Bernard Quartermass (courtesy wikipedia.org)

Facebook commentator Tony Quatermass [not shown] wasn’t happy with our post on the NYPD assassin’s criminal history. The Colorado high school student reckons background checks might – might – have thwarted Brinsley’s ballistic attack. Tony rejected our/my stance on background checks (eliminate them). Quartermass had that this to say about that . . .

The TTAG opposes all background checks, right? It really seems the TTAG supports convicted ex-felons having guns because it’s their constitutional right. This guy also took aim at what he decided was a tyrannical government. Sounds like many people’s definition of a Second Amendment hero to me . . .

The TTAG says background checks don’t work and are opposed to closing the loopholes that would make them more effective.

They (say) criminals will always find a way to get a gun, in part because of the loose patchwork of state laws.

They’re also opposed to tightening the loose patchwork of state laws that would make them more effective.

Me, I don’t blame the gun, but I’d like to know how he evaded the laws in a place with pretty strict gun regulations. Illegal guns end up (on) the streets for various reasons. Laws can’t ever end crime, but they can enable the law to punish them.

An unavoidable background check system (if your seller is law-abiding) and fighting the illegal gun trade would make it much harder for crooks to get guns. It might not have stopped this bastard, but there are some like him it would stop. Less is better.

Care to school the lad?

208 Responses to Question of the Day: Should TTAG Support Some Background Checks?

  1. He’d be correct, provided background checks had a history of preventing criminal acquisition of arms.They have the exact opposite in practice-bad guys use stolen weapons from law enforcement, military , and civilian burglaries .

    Those three avenues combined with existing stock of criminal arms means bad guys wont need to risk buying from legal sources-they dont have to. Some laws are effective , and some are not. This is the latter.

    • Yep, ST. Correct. Up until the 1960’s, after Kennedy’s assassination; a person could order a rifle or pistol out of a catalog and have it delivered to ones door without a background check. A person could walk into a hardware store and buy a rifle or pistol across the counter without ID or a background check for cash.

      In other words, for almost two hundred years of our countries history; a person could buy anonymously a “weapon of Mass destruction” and yet during that same two hundred years, the average murder rate was 1 to 2 percent.

      So, no; any back ground check will not stop a bad guy from being bad; but even if it did, it is a violation of our G-d given right that “shall not be infringed”.

      • False. The mail order sale of handguns was already illegal in 1927, when the first major Federal gun control act law was passed.

        Indeed, the first wave of gun control was roaring along. California passed its first restrictions on handguns, oddly enough far less restrictive than most other states at the time, to SAFEGUARD the right to have concealable firearms for self-defense. Most of the agit-prop of the day was focused on the evils of immigrants, and if you read CA law at the time it treated them differently (struck down in the 1970ś in that regard)

        But anyways, yeah 1927 Federal prohibition of handgun sales through the mail. In fact, that law (in its urrent form) is the reason why you can mail a rifle to an FFL through the USPS but not a handgun

        • I’ve read that under the original proposed NFA of ’34, handguns were to be treated like machine guns and SBR/SBSs and that no mailing of handguns was the compromise that let the legislation go forward.

          (Remember, the NFA was in response to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Which took place in 1929. Before the end of Prohibition.)

    • I would totally support universal background checks, provided they made an app for it that didn’t require serial numbers, did away with 4473’s and destroyed the ATF computer system that is a defacto registry, removed silencers and sbr/s/aows from the NFA, and did not in any way provide for enforcement for possible infractions as there would be no way to prove it because the law itself would once again make a registry illegal. So they put all that on the table, then we can have a reasonable discussion on gun laws.

      • Yes, open up NICS to everyone and eliminate the paper trail and I would be open to that system. But the powers to be will not do that because background checks are not the goal. Registration is the goal.

        • Yes if NICS was an open system that anyone could use, and would turn up either : OK for sale : or : See a Dealer :, it would be useful. However there is no way in hell we’ll get it to that state, and thus it is pointless.

    • ” there are some like him it would stop. Less is better.”

      No, there are none like him this would stop. And my version of when to do this (UBC), is just a month after it has been proven conclusively that the new law prohibiting the theft of firearms is 100% effective. Until then, no such thing as an unavoidable background check exists. Kid, no one enforces these laws, so that there will be reason to demand more laws. Give us 10,000 convictions a year under current law, and we’ll start believing the law does anything. Anything.

    • If this isn’t the best proof that background checks are nothing more than a progressive “feel good” law then nobody is paying attention.
      http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/23/us/delta-employee-gun-smuggling/
      Farago should like this story because he wants to carry his loaded gun on flights.
      See, here’s the thing, Airline employees undergo Federal background checks biannually. They are finger printed and even have Customs clearance. You can’t be more thorough than that. But it just doesn’t matter. Background checks are a waste of time and money and inconvenience to all the law abiding people. All a background check says is, you haven’t been caught yet. Is there a loophole in the system? News flash! Life is one big fucking loophole! I don’t even know what that means, but you get my point.

  2. The only background check I support is making sure that the area behind your target is a safe place to shoot(ie backstop or burm.).

      • I recall one occasion going shooting when there was a disagreement over how high targets could go. We settled it by doing a “background check”, and discovered that the backdrop was uneven. So at the end of the designated shooting range we draped ribbon outlining the top of the backdrop.

        The thing none of us even suspected until we went and looked was that there was a tent pitched in a location some in the party judged safe before we did the little walk.

      • An interesting phenominom I’ve noticed among the online gun community is the mis-appropriation of common Internet slang terms. In this instance, “troll” is used to describe anyone who doesn’t have a hard-right political opinion and expresses such. Another example would be “neckbeard”. Instead of the common useage to describe a fedora-clad, overweight socially-awkward male, it’s used to describe elderly men who line up to buy .22LR at 2am at Walmart.

        • And gun control advocates do the exact same thing to anyone who doesn’t hold a hard-left political position and expresses such.

          And then they proceed to mercilessly ridicule, demean, and ultimately ban that person from their pitiful little internet fiefdoms to continue enjoying their laughably small echo chambers, where they literally wish death and dismemberment to any and all gun owners and their families.

        • What EX-a-dreen said below.

          Tried playing the pro-gun side for a while at Crooks and Liars. Good Lord, what a pit of lefties. The only gun stories they posted (besides political action re. gun control vs. gun rights) were accidents and crimes. And no thread to garner more than 2 or 3 comments before they plunged into the “ammose+uals with small d|cks” malarkey.

          I obeyed the TOS better than any of the libs there … but *I* got banned.

          Feh. [stomping dust from feet]

    • Beat me to it. His own words contain the answer as to why “universal background checks” don’t/won’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals. He offered up his own contradiction to his argument.

    • “Schooled himself”? Howso?

      Exactly how does a law-abiding seller go about verifying that the stranger who wants to buy his piece is not a prohibited person?

  3. problem is you’ll never be able to reason with the “if it just might maybe save ONE life possibly” crowd because they aren’t being reasonable.

    • My standard reply to the “if it saves just one life” morons is some version of “That isn’t how this country works. We buy freedom with blood, not the other way around.” After that, if they want to remain an idiot, I am no longer fazed nor surprised.

  4. How about this: the ATF takes all the agents and resources being squandered on a background check system that has demonstrated no effectiveness and use them to actually crack down on smugglers and straw purchasers.

    Also, prove to me that expanded background checks would have stopped this guy. You can’t.

  5. TTAG can do whatever TTAG wants.

    I’d like to see how many crimes prevented by NICS compared to how many people who would not have committed a crime with a gun being denied or delayed by NICS.

    Such a chart can’t exist because NICS and prevention or lack of prevention of things that have been or yet to be is all imaginary given the infinite options available to commit a crime.

    Support for imaginary fantasies imposed by a very real government with prisons, guns and an aversion to liberty in general sounds certifiable to me.

  6. There has been no Background Check system proposed by politicians or antis’ that has been narrow enough, anonymous, unlikely to cause false positives, and actually work.

    Until all those categories can be met satisfactorily, a background check system is nothing more than making a list of people who went through the process of purchasing a firearm. They don’t stop presumptively illegal sales from happening outside the system, they don’t stop thievery, they don’t stop building a gun from scratch. That’s how criminals get most of their guns currently.

    Sure, having a check system for every new gun coming out of a store is a bit of a deterrent from criminals being able to get a brand new Glock off the shelves, but the check system is done in a way that punishes the law abiding as well.

  7. Tony, sorry to break it to you, but checks don’t work.
    Adam Lanza? He murdered to get his guns.
    Wait, isn’t murder against the law?

    And name one other right enumerated in the Bill of Rights where you need government permission to use or exercise it…

    Oh, and by the way, there is no Santa Clause. Or Easter bunny, or tooth fairy.

    • The 5th. One’s right to his own private property is contingent upon the government deciding that it doesn’t need that property itself for public use; the owner to be compensated based on “just compensation” determined by the government.

      • Not to mention the fact that no-one owns their own house or land even if it’s paid in full. You only have permission to use it from the assholes who call themselves government as long as you keep paying them extortion fees (“property taxes”).

        • That’s why homestead exemptions are a Martha Stewart ‘Good Thing’.

          Currently the base is $50,000 in Florida.

          Lots of additional exemptions for disabled military, etc.

  8. First of all, “The TTAG” is redundant; like” PIN number” or “HIV virus”. Second, he’s a high-school student in a state that legalized marijuana. That being said……

    • I know it’s not orginal or even particularly funny but…

      Q @Tony: On a scale of 1 to 10, how high are you?

