s other methods that have to work in tandem for it to work….its just the NRA is pushing Congress NOT to put measures into place. Guns are big business and Congress gets on their knees for big business.

    • Grumpy in Kali; I agree; all of those ARE infringements on the right of citizens to own weapons and of ability of the citizen militia to be stronger than the government in martial force; the citizen militia of the revolutionary era owned cannon, mortars and other large crew served weapons suitable for war.

      It is just another sign of our degeneracy as a country in your acceptance that so many people are denied the right to KABA and your lack of understanding as to the need for a strong well armed group of citizen soldiers. This is what our founding fathers warned would happen in the corruption of what was once a free people to the de-evolution into subjects begging for handouts from their masters and looking to the government for protection.

    • Oh wait, convicted felons aren’t allowed to have guns? Why aren’t you standing up for them.
      Oh wait, those dishonorably discharged aren’t allowed to have guns? Why aren’t you standing up for them?
      Oh wait, those who have been committed to mental institutions aren’t allowed to have guns for a period of time? Why aren’t you standing up for them?
      Oh wait, felons aren’t allowed to vote? Why aren’t you standing up for them?
      Oh wait, illegal immigrants aren’t allowed to buy guns? Why aren’t you standing up for them as the 2nd Amendment does not bar them from purchasing firearms in the US.

      ———————————-
      All those groups should have all rights restored, in proportion to the danger they present to society. A felony who got caught shoplifting $500 in goods, that person should be able to legally firearms the moment upon release. A felony who robbed someone, should not be able to legally own firearms for the length of time of the maximum length of the sentence if released early, or 5 years after release which ever is the longest period. It’s part of the punishment for the crime of harming someone.

      People in jail should be able to vote by absentee ballot. The right to vote should be tied to citizenship, if you are a citizen, you can vote.

      Why should being dishonorably discharged prevent you from legally owning a firearm? You are a lazy bastard who can’t show up for your job on time, so you get a dishonorable discharge, what does that have to do with owning a firearm? If a crime has been committed, then the same rules as a civilian crime should apply, the sentence should determine how long before the ability to legally own a firearm is restored.

      If a person was in a mental hospital, that person isn’t supposed to be released if that person is a danger to others, so why should they be denied the right to keep and bear arms? I WANT people with mental issues to seek treatment, as this makes them safer people in society (not that mentally ill people pose a great percentage of danger). Anything that punishes them for seeking that treatment is counter productive.

      If you are here illegally, you are committing a crime, by definition, since you are actively engaged in crime the law can reflect that. However, I don’t think this should matter for purchasing a firearm. Unless that illegal is committing other crimes, rights cannot be legally denied except when there is no choice.

    • “UBCs are still legal and can play an effective role in keeping guns out of the hands of those who have no business having them.”

      Sorry, Grumpy, but under what understanding of the term “…shall not be infringed.” do you get to the conclusion that UBCs are legal? And don’t quote some SCOTUS ruling, they have been wrong in the past and they will be found wrong again in the future, probably on this very point. And continuing the same argument, where do you find anywhere in the Second Amendment any allowance or authority for any government agency to establish and enforce a list of persons who have no business exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms?

      Criminals, felons and the mentally dangerous WILL find a way to get guns, no matter how many illegal laws governments enact. The only people who will be affected by those laws are law-abiding citizens who will then have no way to defend themselves against the criminals and the insane. The solution to criminals an the dangerously insane is NOT to give up our rights and depend on the government to protect us, but to SHOOT BACK. This is NOT rocket Science. Sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you should stay in Kali and hope for the best. Do not try to export your insanity to the rest of us.

    • Check your email. Robert’s not deleting anything. I am. I’m done messing about with you. I’m sending your posts to moderation for now.

      If you have a beef, take it up with him personally at guntruth@me.com, and stop hijacking posts.

      • Am I missing something? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything LE has said that’s particularly trollish, but on the other hand you really seem to not like him.

        • That’s generally because it gets deleted before you see it. This message reached its intended recipient, and will self destruct in 5-4-3…

        • I believe this is a long standing feud. Leonard Embody has been on the cutting edge of the RKBA. Some (or perhaps many) believe that he was ‘hurting gun rights’. Even though I sometimes cringed at his activities, he had my FULL support. Others, however, really felt that his activities were over the top.

        • You said the name of he-who-shall-not-be-named and it got filtered. Sorry about that.

          It’s not exactly a long-standing feud, and he did have things of value to say. But it went off the rails when he started hijacking thread after thread with the same basic comment over and over, using the thinnest of pretexts to take jabs at Robert. He was invited, on multiple occasions, to take the conversation to email and stop hijacking unrelated threads, but he declined to do so, but instead continued to post the same basic comment repeatedly. In short, if you act like a child, you’ll be treated like one and made to stand in the corner.

