The NRA thinks the FBI’s background check system sucks. “The system is only as good as the records that are in it,” NRA Veep Wayne LaPierre asserts, before listing the mass shooters who passed NICS. “If you cast a net and the fish swim through the holes, you don’t need a bigger net. You need smaller holes.” Yes, well, the federal firearm background check system is unconstitutional. And ineffective (by Mr. Lapierre’s own admission). And yet . . .
Mr. LaPierre goes on to take credit for establishing the instant background check system in the first place. “NRA supported it. NRA got the votes. And NRA got it passed.”
I understand why the NRA takes this line. They can’t very well say “Oops! We were wrong.” If nothing else, the majority of Americans support the security theater that is the background check system. So they – and the National Shooting Sports Foundation – are left arguing that the pols need to “fix NICS” rather than abandon it.
How does that work? How can you tout the background check system and then argue that it shouldn’t be expanded?
The NRA jefe ends his diatribe by mooting other ideas to stop firearms-related crime: put armed security in every school (rather than repeal the federal ban on legal carry in schools), fix the broken mental health system, enforce federal gun laws, prosecute dangerous people when they show up to buy a gun and “for God’s sake put every prohibited person into the system.”
If we let the feds decide who is and who isn’t a “prohibited person” – such as the Obama-favored initiative to include Americans on the Terrorist Watch List or, say, the 40 million Americans on anti-depressants – we lose. Maybe not now, But eventually.
Dump the background check system? Not in my lifetime. Argue for its “improvement”? Oy vey.