      A: Yes.

    • What difference does it make that his state has legalized marijuana? There’s not a high school kid in any school anywhere in America that doesn’t have easy access to weed if he or she wants it. Much like background checks, prohibition just doesn’t work.

  9. The NYPD shooting is the perfect example of why background checks, and a long list of other gun control laws, don’t work. A convicted felon that served time in 2 separate states still is able to acquire a firearm in a strict gun control state (MD)… then he transported it to another gun control Mecca (NYC), all the while shooting his ex-girlfriend and killing two cops. The only bigger example of failed gun control policy in recent memory is the Navy Yard shooting.

  10. If the criminal justice system worked the way it should then we wouldn’t have repeat offenders buying guns, they’d be too busy being incarcerated. Problem solved.

    • Winner winner chicken dinner.

      If someone is too dangerous to be trusted with a weapon, they need to be locked up. Plain and simple. Recidivism is the problem in this country, not weapons.

    • You need to clarify for the young; Criminals do not obey the law. By definition. Passing laws prohibiting or infringing firearm ownership, thus, affects only the law-abiding, and is thus useless to prevent crime.

      • That’s a laughably simplistic argument. True, some criminals will still get guns, just like some felons do today. However, that’s not to say that laws provide zero impediment whatsoever.

        Legal penalty is the price of committing a crime. Like any other price for any other normal good, price impacts quantity demanded. In this case, the quantity of crime committed. Yes, that penalty price is discounted by the probabilies of being charged with the crime, of being convicted of the crime, and the swiftness of the punishment. Those only change the effective price, though, not its existence or the principle of its impact on behavior.

        To argue that criminals will break the law anyway, as in every law no matter the consequences, is like suggesting that consumers will buy every product regardless of price tag. Some may, but most won’t, as they’ll consider the tradeoffs at hand.

        At the VERY least, even those criminals who DO break the law, for example a gun law, will now have that charge against them which we can use to segregate them from civilized society. Had that GA judge not given the NYPD assassin mere probation for his gun related offense, those officers would be alive today.

        • What’s the actual clearance rate, actual convictions for violent crimes, including murder by every means? The deterrence potential of anything is proportional to how likely one is to suffer unpleasant or lethal consequences. Deterrence by “laws” becomes impossibly complicated when many balances have to be considered by many different actors simultaneously.

          In fact, looking at the various states and the relationship of gun ownership to criminal activity, it seems obvious that the best deterrence is the likelyhood the aggressors will face a potential victim who is ready and willing to defend themselves effectively. Criminals love weak, helpless and unarmed victims… And I’m sure they just love all the “gun control” stuff that keeps more and more of their intended victims as helpless as possible. It sure doesn’t affect the criminals except in the rare instances they are apprehended.

          Each individual has a personal responsibility to see to his/her own safety, and that of their legitimate dependents. They can do it themsleves or hire a bodyguard, but beyond that it’s increasingly ineffective and imposes great burdens on others who are not responsible.

          So no, any kind of “background check” is a waste of time and money, let alone an invasion of privacy and infringement of rights. It is simply not possible, this way or any other, to actually have any kind of blanket control over the lives and purchases of those who might plan to do harm.

          I understand that a lot of people want desperately to avoid personal responsibility for this, but no amount of frosting makes a dog poop cake edible.

        • Uh, story I read said the killer served 2 years in prison for firearm possession. Doesn’t seem to have helped a bit.

  11. The real problem with the background checks system isn’t the checks themselves, it’s the politicization of them. Anti-rights politicians and activist know that the background check system is the only really solid chink in the armor of gun rights here in the US. This is why Bloomberg’s group is pushing to get background checks on the books. The next step they have planed is to use those checks to expanse just who CAN’T own a gun.

    • THIS. This, this, this.

      The idea of background checks doesn’t square with my (recently recognized) libertarian principles, but as a realist I know that it’s something we’re going to have to live with. The big question is not whether we have them, but what they’re going to do.

      For the anti-gun cult, what background checks are meant to do is make life infinitely harder for law-abiding gun owners — to the point where our responsible gun culture (and the Second Amendment right with it) die on the vine. It’s a political feature, not a bug.

      We need to accept the fact that background checks aren’t going away.

      And we need to use the anti-gun cult’s only really popular idea against it. Coming up with a better background check system wouldn’t be hard.

      Make the NICS system available online to *everyone* (not just federal dealers), get rid of the stupid 4473 forms, and require all sellers to use it. The system would yield a simple printable yes/no answer, with a unique confirmation number; no information about the gun, or even whether it was ultimately purchased. Just confirmation that you’re selling (or permanently transferring) a gun to someone who is legally allowed to have it. Keep the receipt for your records.

      Presto change-o, the “universal background checks” the anti-gun ninnies are always crying about, done in a way that makes life easier for everyone and deep-sixes their totalitarian dreams at the same time.

      For the first time in decades, public opinion on gun ownership isn’t underwater. And Republicans are going to own Congress for at least the next two years. It’s time we stopped playing the usual bend-but-don’t break defense and started blitzing. Sack their quarterback, take over on downs, and gain some ground on offense.

      Background checks aren’t only a threat, they’re an opportunity. The people at the NRA-ILA and SAF and elsewhere need to get their fat butts in gear, like yesterday.

      • And how you can prove that you sold that specific gun to someone if no serial number is on BC? And how they know how a gun changed hands if not for those pesky 4473? What you propose is just theater that can’t resist to any normal argument.
        If you accept that the concept of BC exists there is no clear way to make it work without invasion of privacy and “under the radar” registration.
        So, my recommendation? Just say no to BC! 🙂

        • Yes, it is mostly theater. That’s the point.

          The current background check security theater sets up an admission process that’s designed to hassle ordinary patrons — and features a wide-open backstage door labeled “totalitarians only” (plutocrats and oligarchs are always welcome at the VIP entrance).

          Replacing it with a system that shuts that back door and gives low-info voters the illusion of security they so desperately want (and will vote for) and makes life easier for all law-abiding gun owners — it’s still theater, but a much less harmful one.

      • Let me make myself fully clear here before I comment any further. I do NOT support ANY background checks what so ever. Not the NICS system let along what’s in i594 here in WA. Full stop. I merely recognize that there is no political will to repeal the existing Brady law or the NICS system. And we’ll keep right on fighting i594 until it’s gone or until none of us are left to fight it.

        • I merely recognize that there is no political will to repeal the existing Brady law or the NICS system.

          I take a similar view toward the Constitutional Carry or Bust! mindset. Our rights have been slowly eroded for over a hundred years. It is impractical and foolish to think that we can see the restored in a single measure – regardless of how much I would like for that to be so.

          And in tackling smaller goals, such as ensuring some form of carry in every State, in arguing against universal background checks, and in all of the other battles we shouldn’t have to wage, but do, the effort provides the greatest opportunity to sway political will. By arguing logic and facts in these smaller goals, we are far more likely to counter the propaganda and blatant lies from those who wish to disarm us.

      • Ing- welcome and congratulations on cutting a little wool from in front of your eyes but you still have some more cutting to do so you can see resolve clearly. From your post it seems you have converted from being an uninformed statist liberal to a libertarian in name only, but you have an awareness that something isn’t right driving you for answers.
        “For the anti-gun cult, what background checks are meant to do is make life infinitely harder for law-abiding gun owners — to the point where our responsible gun culture (and the Second Amendment right with it) die on the vine. It’s a political feature, not a bug.” Excellent you understand that some people have a vested self-interests in controlling others, usually with intentions to harm in the name of the greater good. Helpful hint in the name of freedom and prosperity don’t allow corrupt men to have all your information, since history shows government lists tend to be more of hit lists than help lists.
        “We need to accept the fact that background checks aren’t going away.” This is the defeatist attitude that has allowed this nation to fracture and is bleeding our Spirit of Independence by compromising away our morals. Thankfully the corruption at all levels of society is starting to unite and awaken folks but don’t be fooled with all of the libertarian platforms as certain structure is required in governing, like say a constitution, which is a moral and legal code.
        “And we need to use the anti-gun cult’s only really popular idea against it. Coming up with a better background check system wouldn’t be hard” No establishment of lists of gun owners is the law of the land, easily ignored enough. Imagine if the Redcoats had a list of colonial gun owners before the revolution. Colonial Americans would have read in the papers or heard from word of mouth that some George Washington guy was shot in a state sanctioned raid for failing to pay taxes or whatever excuse deemed necessary. That Thomas Jefferson guy was nothing but a boot-legger of a prohibited substance to demanding customers so the crown had the right to send armed men to kill him. We are living what are founders experienced the pathetic difference is they warned us but we have not heeded the call, but gun and ammo sales are scarring the list makers, that fear of the governed is what defines Liberty.

  12. Absolutely not.

    You can’t trust the Liberals to not go further, AND it is part of their agenda to create chinks in our armor.

    Laws do not work, enforcement does work. Why are the career politicians creating a nation of victims? Why would anyone vote for anyone of them? They lie to us all the time! They aren’t for violence control at all. The self promoting so and so’s!

    The police can’t protect anyone all the time. Just look at the mayor’s son in Chicago! Police were actually stationed there!

    I equate gun control with drug control. How is that going for the government? The guns will get in just like the drugs.

    The more criminals that die, the fewer are going to repeat! Guaranteed.