        • To clarify, Matt in FL… I didn’t mean to imply that y’all are wrong. He’s been expressing some major butt-hurt in his comments and probably needs moderation. Carry on. 🙂

          BTW: thanks for the explanation and apology. I was just making a tongue-in-cheek comment about my comment warping space-time. lol

      • From the posts that I’ve seen that did go through he seems to spend a lot of his time attacking RF and TTAG personally and directly. On any other sight he would have been blocked completely long ago.

  17. My thought: celebrate those private, under-the-federal-radar firearms sales! They protect against government confiscation of privately held firearms (if Uncle Sam doesn’t know where they are, it’s a lot harder to take them away). They are a bulwark against tyranny.

    A-freakin-men! Church.

  18. I don’t agree with absolutely no gun control and no or minimal background checks. I think Americans do want background checks for criminal as well as mental issue backgrounds. It all depends on what you mean by infringe. I am sick of gun owners allowing their guns to be stolen by crazy people and used in mass shootings. Yes I have a lot of guns and gun safes and security to stop unauthorized use.. Gun owners need to become part of the solution, not just this dogmatic resistance to any ideas to stem gun violence.

    • Resistance to ANY ideas to stem gun violence? Nope. Resistance to unconstitutional laws and restrictions on rights protected by the constitution? Yep.

      Why not do something like, oh, I dunno, lock up those convicted of violent crime? And not release them after serving minimal time? Or lots of other things that actually affect criminals vs the common citizen.

      And as far as gun owners “allowing their guns to be stolen and used by crazy people in mass shootings”…seriously?

      • Probably a reference to Adam Lanza’s mother. But it is very difficult to tell with the information available which of that pair was more crazy.

    • Please document the guns being stolen to committ mass murder; except for Lanza that killed his mother to get her guns; every other mass murderer that I have heard about have bought their guns legally.

    • Greg, I’m a 25 year old father of three with four guns, a mortgage, student loan debt, and the expenses of life. I can’t afford a humidity-controlled apocalypse-proof one-ton safe. I have a re-purposed 5′ metal cabinet that used to hold a test rig controller that I turned into a ‘safe’ which is probably about as secure as a $100 Stack-On. Before that, everything was on the top shelf of my closet. All four of my guns were gifts from my father, so you can’t give me the tired line about protecting my investment or accusing me of having money for guns but not for a nuke-proof vault. Should my right to keep and bear arms be predicated on an ability to lock up my guns against any and all criminal intrusion? I don’t think the price of entry to utilizing my Constitutional rights should be dropping a couple grand at Bass Pro on a gun safe.

      How about this: My guns are already secured behind brick and mortar home construction on MY PROPERTY. Not having them chained up behind layers of security that would make Indiana Jones go “Whelp, I give up!” is not exercising a lack of personal responsibility. If someone breaks into my locked and secured house and I’m not there to defend my property, guess what? They win. That sucks, but I’m not going to sleep any worse at night because my guns were stolen and might be used in a crime.

    • “I don’t agree with absolutely no gun control and no or minimal background checks. I think Americans do want background checks for criminal as well as mental issue backgrounds. It all depends on what you mean by infringe.”

      It doesn’t matter whether or not you AGREE, this is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right not subject to popular vote or societal approval. It doesn’t matter if any or many Americans want background checks, the Second Amendment was put in place precisely so that popular sentiment and/or political factions could never take away the right of the people to keep and bear arms. And a quick look at ANY decent dictionary of the English Language will show EXACTLY what “infringed” means. This is NOT a mysterious term with obscure meanings.

    • It is interesting that you say “background checks for criminals ” how dose that work exactly? The honor system? The fact is just like with universal registration all you get is a list of non criminals kept by the government for no clear reason.

  19. Every firearm in circulation today was at one point sold legally. The question is how do we keep firearms out of the hands of criminals? Two ways:

    1) Lock up dangerous criminals until they’re no longer dangerous. So for a first offense, keep them behind bars either until they’re reformed, or dead. If someone is released then arrested a second time for a violent felony offense, that’s it. No chance for reform, you’re dying in prison. Sorry for your luck, schmuck.

    2) Personal responsibility by gun dealers and private sellers. Yep, good old fashioned discrimination. If someone seems crazy or shady, don’t sell to them. If you offend someone, maybe they need to take a look in the mirror and ask themselves why a respectful individual considered them dangerous. If you offend enough people by turning them away, you’ll probably go out of business because you’re a elitist/classist/racist/sexist/somethingist jerk, and your reputation will eventually precede you. Either way, no harm done.