    With the awakening of America, the voters are beginning to see that pro-gun control crowdare responsible for creating the pro-criminal element/environment and should change the way they vote.

    So no do not change the position!

    I

  13. “Laws can’t ever end crime, but they can enable the law to punish them.”
    – Huh?
    As I see it federal requirements for BGC only for FFL sales are not a loophole. The law does not require private citizens – buyers or sellers – to run the BGC. Only licensed gun dealers have to do that. It’s not like someone did not realize the possibility of private sales without BGC when this bill was proposed. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.
    I still think BGC do not work for their purpose (keeping guns out of “wrong hands”) and any restrictions on RKBA are unconstitutional and wrong.

  14. “Laws can’t ever end crime, but they can enable the law to punish them.”
    “(if your seller is law-abiding)”

    Background check or not, it’s already a felony to sell or loan a firearm to a prohibited party. It’s already a felony for a prohibited party to be in possession of a firearm. The bad guy in question here committed felonies by illegally possessing the pistol, illegally concealing the pistol, shooting people, etc etc etc. There is NO reason any sane person would ever think that breaking a background check law is the one that’s going to make a difference when the criminal is willing to commit myriad other felonies up to and including MURDER.

    Criminals will always sell guns to other criminals, and no background check law will have any effect on that. The guns in this market are stolen. They aren’t from a law-abiding person going to Bob’s gun shop to turn around and sell it to Street Thug A. They get stolen in home break-ins and whatever else. Well, maybe 4% come in some manner from a “straw buyer” type scenario, but again that’s already at least two felonies so no background check requirement is going to stop it from happening anyway and even if it did, that 4% would now be unavailable and the market would respond by committing 4% more home break-ins.

  15. A glib response may be: “Isn’t it worth it if saves even one life?” NO, My rights are more valuable than your illusion of safety”.

    Practically speaking, more guns = less crime.

  16. I have an idea. How about instead of wasting the time of police, prosecutors and judges — not to mention wasting space in jails and prisons — by creating more non-crimes that we then have to arrest, try, and imprison people for, we don’t do that and focus the resources we save on ensuring that actual violent felons are arrested, tried, and imprisoned for the actual length of their sentences?

  17. You could’ve ended that article after “high school student”. Let the kid grow up a little, see the world for what it really is, and then we can have a discussion.

    • A perfectly normal high school student believes he knows everything and all his elders are iggorunt asswipes. Seems fair to allow a bit of actual schooling, explaining why his outlook is indefensible without ad hominem and ridicule.

      • Oh, to be 18, invincible and omnipotent again.

        I could solve all the worlds problems if I could just turn back the clock.

  18. I support non recorded background checks that anybody selling a gun should use. You don’t even need legislation to do one. You can do your own criminal background check on the web. Just ask for buyers name, place and date of birth. If it comes up with a clean record you have done your due diligence. It costs money but you can build that into your price. If the guy doesn’t want to pay it then maybe you don’t want to sell it to him.

    • False argument. Think about how long you need to keep that record. What of you lose it? How you can prove you actually did it? What happens to you if you don’t do it or can’t prove you did it?

      • I guess I am just to subtle for you. You don’t need a government requirement to do a background check. You can do it yourself if that is what makes your day.

      • And why should anyone pay for that? It is still a report from the government, who may decide that a speeding ticket 30 years ago makes you “disqualified”. How difficult is “shall not be infringed.”? All these concepts are unconstitutional, why does Tony not understand the dangers in that? Has he never been taught the history and the importance of the constitution?

      • Larry:

        The government may not infringe but I am not the government. I can decide to deny a person my property based on his record. The primary reason that I don’t sell a handgun to someone I don’t know is that I don’t want to inadvertently sell a weapon to a criminal. Your opinion may vary.

    • Internet data, even professionally compiled, is sketchy, too, at least as prone to errors and omissions as NICS, I’d expect.

      I like your thinking, though. What if one’s state-issued I.D. included a flag indicating OK to purchase firearms? That is, prohibited possessors (and that’s a group whose criteria needs to be reevaluated and modified) would have a no-firearms restriction, just like we stamp “under 21” on minors licenses so bar bouncers don’t have to do the age math at the front door.
      Or how we indicate with corrective lenses on licenses.

      No record keeping, no calls to NICS, no forms submitted to ATF. Just a clean I.D. that allows the seller to verify he’s selling to a non-prohibited possessor.

        • And it allows the government to refuse you the ability to purchase a firearm without an explanation. Just stamp that driver’s license.

        • Visual perhaps, but I bet there could be an app for that. If we can pass out hundreds of millions of credit cards, debit cards, checks (hey, *somebody’s* still using them), and virtual payment media, all without the collapse of the entire global financial system, then we should be able to handle this.

          And Larry? That’s already a possibility with unknown NICS data or capricious ATF regulations. I’m not offering up perfection, but improvement.

  19. Puerto Rico has outlawed all guns, including pellet and BB guns. And it’s an island (stating this for the public education geography experts), so driving up there with a contraband from a “free” state is kind of difficult. But, amazingly, the criminals there are not only well armed, they’re armed with full auto rifles. The dificulty and cost of smuglng in a semi auto rifle is the same as a full auto. And the killings there are in high order. Amazingly (for those that are still being amazed), the media never mentions the daily killings in Puerto Rico – they just don’t exist! Of course, the same is happening in Mexico, and Belize, and in other low-life places where only the government and the criminals can have guns (or one and the same?).
    Kind of interesting to note that Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley drove to NY, where he knew that the citizens are disarmed, to go on his shooting spree. Could it be that if he had done that elsewhere, his “productive” time may have been shorter?

    • I’m not sure how much shorter his “productive” time could have been. He shot the cops, then ran away and shot himself. Not sure how an armed citizen would have changed the outcome in any appreciable way.

      • We don’t know. I suspect that there was a reason for his trip to NY. Perhaps he was hoping that his “productive” lifespan would be longer there? Not like Baltimore is not big enough of a city to get publicity (which is also almost disarmed). But why make that trip? We do know that mass killers will and do make longer trips specifically to disarmed places in order to be more “productive.”

        • I think it’s pretty likely he made that trip because the Garner case was in New York. It was close enough for him to get there easily (odds are this idiot couldn’t find Missouri if his life depended on it), and it would make a bigger statement and get more media attention if he killed some NYPD cops, rather than some Baltimore cops.

          In any case, Baltimore is nearly as disarmed a city as NYC, so the idea that he sought a “gun-free zone” doesn’t really hold up. Now, if he left someplace like Fort Worth, TX or Mesa, AZ or Tallahassee, FL to go to NYC, you might have a stronger argument.

    • The more “illegal” they make guns, the more they drive the price up in the black market, and the higher the stakes are, and the more violent the players wind up becoming.

      • Oh, that’s just conjecture. Just because it happened with alcohol and drugs (and in some cases tobacco) is no indication it will happen with guns…

  20. Are we seriously arguing with high school students now?

    Assuming the answer is yes, then philosophically, I have no concern with either background checks or CCW permits. I just can’t figure out a way to get criminals to abide by either, so why bother the law-abiding with them?

    • Agree with you on the “why bother”. As far as arguing with high school students, appearently TTAG wanted a challenge. The 3 stooges: Sharon, Shannon, and Mikey arent much of a challenge. Sadly the 3 are probably all praying for another school shooting before people forget who they are.

  21. I’m originally from Illinois. For those not familiar with Illinois state laws, in order to purchase firearms or ammo, one must first apply for a Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID). When purchasing said firearms and/or ammo you must display that card. Then, in the case of firearms, you get to wait 3-5 days to pick up your new weapon. So, am I for or against background checks?

    Honestly, I’m for limited background check such as the FOID card, if done effectively. And, by effectively, here’s how I would have preferred it to be:

    Apply for your FOID, and pass the necessary background check. That card is nullified in the event of a forcible felony indictment or conviction. When purchasing a firearm, that card is swiped to ensure it’s still valid, and you walk out with your newly purchased weapon. No waiting period. No weapon serial number run. No ATF for XXXX…

    • Anti’s will always counter with
      “but you may be a strawman”
      Response: “If I buy a gun under any law, I still may be a strawman”
      Anti response: “Excactly, that is why nobody should be able to buy a gun. It may FALL into the wrong hands”

      They cannot admit the Wrong hands will always be able to catch a fallen gun”

      Failure of UBC’s to stop crimes, then becomes evidence that guns should be banned.
      The progression never stops.

    • For decades Chicago law (I think that’s part of IL) has prohibited all firearm ownership not specifically authorized by the rulers, generally machine politicians/gangland bosses. And the murders go on and on, every weekend, those laws are OBVIOUSLY completely useless, as is Democratic run government. So, when are your IL pals going to understand they need a CHANGE!? Repeal all firearm laws, except nothing. Then elect a full slate of Conservatives. Then see if you’re better off or worse off when the next election arrives. IOW, forget the silliness of the “FOID”, the rest of the country does not need it and has fewer murders than you do, and actually prosecute criminals and keep them in prison, leaving the rest of us alone.

  22. Show me the cold hard facts. Show me a criminal or individual who made this verifiable statement: “I was going to murder him, but the background check for a gun changed my mind about murder.”

    Show me proven facts that background checks and laws change people’s minds about committing crimes.

  23. There should be no BC. Period.
    There is no ability to measure if BC works or not.
    BC infringe on a natural right. It is the proverbial “camel nose under tent”. Once you accept the concept of BC there is only a matter of time before more and more people become “prohibited”. This is how you end up fighting the PR war, and so on.
    People that can not act as free people, should not be released out of prison.
    Evil people can kill with other means, not necessary a gun. The argument that will kill less, doesn’t hold water. There are plenty of example of the contrary. The argument can not be scientifically proven.
    Inverts the way we think about people around us: instead of thinking “they are good people until proven otherwise” we think “they are bad people until proven otherwise by BC”. This applies not only to guns but other areas. As such decreases the human trust.
    I honestly think that you can’t support 2A when supporting BC.
    As said before: you should not be free unless we can trust you. Otherwise life prison, mental institution or hanging.

  24. You can’t put that genie back in the bottle. I’m not sure when the bad guy’s Taurus 9mm was made, but it could have been on the streets for years. My cousin is a Baltimore city police detective, and according to him, the majority of guns they seize from bad guys are at least 15-20 years old. Things like Lorcins, Ravens (all the ‘ring of fire’ companies) as well as old S&W wheelguns and illegally shortened pump or double barrel shotguns make up the bulk of what they find. Basically, we don’t have large numbers of relatively newly manufactured guns seeping from legitimate owners to criminals.

  25. I personally do not have a problem with background checks. Not saying that I support them it’s just that they are supposed to be a safeguard. The problem is that there is no teeth behind the law. TTAG has run articles about how people are denied guns because of background checks but no charges are ever filed. Why put law abiding citizens though more red tape when nobody is going to crack down on violators?

    Listen, as Americans we have free speech, freedom to bear arms, and the right to vote (among other rights). I have a problem with anti gun groups running ads suggesting that kids take their parents guns to school and hide behind freedom of speech. I have a problem with people like the AG telling us we need to tighten background checks for gun purchases but is against people showing ID to vote because it infringes on people rights. It is hypocritical that the 2nd amendment is the only one that is constantly attacked until more restrictions are put in place and the next day the same people who refuse to enforce the new law are saying we need to do more. I am saying what’s fair is fair. If you want to make gun purchasers show ID and go through a background check then that should be applied to voting and freedom of speech. If you think an ID and background check is too restrictive to vote or speak then that applies to other rights too.

  26. Should TTAG Support Some Background Checks?

    No.

    The TTAG opposes all background checks, right? It really seems the TTAG supports convicted ex-felons having guns because it’s their constitutional right.

    Why, yes. The right to life, and self-defense, is an inherent, natural right. Even for ex-felons. If someone cannot be trusted not to be a violent criminal among free society, then that person needs to be kept behind bars. Otherwise, once a criminal has paid his debt to society, and is again a free man, then he should retain all inherent, natural rights of a free man.

    This guy also took aim at what he decided was a tyrannical government. Sounds like many people’s definition of a Second Amendment hero to me.

    Your straw man is unimpressive. The murderous thug didn’t take aim at a “tyrannical government”. He summarily executed two police officers sitting in their patrol car.

    The TTAG says background checks don’t work and are opposed to closing the loopholes that would make them more effective.

    What loopholes would those be? And what law is going to close the “loophole” that criminals ignore laws when buying, selling, and using firearms?

    They (say) criminals will always find a way to get a gun, in part because of the loose patchwork of state laws.

    No, criminals will always find a way to get a gun because they ignore laws that would otherwise prohibit/prevent them from purchasing a firearm.

    They’re also opposed to tightening the loose patchwork of state laws that would make them more effective.

    Tighten the laws as much as you wish, and criminals – being scofflaws – will continue to ignore them.

    Me, I don’t blame the gun, but I’d like to know how he evaded the laws in a place with pretty strict gun regulations.

    Simple. He traded the gun for drugs. Every part of that transaction was already illegal. What laws would you “tighten” or create to prevent it?

    llegal guns end up (on) the streets for various reasons. Laws can’t ever end crime, but they can enable the law to punish them.

    Those laws, and that enabling, already exist. Maybe ask the administrations of your Gun Control Mecccas why they don’t enforce those laws, or seek the strictest penalties enforceable under those laws?

    The murderer in this case could have been prosecuted for about a dozen criminal violations, before he ever pulled the trigger. The existence of those laws, and the penalties for violating those laws, did not prevent his murderous act.

    An unavoidable background check system (if your seller is law-abiding) and fighting the illegal gun trade would make it much harder for crooks to get guns.

    Your caveat – “if your seller is law-abiding” – renders your entire premise faulty. The people who sell guns to criminals don’t care about the law any more than the criminals to whom they are selling.

    It might not have stopped this bastard, but there are some like him it would stop. Less is better.

    The only way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals via gun control is complete civilian disarmament – and even that doesn’t work (see: the United Kingdom, for example).

    On the other hand: if you instead kept violent criminals (such as this murderer, who had something like 9 prior convictions in Georgia) away from free society, they would have no opportunity to acquire firearms.

  27. Playing devils advocate if there was a way that someone could run a background check on the person in question with out going through a FFL or State sponsored NICS. Would that be more appealing to the 2a crowd?

      • A thousand times, THIS!

        The only answer to “Why are you against background checks” is “because there is no way to force criminals to use them.”

    • I would be on board. I always wondered why the NRA or other pro gun group hasn’t offered to run a background check system. That way they knew the information wasn’t getting out.

      Honestly though. The states can piss and moan about guns being sold through private purchase and we need to have a univeral background check but none of them have done a d$&n thing about it. All it would take is a state to offer to do background checks for anyone, no FFL required. I don’t sell guns to people I don’t know because this service is not offered. I would call give the information that is asked for on a 4473 and they say “yes” or “no”. I would be willing to sell guns to more people and they would be able to say that they have offered to help. The only people that would be hurt if this took off is the FFL who charges $75 for a transfer, would we even need FFL then

      • ” I always wondered why the NRA or other pro gun group hasn’t offered to run a background check system”

        Because it is too damn EXPENSIVE! No one is telling you how much this silliness costs. Take some bids to replace govt services, and you’ll get the idea, we are spending tens or hundreds of BILLIONS every year for feel-good nonsense and 45 successful prosecutions.

    • I’ve went to local Sheriff office for background checks in order to clear working in healthcare. Anyone could do this. You get a fingerprint and pay a fee. I do not know if all States are the same but I bet they are as many jobs require a background check.
      The entire BC issue is a spun-up propaganda campaign just like the loophole term, designed to frighten the public anytime the word gun or firearm is mentioned.

    • For my own personal reasons, I might want to do a BC on my daughters boyfriend. Again for my own personal piece of mind and liability I might want to BC someone who wishes to buy a gun I am selling. That would be my desire, not the governments mandate.
      There may be good arguments for constitutional carry on 2A grounds but in Wisconsin we have Licenced CCW. Therefore, let me piggy back on an existing system (right or wrong) and call a number at the Dept of Justice (they run the CCW) and ask if a particular licence number is still OK. That would only be facilitating MY desire to do the right thing. The buyer only has to show me that ID and allow his Lic number to be queried. No gun type, no other questions.
      Again, this is not advocating mandating BCs, Just something I may want to do before I sell a gun to a stranger.

  28. I support the rights of individual states to self determine whether or not they want to regulate intrastate commerce. I categorically reject the usurpation of undelegated powers by the Federal government to impose uniformity on a patchwork of state laws that lay within the realm of their authority.

  29. Remember the law states that dealers(gun stores etc.) Are liable if they knowningly sale to felons or the insane. So the backround checks serve as a way to protect dealers from harassment by providing a way to say “hey, I did everything right, why did the atf aprove the sale.”

  30. “This guy also took aim at what he decided was a tyrannical government. Sounds like many people’s definition of a Second Amendment hero to me . . .”

    You might want to go read what the founders said on this. We still have most of the tools available to us to fix the problem within the system. That guy was no hero, he was a criminal and murderer that should not have been allowed on the streets. This is a failing of the system. Not a background check failure.

  31. In Illinois, in order to legally carry a firearm in public, you need to pass at least THREE background checks: One to get your FOID card, a second when you buy your gun, and a third when you apply for you concealed carry license.

    When Illinois has a lower rate of violent crime than Arizona, Alaska, Vermont or any other Constutional Carry state, then maybe we can discuss the efficacy of background checks.

  32. No BC. What is to stop an upstanding member of the community that has not even had a speeding ticket wake up one day and say f it, take his legally purchased, BC passed gun and go ape shit crazy at the local mall, school, theater?

    It all comes back to the freedom of choice on the part of the person that uses a TOOL which is neither good nor evil.

    • Careful now.

      That same scenario you just described is one of the cornerstones of the whole anti-gun rhetoric that someone law-abiding can just snap so background checks and eventual confiscation are necessary.

      • Scott, I am convinced it is an even stronger illustration of the fact that we need to increase the number of armed citizens (felons or not) walking around each day. If 50% or more of the people you pass are armed, you’re going to mind your business, or you are going to die very quickly. After that, it does not really matter whether bad guys have guns, except to those who believe it is possible to somehow eliminate all threats, to live in a bubble guarded by unicorns and illuminated by rainbows. MEN stand ready to defend themselves against attack, and in my experience are relaxed and friendly, because they are not afraid of everyone they meet.

  33. Simple…. Show me what part of the Constitution authorized the feds to run background checks for my rights…. once you can do that then we may have a discussion… granted it will end the same… the the phrase “shall not be infringed” actually means something.