    But EV, what about straw purchasers! What about criminals buying through private sales!? My opinion: Punish the crime. If you can trace a gun back to a straw purchaser, throw the book at them. When a criminal uses a gun to commit a crime, throw the book (or a high volume of lead) at them. This pre-crime stuff is BS. We aren’t prosecuting people for attempting to purchase guns and being dinged by the NICS check anyways, but even I will admit the background check becomes a very mild deterrent to criminals buying guns and make it a bit more difficult to obtain them. For someone who wants to commit a violent crime, obtaining a gun illegally instead of through a dealer is not a deterrent. it might add a day or two to their quest to get a gun, big deal. But again, if the problem is dangerous people buying guns, why are they known to be dangerous and allowed to roam the streets freely? LOCK THEM THE **** UP!

    • We might want to add that a lot of guns are taken from the police and military and We have the black market for anything you can buy right up to a nuke. .What law controls the world wide black market, that is why the war on drugs is the biggest SCAM of all time and we have the government selling guns too! to play one drug gang against another….so who do we trust the people who tell the lies from D.C. on down ?????

    • “1) Lock up dangerous criminals until they’re no longer dangerous. So for a first offense, keep them behind bars either until they’re reformed, or dead. If someone is released then arrested a second time for a violent felony offense, that’s it. No chance for reform, you’re dying in prison. Sorry for your luck, schmuck.”

      EV, I understand your frustration and that this is an honest attempt to suggest a solution, but historically this has been tried MANY times and has in every case proven the “Law of unintended consequences.”

      When the punishment for any crime seems too excessive, which incarceration for undetermined periods of time or for life would seem to qualify, the reaction of criminals is seldom to go out of the criminal business but rather to go into the “Eliminate any and all witnesses” business. If you will go to jail for life for your second Seven-11 robbery, why not just walk in and shoot everybody in the place as an opening move? If the punishment for robbery is the same as for murder, why not murder and reduce the risk of being caught? Why would a rapist leave a victim who can testify against him? Why would a pedophile take a chance on their victim escaping?

      The proper solution is less laws, not more laws or more severe punishments through the judicial system. Remove the laws making it difficult to carry a firearm and especially laws that make it dangerous to use it in self defense.

      Research has shown time and again that the presence of armed good guys is a greater deterrent to crime than ALL the laws passed making the crime itself illegal. Criminals who expect they will face armed resistance, unless the potential reward is greater than the perceived threat, will take themselves elsewhere or find another, less hazardous, line of work.

  20. Robert, the line from the Dentyne commercials was “And 4 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.” The “surveyed” part is important, as the sample size could be anything (5 dentists?).

    • It was two dentists, plus one who had just died from a gruesome accident at a railroad crossing. The two dentists said “sugarless” the half-dentist left over from the accident was, for some reason, non-responsive. 2.0/2.5 equals “four out of five.”

    • Actually it says public owned weapons are needed to support a republic and protects that right under US law. The right exists for all people even if the force of the law dose not extend that far.

  21. Just a year end reminder…When you play by ‘their rules and ‘laws’..and definitions….it is an endless debate and ‘freedom and liberty’ are lost…When you play by the LAW of the people…The Constitution…..they loose…..I choose to ignore and ridicule all of the debaters ..both sides….The Constitution, stands above political suggestions…my ‘ closed mind ‘position….have a better 2014….Semper Fi

  22. If the Second Amendment means that everybody is entitled to own a gun, then prisoners should be able to own them while they’re serving their sentences. Even prisoners have the right to self defense. Right?

    • Yes, even prisoners have a right to self defense. But the 2A says “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms…” It does not mention firearms.

      The Constitution does allow for inhibition of some of your natural rights following lawful prosecution and conviction. The restriction of unfettered access to high quality arms while incarcerated seems to fall in that category. This does not change the fact that prisoners will face threats and in response WILL attempt to acquire weapons to defend themselves, muscles with which to fight off enemies, and to establish or join a militia (Gang) for group protection. These are all natural rights and cannot be taken away without rather draconian policies. Even the terrorists at Gitmo exercise these rights.

      While the hyperbole of providing the opportunity to purchase (why not just allow them to bring the guns they already owned) firearms in prison is an interesting debate technique, contrary-wise, especially as regards violent criminals, where is the strong argument against it? Maybe we should just issue every prisoner a .45 Double-Tap with their prison uniform. Post the guards 200 yards from the wall with a no-man’s land shoot-to-kill zone in between. (Unlikely the .45 rounds could be used against the guards at that range.) Allow a detail to come out once a day to bury their dead in the no-man’s land.

      Seems like a much better solution than allowing the government to restrict MY RKBA in a failed attempt to prevent criminals from obtaining weapons.

  23. Not to mention that the scope of fundamental rights is not and cannot under our system of “self-evident truths” be determined by plebiscite.

  24. 9 of 10? Sounds like a bullshit made up number like the old Dentine gum commercials. 4 of 5 dentists recommend Dentine gum for cleaner brighter teeth!

    Stats like that are obviously fictional but whats truly amazing is how many people actually believe it.

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