  34. JUST AIRED ON MSNBC: A short where a young woman will some level of mental distress walks into a Dealer and walks out with a revolver. Their goal was to paint a picture of a crazy person’s ability to buy a firearm by legal means. Another violence-promoting spreading of fear within our primarily safe environments.

    But there where some problems in the report. The FFL was shown to ask questions about mental illness which she skirted saying she had not been labeled so by a Judge. She admitted early in the report to have experienced delusions/hallucinations and to take medications related. So she fibbed, pretty much lied.

    They quickly mentioned the majority of healthcare systems have not reported to NICS. If true is concerning and may be something to check into. But this suggestion only supports the system does work, the law is there, so long as information is available and people don’t ,….fib.

    But the big picture is to use a pretty young woman as their spokesperson who had no objective of ill-conceived notions to misuse a firearm. She was hardly the picture of a paranoid mentally ill person. This is far from the record-bearing history which WAS immediately available for the murderer of the two NYC Officers.

    Wow, maybe MSNBC is wising up to the truth and facts. (sarcasm of course).

    • Actually, this has proven the system does not work as we were promised, and therefore should be repealed, eliminated, as an infringement without any benefit.

      And, of course, we still do not have any clue as to where the dirtbag in question obtained his firearm, particularly when we understand he never had any money, no job, etc. Whose gun is it? And how do you know? Should be interesting.

  35. What is the point of a background check when a life long criminal get his hands on a stolen gun? How would that work? Felons (at least the smart ones) do not walk into a gun store to buy a gun legally.

    Background checks did not stop the 9-11 hijackers, they purchased legal box cutters.
    Background checks did not stop the Newtown shooter,, he simply killed and stole the gun from his mother.
    Background checks did not stop Isla Vista, California shoot who passed the CA check.
    Background checks did not stop the Colorado Movie theater shooter, he passed all the checks.

    Many states, including NY, DO NOT comply and give all the necessary information to the NICS. NICS, as a system is flawed with incorrect, old or missing information.

    This time is was a gun that was used to assassinate the officers, the next time it could be simply running into the car with cement truck, or using a bomb, or sticking an emergency flare into a gas tank or other creative ways that do not involve a gun.

    The assumption that a database whose data is kept by imperfect humans, who transcribing data from other imperfect humans can prevent something is stupid. One simple typo is all it takes to allow a criminal to pass the check or a innocent to be arrested for zero reason. The NICS Background check is a joke.

  36. The response is as follows:

    1) The background check system does serve a purpose, just not its stated purpose. That is to say, it restricts the liability of gun stores in that it offloads the sell/no-sell decision to the NCIS system. It does not, however, prevent criminals from getting guns. Heroin is illegal everywhere and has been for decades, but the fact that there are laws against possession, sale, and production has not stopped anyone from using.

    2) A “universal” background check system presumes that both (presumably private) parties are interested in staying above board. When you plan to use the gun for criminal purposes, why would you care?

    3) While the primary market can be controlled, the secondary market for guns cannot. In fact – going back to the heroin example – by implementing strict controls on a market you dramatically inflate the price of items on the black market, which creates powerful financial incentives to bring guns from the primary market to the black market. We have seen exactly this with the war on drugs. Because they are illegal, the price of drugs in the US is sky-high, which means there is a tremendous amount of money to be made for those willing to smuggle drugs across our borders. In fact, since the war on drugs started, the drug problem in the US has gotten worse, not better. Were you to implement the same system for guns, you would get the same result, because the exact same economic forces are at play.

    4) You ask how he “evaded the gun laws”. He ignored them. Ask the same question to the potheads at your high school (yes, whether you know them or not, they are there). How can they get pot when it’s illegal for those under 21 in your state? Even better, how do they do it in the rest of the country where it is illegal for everyone? Well, there are people who don’t care about the laws who stand to make money selling pot to minors, and there are minors who don’t care about the law who want to buy. This is the answer to your statement of an “unavoidable” background check system. There is no such thing, just like there is no such thing as an unavoidable law.

    5) “It might not have stopped this bastard, but there are some like him it would stop. ” Sorry, but no. Check your favorite news source over the past couple weeks and look at what has happened in France and Australia. A guy held hostages in Australia with a gun despite the draconian gun laws that prevent most (law-abiding) people from owning any kind of gun. 20 people were seriously injured in three separate attacks in Nantes, Dijon, and Tours over the past couple of days where the attacker used a car to drive over people. In one case the attacker got a gun regardless of the laws, and in the others they simply asked, who needs a gun? And before you say “It would have been worse with a gun”, feel free to speak to any one of the more than 200 people injured in the Boston bombing, and ask yourself if the fact that “only” three people were killed is somehow “better”.

    • “When you plan to use the gun for criminal purposes, why would you care? ”

      When you think the question is unacceptable, unconstitutional, illegitimate, illegal and offensive, why would you comply?

  37. “Laws can’t ever end crime, but they can enable the law to punish them.”
    Excuse me, when did it become legal for felons to purchase guns?

    If a gang banger with multiple trips to jail and a few felonies on his belt gets caught with a handgun, it’s a crime. Where he got it, he’s not gonna say. File off the serial number, now there’s no way to track it. Whether it was straw purchased, black market, or acquired from a normal store, removing one of those three from the mix only increases the other two.

  38. You assume a lot and ignore the opposite.

    You MIGHT maybe possibly halt some (SOME!) criminal activity, while at the same time definitely hampering perfectly law abiding and reasonable behavior.

    So in the rush to save lives what have you really accomplished? Maybe save a life? Perhaps? But limiting people from being able to defend themselves? That’s the part I am more worried about.

    And so is the constitution.

    Just sayin…

  39. I guess I’m one of those “uninformed” who question the majority of those on here as saying that background checks don’t work. I agree that background checks will not be the silver bullet that get all guns out of the hands of criminals but I look at it as one effort in a series of efforts that are designed to cut down on who has a gun. I see it as an issue of surface area – there is risk associated with any criminal getting a gun, whether legally or now. If we can cut down on those numbers, i.e. the surface area, seems to me the risk is reduced, even if slightly. Is that enough to warrant the intrusiveness and record keeping that go along with background checks? I wouldn’t venture a guess. I would say that it may stop some 20 year old kid who’s had a couple minor brushes with the law and gets PO’d at his parents or his college and decides he wants a gun to get even. Maybe he’s not so well acquainted with how to get a gun illegally and by the time he gets his background denied, he’s cooled down and the process results in one less incident.

    • He may choose a knife instead.
      What you are saying is just conjecture. There is no way to prove you either false or true.
      As such, it is not a valid argument.

      • Actually I’m not attempting to make an argument – it’s really more of a hypothetical so your argument has no merit. Don’t be so quick with the keyboard and you might actually learn something

        • You’re teaching me now? State your qualifications, please. Meanwhile, background checks cost billions and result in almost zero prosecutions. Thus, they are useless. Your argument is that perhaps, someday, under miraculous circumstances, they MIGHT prevent one single crime. So let’s keep spending the billions and violating the constitution, in the hope of that. Don’t be silly.

    • I guess I’m one of those “uninformed” who question the majority of those on here as saying that background checks don’t work.

      Statistics overwhelmingly prove that background checks are completely worthless at stopping criminals from getting guns.

      I agree that background checks will not be the silver bullet that get all guns out of the hands of criminals but I look at it as one effort in a series of efforts that are designed to cut down on who has a gun.

      And what level of constitutional scrutiny are you applying to such undefined, nebulous public good that otherwise constitutes an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms?

      I see it as an issue of surface area – there is risk associated with any criminal getting a gun, whether legally or now. If we can cut down on those numbers, i.e. the surface area, seems to me the risk is reduced, even if slightly.

      How slight of a reduced risk is justifiable to infringe on a right that is constitutionally protected against infringement? What is the actual, observed reduction of risk, if any, in criminals obtaining firearms since implementation of background checks?

      Is that enough to warrant the intrusiveness and record keeping that go along with background checks? I wouldn’t venture a guess.

      Considering that the issue at hand is infringement, for 100 million law-abiding gun-owning citizens, of a right that is constitutionally protected against infringement, I find your unwillingness to “venture a guess” to be, quite frankly, unacceptably lazy.

      I would say that it may stop some 20 year old kid who’s had a couple minor brushes with the law and gets PO’d at his parents or his college and decides he wants a gun to get even.

      In what state could that 20-year-old legally purchase a handgun (and assuming “handgun” here is reasonable), with or without a background check. How many such 20 year olds have the cash available to plunk down for a spur-of-the-moment handgun purchase? And perhaps most importantly: how often does this theoretical scenario actually play out in real life?

      Maybe he’s not so well acquainted with how to get a gun illegally and by the time he gets his background denied, he’s cooled down and the process results in one less incident.

      Would those “couple minor brushes with the law” even cause him to be denied in a background check? And what if that same 20 year old hadn’t had those “couple minor brushes with the law”, but still had a spur-of-the-moment parental rage that induced him to go try to buy a gun?

      The statistics prove that existing background checks have been an abject failure at keeping “prohibited persons” from getting firearms. What reason do we have to believe that they would be any more effective in your arbitrary scenarios?

      • And, if he was denied, he should be prosecuted and spend at least 5 years in a federal prison. Are you up for that? ANYONE denied should spend 5 years in a federal prison. By law, not by my statement or desire. That sounds like a seriously different view of the law than you have, we’ll just keep him from getting a gun, then turn him loose to get one via another channel, his parents are still dead, before he ever reached the age where he could buy a handgun. In 10 years, your brain will have matured to the point where you will actually be able to understand the relevant arguments, if you have not been brainwashed by the education system into being unable to discern fact from fiction. Good luck with that. Right now, I appreciate your interest, but your post shows you are out of your depth.

  40. Tony Quatermass seems like a well-intentioned young fellow who looks for the good when it isn’t there, and overlooks the bad when it’s staring him in the face.

    Background checks don’t matter. If they did, then I could call NICS myself and get a “proceed” on a sale. I’d like to be able to do that but I can’t because nobody, especially the government, cares about the check. What the G does care about is the 4473. The 4473 is (illegal) backdoor gun registration. The background check is merely the pretext.

    Government is nothing more than a RICO conspiracy. Some day, maybe, the young man will understand.

    So no, TTAG should never support background checks until the day comes when sellers can run one if they so choose and there is no 4473.

  41. i do NOT agree with TTAG’s fanatical, fundamentalist view of the constitution. it is no different than a fundamentalist christian or fundamentalist muslim that REFUSES to think for themselves always referring back to something written saying “but it says it right here and i must do exactly as it says”. if you really think our founding fathers intended on the constitution being applied to people who are criminals or the mentally ill, especially concerning gun rights, you are delusional and a fringe fundamentalist. neither of those are commendable qualities in a person who cares about the welfare of others. which all TTAG seems to care about is spewing forth its own OPINIONS and anyone who doesn’t agree, well, they must be wrong, stupid, uneducated, or flawed in some other way. because we all know there is no way the world scholars of this website would ever hold a “wrong” idea.

    • Welcome troll! 🙂
      OK, I’ll bite.
      First: the constitution is written in a plain language so anybody can understand it. It seems weird to me that a fundamental law of a country will not be accessible to every of its citizen without any elite spelling it out for them.
      Second: Why would you can call somebody a “fundamentalist” when they want to stand for some principles? Having “relativist” moral views is not being “fundamentalist”?
      Third: :Lumping together the respect for the Constitution with murderous muslim believers it shows clearly that you are a troll. Nobody goes around killing people in the name of the Constitution or because the Constitution told them so.
      So. indeed, buzz off!

    • if you really think our founding fathers intended on the constitution being applied to people who are criminals or the mentally ill, especially concerning gun rights, you are delusional and a fringe fundamentalist.

      Either you’re intentionally erecting a straw man, or you have serious issues with reading comprehension. I’m willing to accept alternative explanations, but I doubt they’d reflect any better on you.

      But even on its face, your assertion is ridiculous. Setting aside the second amendment for the sake of argument: why should rights other than those protected by the second amendment not be applied to criminals or the mentally ill?

  42. It is far more important to keep weapons available to the law abiding than to deny them to the lawless. Background checks are a registry in disguise and nothing more, this is the main objection to them, much more so than their ineffectiveness. Look no further than the criminals in Brazil manufacturing their own firearms or the amount of contraband smuggled into the US and you will see that background checks will do less good than an armed populous.

    The author of the reply seems to have fallen into the usual “if it saves just one life” trap. “Gun violence” does not occur in a vacuum. It is not isolated from all other aspects of firearms in this country. This means that if you prevent even a few criminals from owning guns, you will have also affected gun ownership for law abiding citizens. This cannot be avoided. Consider that a vast majority of NICS flags are false positives. Each false positive is a lawful citizen denied or delayed the purchase of a firearm. Waiting period laws have been shown to correlate to a rise in rapes, which means that delaying the possession of a firearm for a lawful citizen by any means increases the chance that they will be raped. In short: the law of unintended consequences is the most important thing to understand about politics or any piece of legislation.

    Also, there are plenty of things that can get you on the prohibited persons list. A history of drug use and addiction can get someone a felony conviction, and a history of depression, even though they may never even consider suicide or violence towards others, can get someone denied a firearm, or will considering some of the proposed policies floating around out there. Such people are more likely to be deliberately targeted for criminal violence.

    I resent the comparison of 2nd amendment supporters to this madman assassin. The main purpose of the 2nd amendment is to deter governments from engaging in overt tyranny, and to defend ourselves against aggression if the deterrent does not work. Not to go assassinating individuals for retribution against wrongly perceived transgressions by police.

    The author of this reply has ignored the main main point of objection: the fact that UBCs are a covet registry; and instead has chosen to erect a straw man, and in so doing has shown an unwillingness to engage in honest debate or to understand the contention.

    The point isn’t that felons have a right to own firearms, the second amendment, and all items in the bill of rights, pertain to rights only secondarily. Their main purpose is to restrict the power of government because people with power cannot be trusted. If you want to understand the 2nd amendment you should first read the 10th. The protection of rights stems from the restrictions on government. Finding reasons to ignore those restrictions on government “for the greater good” defeats the purpose entirely. A single hole can bring down an entire dam.

    As always, focusing on the firearms themselves is a red herring and nothing more, be it outright prohibition or UBCs.

    No background checks, no compromise.

  43. Regarding t muslim cop-killer in NYC, ‘t they say he came from Baltimore? Doesn’t MD have some of the strictest gun laws in country? Did he pass a background check to purchase is gun? What the radical antigun crowd fails to accept is that if it would be just fine for a convicted felon to own a gun. A convicted felon goes to prison, and when released is supposed to be “rehabilitated”, hence a safe member of society.

    We have prison overcrowding due to the vast number of stupid laws and the ever growing population of once law abiding citizens that are deemed criminals by new laws. We also have long term incarceration for non-violent felons due to mandatory minimums, 3-strikes etc. Fine these people, don’t pay to house and feed them. Make room to keep violent criminals in prison, and keep them there unless they are safe to be released. If released, and they have completed any parole time, give them back their rights. A gang member that everyone knows will go right back to criminal activity should not be released. Make death row a real and valid concern for those committing crimes, and quit being candy asses about handing out that sentence. There is no deterrent for criminals, which make more money in crime than they would at a respectable job, to become law abiding citizens.

  44. Yep the problem with buying a gun from a fence behind a bar at 3AM or from a crackhouse is the lack of background checks.

  45. I would support UBCs, based on a list of caveats that the gov’t is not even close to fulfilling.
    1. The check system has to have full, relevant data. That means records of mental health professionals and/or courts declaring someone a danger AND juvenile records from ALL states. That would create privacy concerns, which leads to the next condition:
    2. The data can’t be compiled into a database. Like a credit check, it’s one and done, data deleted. Sure, the NSA will still have it (LOL), but it could never be used by law enforcement in any kind of investigation without a court order. And no registration or confiscation lists.
    3. The system is quick.
    4. False positives can be quickly and easily appealed.

    I don’t think we’re even close being able to meet those conditions, so at this point, I’m against it because I don’t think it would be effective.

  46. “…Me, I don’t blame the gun, but I’d like to know how he evaded the laws in a place with pretty strict gun regulations. Illegal guns end up (on) the streets for various reasons. Laws can’t ever end crime, but they can enable the law to punish them.”

    Because Laws are not a ‘thing.’ They do not have a physical presence, you can not touch a law, and it can not prevent someone from doing something because it can not physically restrain action.

    You said it yourself, the law defines the criminal act so that the action can be punished after the fact.

  47. It’s illegal for a felon to attempt to buy a gun, but they are seldom prosecuted for it. Once denied, they usually just turn around, to out on the street, and buy a stolen one from car trunk of the local supplier.

    • And, since “the local supplier” is selling stolen guns at steep discounts from what you would pay at a dealership, you will/can NEVER stop that sale, except by putting the felon in PRISON for 5 years or more for attempting to purchase a firearm while “prohibited”. Anti’s claim approximately 150 million denials each year due to the wonderful BC, I don’t think convictions/sentences have ever reached 100 in a year. For billions of dollars better spent repairing our roads if no better use is found. The facts, if examined, find BC completely ridiculous, unless viewed through rose-colored glasses while riding your personal unicorn under the rainbow. Can we get real?

  48. TTAG can support whatever it wants, but I don’t think *all* background checks are bad. There is some merit in my mind in refusing normal sales to violent felons or really crazy people. After all, some of them will not take any further steps towards getting a gun, which is fine with me.

    Yes, I know that kind of power can be abused.

    • If they are so violent why are they not in prison?

      If they are so crazy why are they not under medical/professional care?

      • What, you’ve never met a violent parolee before?
        I never said that they might not be under professional care. But those under professional care (i.e. taking their meds) are less likely to be dangerous.

        I didn’t post this expecting everyone to agree with me, just sharing my opinion. I also never said that background checks would be very effective. Of all the proposed gun laws out there, background checks simply offend me less than others.

        • “So, maybe the problem is paroling the violent criminal?”

          That’s not the problem since you can’t keep people in prison for what they might do in the future. “Violent” people get out of prison all the time, and there’s nothing we can or should do about it. My comment about “violent criminals” is to distinguish them from non-violent criminals like people who jaywalk or drive without insurance or wear white after labor day.

        • That’s not the problem since you can’t keep people in prison for what they might do in the future.

          Indeed. The solution is to keep them in prison for what they’ve already done in the past, and have been convicted for. Murder, rape, kidnapping, armed robbery: life sentences, no parole.

          Crime rates will plummet, especially since the vast majority of murders are committed by repeat offenders.

        • “Indeed. The solution is to keep them in prison for what they’ve already done in the past, and have been convicted for. Murder, rape, kidnapping, armed robbery: life sentences, no parole.

          Crime rates will plummet, especially since the vast majority of murders are committed by repeat offenders.”

          Well now that’s the easiest thing in the world to say, but still over-simple: All levels of murder, even negligent homicide- life? All levels of rape, even statutory rape? All levels of armed robbery, life? Kidnapping, like when one divorced parent takes the kid on a trip without consent of the other, that kind of kidnapping?

          You can throw everyone in prison and you’ll still have crime. Been there, done that, think of something new. Simple answers to complex problems are usually wrong.

        • @kevin
          You bring an interesting point. There is more than the definition in a crime. Maybe our lumping together so many things under the same name is the problem.
          So, I would say change the definition.
          The law used to be that there need to be bad intention, a bad act and a victim for a crime to be a crime. Once we changed that, it is easy to dilute it and end up with your argument.
          Let’s get back to that.

        • “Well now that’s the easiest thing in the world to say, but still over-simple: All levels of murder, even negligent homicide- life? ”

          That is not what he said. If you are sentenced to 25 years, you serve 25 years, not 9 months.

        • “you can’t keep people in prison for what they might do in the future.”

          when it comes to parole I think you can. My understanding is that parole is essentially finishing ones sentence outside of the prison walls. An inmate has to demonstrate that they are worthy of parole.

          If the parole board feels that they might be violent still, that inmate can be kept in prison.

          That is my understanding, not based in detailed research, so if I am wrong please correct me.

        • You can’t keep someone in prison simply because they are “violent.” MMA fighters are violent, but not criminals. (Well, maybe a few of them.) Hell, soldiers are violent too.

          You charge someone with a crime, try them before a jury, and if the charge is proven, the punishment is supposed to fit the crime, not more.

          It’s the constitution. It’s important.

  49. I fully support background checks for all candidates for public office, results to be published free of charge no less than 30 days prior to election.

  50. It’s a Right. It’s not a privilege. Therefore you don’t need government sanction to exercise your right.

    This would be analogous to saying you need to pre-screen all of your statements with the 1st Amendment Department.

  51. For people who think background checks are completely ineffective at preventing criminals from getting guns, please read:

    http://prtl-sitea-maigs.nyc.gov/downloads/pdf/gun_markets_aug06.pdf

    Is it proof that they work? No, but it is highly suggestive that they have some effect in preventing criminals from acquiring guns. I’m an economist and one piece of information that I’m certain about, when you increase transaction costs, less of those transactions will occur. I believe it is reasonable to assume that background checks increase transaction costs in both the legal and illegal gun markets.

    Let’s be clear I’m not for or against background checks, but I would like more data like levels of price dispersion between the legal and illegal markets to give an order of magnitude of background check effects before making a judgement.

    The question I ask myself isn’t whether background checks work or not, but are the costs of background checks greater than the benefits?

    • Costs/benefits is a good way to look at it, but it’s important to look at who’s paying the cost. Even if they’re reasonably effective, are background checks justifiable if they end up punishing peaceful, law-abiding people for the behavior of violent criminals?

    • I agree that problem should be viewed economically. The difficulty, as you stated, is that greater transaction costs lead to fewer transactions. Unfortunately we end up with fewer transactions for both legal and illegal purchases.

      Let’s throw opportunity costs into the mix: if I am hell-bent on destruction, chances are I am going to find a way to get my hands on a gun or a sufficient substitute, background checks or no background checks. I believe this is why jurisdictions with the strongest prohibitions tend to end up with a relatively large proportion of guns in the hands of organized crime rings: the value of the thing foregone for the acquisition of the gun for the criminal tends to be less than for an otherwise honest man who could find himself in jail with a ruined reputation.

      That said, I have no actual data to back any of this up with, and professionally spend all my time in other areas, so take all of that for what it is worth. Good for you for actually putting forth some data.

    • The costs include accepting the death of the 2A. They are UNCONSTITUTIONAL! If you think they are necessary, then pass an amendment to the constitution to allow them. Allowing the constitution to simply be ignored is the beginning of the death of our country. And you don’t need to inform me about the rulings of politically appointed and motivated SC justices, the beauty of the constitution is that any high school graduate can read and understand it, you only need 20 more years of education to discover how to misinterpret what it says (lie).

  52. Aw c’mon…lighten up on a kid. I didn’t know much at 17. I don’t know everything 40some years later. I’m also from Illinois and resent the hell out of my state-especially since I live a scant mile from Indiana. No checks…

  53. One of the big problems with prohibiting felons or others with criminal records is that more and more formerly legal activity is being criminalized daily. So much is considered illegal these days, TPTB can selectively target people they want because now everyone is a law breaker.

  54. It is frustratingly obvious to me that:

    a) Government can’t do ANYTHING well. This is literally true. Government hasn’t “solved” poverty, “won” the war on drugs, etc. If government was able to maintain a perfectly accurate UBC database (a complete impossibility to me) then you have many bad side effects. An illegal list of guns and gun owners is only the first.

    b) The world will never be a “safe” place. Bad things happen. If we had all the laws the gun grabbers wanted (eventually the loss of all rights to keep and bear arms of any kind), bad things would still happen. And, in that ugly future, bad things would not only be precipitated by criminals, but by the government itself.

    c) Lazy thinking and trust in government are not only leading to incredibly bad decisions at the ballot box, but will, inevitably, lead to where we are almost at in the U.S.: evil, totalitarian rule by a central government that was never meant to be this powerful. To my mind, having read and reread the U.S. Constitution, we have already lost our once free country to the overwhelming power of force wielded by the illegal nation-wide government.

    Quite often I think that I am glad I am 60 years old. Hopefully the totalitarian future I see for the U.S. will not fully evolve before I am taking the long dirt nap. I used to be an optimist. I used to think voting for so called conservatives could make a difference. It’s only taken 40 years, but I now understand that acquiring and keeping power, going before the TV cameras, puffing yourself up with your own importance and indispensability and being involved in passing ever more laws to the point where we are all unintentional felons is what really drives 80% – 90% of politicians to be part of the illegal U.S. government.

    • The goverwnt was intended to be a buffer, to protect the every day joe from the monied elite. We’ve seen how that worked out. It was a short experiment in freedom, the masses may not really deserve freedom any more than children deserve to make te rules for their families.

    • I am close to your age and agree with you that government and politicians are fairly worthless. They are part of the problem and not the solution.

  55. I’m one of those people that thinks the rights outlined and protected by the Bill of Rights should be given equal measure and protection. So, if background checks are acceptable for one then we should institute the same level on the others, like registration for voting.

    If everyone that wished to vote was required to get a background check done prior to every election to make sure they are not a “prohibited person” then I think a lot of people would have a far better understanding of the issue.

    Also, if we created a set of tickets that allowed voting in the national election, say equal to the number of machine guns on the NFA, and people could bid on the ticket to use it then people might have a different opinion on the idea that since some people are able to vote in the national election the right to vote hasn’t been infringed.

    I think one good way to fight stupid rules is to have them strictly enforced. Often points out the problems very quickly.

    My thoughts on the issues.

    • @Morey,

      Your post is a perfect example of impeccable logic and reason that will matter not a whit to those with an anti-firearm mindset, whose knee-jerk response is “Yes, but we’re talking about guns here.”

  56. Background checks have two fails.
    First where criminals get their guns:
    Source of gun 1997
    Total 100.0%
    Purchased from – 13.9
    Retail store 8.3
    Pawnshop 3.8
    Flea market 1.0
    Gun show 0.7
    Friends or family 39.6
    Street/illegal source 39.2

    The numbers show the “gun show loophole” is bogus. More important, 78.8% of guns used by criminals wouldn’t be covered by any background check.

    Second, “background checks” echo the infamous “literacy tests” of the Jim Crow era. The Washington DC process to get a gun, and then to obtain a concerled carry permit, is a good example. Put simply, anti gun groups will easily make background check onerous, expensive and time consuming.

    The infamous I-594 passed with a 50 million dollar budget. Already the same groups are planning an even more extensive measure. No doubt they will cherry pick facts about how universal background checks and I-594 were so “successful ” (sarcasm).

    The reason the antis focus on guns is simple. Most mass shootings are by mentally ill people. Were the antis to focus on the true cause, then the uproar would drown them out. Mass shootings are incredibly rare and most mentally ill people will never be a threat to anyone.

    Finally background checks can be a club. A gun used in a crime will be traced back to its last background check. That person would then have to prove their innocence and show the gun was correctly transferred out of their control. Washington State already does this with cars. A person sold his car to a dealer, and, in the correct time period, did the transfer. However, during this time the car was sold and involved in an accident. The original owner was made to pay the towing costs. The same thing would likely happen with gun sales.

  57. Background checks serve one reason, restrict access to civil liberties. The question should really be in what cases should you restrict possession of firearms and yet be free to come and go as you please?

  58. Short answer: No, they shouldn’t. No compromise. If we, The POTG, give an inch, the opposition will take a mile. Also, he’s just another stupid teenager who thinks he knows how to fix the world. Why would you take anything this limpdick has to say seriously?

    • Some of my fondest memories of being a teenager lead me to observe that your last sentence contains a certain factual error.

      It was a long time ago, but there are some things you never forget.

  59. To those of you on here that don’t think home schooling is worth it this little letter of indoctrination should help clarify as he is being taught that Patriotism and Liberty is granted by law, instead of inherent. I would guess he is from a richer public school or a private school since he has never seen a criminal with a gun like in some bigger public schools.
    Background checks are infringements upon a protected right that is not going to be sacrificed because we as a society have allowed crime and its punishment to become profitable instead of clear cut consequences of deterrence.
    This violent murderous ex-felon would still be making some kind of product in forced labor where they live in enough comfort to sleep after 18 hour days or have the choice of more deliberate actions to ensure the safety for good people.
    This criminal was a coward and was not protesting a tyrannical police state just like the other agitators are not protesting for equality but out to fan their hatred for white people and their contempt for rule of law by always deflecting personal responsibility. The protests have lost all credibility with the violence and the criminals they are rallying around but there is an undertone of what most Americans want, which is making police accountable in their actions towards fellow citizens.
    Tony- Ask yourself this-If this criminal came up to you and said hey watch this with or without a gun in his hand acting bizarre what would you do? Like most probably ignore the weird acting stranger or start to video tape and then watch him raise a gun and fire into a marked police car like all the cowards did. The government ,who you want to do background checks are the reason why no armed citizen was allowed by law to help those police. An armed citizen could have stopped the executions before they started or when a clear shot arose.
    Here is what happens around an armed citizen in this scenario. Situational awareness tells you that paying attention to this stranger behaving strangely is a good plan. Bad guy says “hey watch this” leads me to condition zero very intently watching while my hand is on my gun and the bad guy brandishing his weapon with his back towards you. His back to me means he is not a threat yet, and does not know that he is not long for this world as the shot calculation is already done for what ever distance. Bad guy raises his gun at a squad car and one 230gr forty five will be rendering him an attempted cop killer, and followed by me dropping my gun and raising my hands hopefully not getting shot by the police.

    • Ballsy if true. I would be with you right up to your shot. I would wait for him to fire first, one dead cop. Why? So I can be sure, and the jury can be sure, that I am not a murderer imagining things.

      • Larry-Sir it is not “ballsy” as you say it is the right thing to do, plus you have the tactical advantage by being a concealed carrier. Upon reflection I would be yelling “friendly” loudly immediately after dropping gun as to minimize multiple gun shots from the startled but alive cops. I don’t know if cops have a challenge phrase or not?
        Your statement is so sad but I understand it since we Americans are guilty until paying for innocence. Some of us are truly the shepherds of men who watch over the sheep and kill the wolves when sanctioned as necessary. I happen to be lucky and have chosen brothers who wouldn’t do very well at being polite with folks trying to come after me for doing the right thing.

  60. Thoughts:

    1. I am glad that Tony originally posed the question, and that RF was thoughtful enough to throw it out for discussion. I think background checks are a bad idea for reasons I will get into in a minute, but we can and should pause from time to time to evaluate our own convictions and respond to thoughtful inquiry from others. Doing so is intellectually honest and allows us to arrive at beliefs backed by logic and reason rather than blind faith or emotion.

    2. As I said above, background checks are a horrible idea. I could get into the fact that they infringe on a natural right, but let me instead simply state that prohibitions tend not to work all that well from a purely economic point of view. They tend to lead to black markets, higher costs, the breakdown of social structures, graft, and reduced trust in those doing the prohibiting. This occurs because multiple people have to be part of the prohibition structure, and to bring the whole thing down all a person has to do is find a prohibitor who is willing to trade access to the prohibited item for money, political favors, etc. This is why I could go purchase illegal drugs right now if I wanted to, why we have a lot of underage drinking in this country, why the prohibition of alcohol was a massive failure, etc. Prohibitions can work if relatively inexpensive substitutes for the prohibited items exist, which is why I have never seen a fully automatic weapon in person. All background checks do is raise the price of guns on black markets and in private sales, inconvenience lawful gun purchasers, and encourage theft. The stronger the prohibition, the more likely that the prohibited item ends up in the hands of rather unsavory people or the government (but I repeat myself) almost exclusively.

    3. I would encourage Tony or anyone else interested in the economic underpinnings of human behavior and the inadequacies of prohibitions to read the academic paper “The Nature of Man” by Michael C. Jensen and William H. Meckling. It is available for a free read at http://library.manhesabdaram.com/uploads/paperfile/paperfile-1402694048.pdf

  61. That’s a stupid question. No. Dangerous liberty is alway preferable to safe tyranny. If the poster has issues with dangerous people getting guns, maybe he should ask why those people are in the street in the first place?

  62. I can never support mandatory background checks, for numerous reasons …

    Not only because they are generally ineffective at stopping criminals from obtaining firearms (as they can be obtained via purchasing through friends/family, or obtained via theft, or other methods);
    Not only because criminals can obtain non-firearm weapons and/or fake firearms, and use those to commit crimes;
    Not only because false positives can infringe on the RKBA by preventing non-prohibited folks from firearms ownership;
    Not only because a background check system is a great way to create a gun registry, potentially aiding in future confiscations of firearms;
    Not only because there is NO VICTIM created when one person voluntarily transfers a weapon to another;
    Not only because most criminals won’t obey the law anyway;

    But also because the anti-gun forces WILL NOT STOP with background checks.

    We know this because we see it in the UK. Gun bans haven’t stopped crime, so they’re trying to prohibit knives. When that doesn’t work, they’ll try to prohibit something else. And whatever it is that they try, that’s bound to fail too.

    Because it’s not the fault of the weapon. It’s the fault of the person. And the anti’s refuse to accept that.

  63. Oh, my sweet summer child, what do you know about fear? Fear is for the winter, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides for years, and children are born and live and die all in darkness. That is the time for fear, my little lord, when the White Walkers move through the woods… Thousands of years ago, there came a night that lasted a generation. Kings froze to death in their castles, same as the shepherds in their huts, and women smothered their babies rather than see them starve, and wept, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks. So is this the sort of story that you like?

    blah blah something witty about age and experience. other then that just wait till life lands a good one right in the ole bean bag, you will figure out the rest.

    I remember one of my very young preconceived notions was that most people had basic intelligence and you could teach them if you were patient, then I met this one lady. Every single day, I had to guide her on how to get to her files on the server, how to print to the right printer and how to save items to her personal folder on the server. I have met one other person like that since then, and managed to not strangle either of them. Besides, they would not have even understood why, even if i did. Both pretty, probably knock out gorgeous when they were younger, large chested, blonde and generally fitting the stereo-types. They taught me that some people you can teach one day and tomorrow they will have no clue or retention of any learned skills. Both of their husbands have my sympathies as well.

  64. If we took a look into the 18 page Rube Goldberg cluster**** I-594 bill the left claimed to be “common sense background checks” and show how much it hurts the gun owners and not the criminals, we would be shocked of if any real crimes would be stopped from this law. heaven forbid if they were to try to impose these “sensible” laws on a nation wide scale. Now let’s think of what their sensible “Registration” would be!!!?!??

  65. Funny how many people are Control freaks, Anti-American, Anti Constitution Treasonous Do gooders there are! especially when it comes too their supposed safety and rights!
    We have tons of freeloading non United State citizens, our Politicians are pandering too for their vote at the expense of and for the destruction of this Union!
    This is one more reason to not have your name on a list,
    Years ago when I was a Kid I bought my first rifle, I was 16, took a bus too Sears bought a .22 Lever action! put it in a case and rode a bus home, this was in Seattle Washington, now look at those Gun control Freaks!
    Mostly the rich don’t want us peasants too have a freedom that could be conceived to be a threat too them and their furthering ambitions
    its about control over personnel Freedom! Our politicians think weare their Surfs and they can use Laws for Social engineering but exempt themselves, Molon Labe

  66. Sorry for the late hit. I’ll post this, then review the previous discussion.

    I’d have no problem with a Blind Identification Database System background check (http://bidssytem.blogspot.com/), where sellers could privately access a database of prohibited persons in order to assure himself that his buyer is not a PP. The database would have to be distributed to local FFLs, who could charge a nominal fee for its use. Neither the transaction itself, nor any particular info re. the gun(s) being sold, would be recorded, but the check could provide a document to the seller that he verified his buyer before selling.

    Of course, we should also discuss relaxing the criteria for becoming a PP in the first place. IMO, 1-time non-violent felons who have fulfilled their sentences (i.e., paid their “debts to society”) should not forfeit their right to own and carry. And whether or not the same should be said about violent felons (NOT misdemeanants!) should be discussed as well. I recently read a commenter somewhere suggesting that, if your crime was not a capital offense – even if it was a violent crime — then all of your rights should be restored upon completion of your sentence. (Perhaps there should be an additional 2 or 3 or 5 year suspension of gun rights after completion of sentence for violent felons, I dunno.)

    But I have no issues with PRIVATE (non-government recorded) background checks at all, and I welcome your replies … thanks, and peace.

  67. I see a lot of anti-background check arguments talk about criminals and violent crime. Nobody talks about dumb people. Let’s face it- there ARE people that should not have guns, and the list doesn’t just include violent criminals and psychopaths.

    For example. In my state, a firearms ID is required to purchase guns. A background check is done by your local police chief before he issues you the ID. I got my ID no problem. I can now walk into any gun store with it and some cash, and walk out with any gun I want. Most anyone can do this.

    My cousin is an idiot. He wants to get a gun. My family’s reaction? “That boy should not have a gun. He’s liable to shoot himself in the foot. Or shoot his own kids accidentally.” He’s been arrested before, been issued citations, etc. All stupid shit that he was caught doing, but nothing violent. He was denied his firearm ID because of those things in his background check. In this particular instance, I think it worked exactly the way it should.

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