The False Promise of ‘Universal’ Background Checks

universal background checks false promise lies ineffective

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By Tom Vaughn, MD

Like many of the rallying cries used by opponents of the right to keep and bear arms, the call for “universal background checks” is a deliberate misrepresentation. While at first blush UBC legislation may sound appealing, the proposal is actually a ruse.

Federal law already requires that licensed dealers conduct a National Instant Background Check System (NICS) check for all firearms sales. Senator Dianne Feinstein et al. claim that a law requiring the same check for all private firearms transactions—sales, temporary loans, or even simply handing someone an unloaded gun to admire—would somehow make America safer. This simply isn’t true.

The U.S. murder rate has ticked back downward slightly in the last two years after a brief increase, and is about half what it was at its peak in 1980. Nevertheless, about 17,000 people are murdered in the US each year. There are close to 100,000 rapes, and over 300,000 robberies. Despite the crime rate being at historic lows, a lot of people still commit violent crimes in this country.

While everyone would like to “keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people”—and robbers, rapists and murderers are clearly “the wrong people”—one cannot reasonably believe that those who are willing to commit robbery, rape, or murder would be unwilling to buy or sell a gun without government permission.

How do “the wrong people” typically get their guns? According to one 2015 study based on interviews with inmates in Cook County, Illinois, about 10% or so purchased their crime guns from licensed dealers, and were in fact subjected to NICS background checks. But 90% or more of those firearms were acquired through illegal means.

Some of those were stolen, but the majority were obtained from people who knew they are engaging in illegal transactions. A 2016 study, from the DOJ produced similar findings.

For example, with or without a NICS check, it is against the law to sell or give a firearm to someone who you know, or should know, is not allowed to own a gun (a “prohibited person”). It is already illegal to knowingly provide a gun to any prohibited person, by any means, even if they’re your cousin, son or best friend. Just loaning them a firearm is a federal crime.

These kinds of illegal transactions provide over 90% of guns used in crimes in this country, and won’t be impacted by a UBC law. Because they are already illegal, the people engaging in them will simply “opt out” of any such requirement, as they do now. “Universal background checks” will never be “universal”.

The leaders of the civilian disarmament movement are already aware that UBC laws are futile. How do we know that? Because several states already have such laws in place, and the effects of those laws on violent crime have been analyzed. Three separate studies, performed by researchers with well-established anti-Second Amendment bona fides, found no evidence that UBC laws were associated with any decrease in the rate of homicides or suicides committed with firearms.

If anti-gunners in Congress and the media already know that “universal background checks” won’t keep guns out of criminals’ hands, then why do they push for it? This is a question that can be answered by applying a little logic.

There are probably over 400 million firearms in private hands in the United States, though no one actually knows how many. Estimates range from 300 million to over 600 million.

We don’t know because there is no national registry of firearms and owners. Creating such a registry is forbidden by the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA). And without a registry of all firearms and owners, there can be no way to prove whether any specific firearm changed hands without a background check.

Since a UBC law would clearly be useless without a national registry of all firearms, the logical conclusion is that those pressing for a federal UBC law, completely aware of its futility, are doing so as a prelude to demanding the passage of a subsequent law requiring the registration of all firearms, as noted recently by U.S. Representative Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA).

Prohibited persons would no more register their firearms than they would subject themselves to background checks. But it’s not only logic that tells us that such a registry would only affect law-abiding gun owners. More absurd still, not only would “the wrong people” simply refuse to participate in any of these schemes, they would not be breaking the law by doing so!

In the 1968 decision Haynes v U.S., the Supreme Court held that prohibited persons could not be convicted for failing to register NFA weapons—machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors—because requiring them to do so would violate their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

So only law-abiding gun owners can be prosecuted for failing to register firearms. In fact, after Haynes, the 1934 NFA (National Firearms Act) was amended to stipulate exactly that, and in subsequent cases, the same restriction has been applied to state firearms registration laws. Per the U.S. Supreme Court, firearms registration laws only apply to law-abiding gun owners. They do not apply to “the wrong people”.

While this legal Catch-22 is likely news to many, including most gun owners, it’s highly unlikely that the leaders of the civilian disarmament movement are unaware of it.

So what is the real reason for the push for UBCs? Why bother to expend political capital to promote such laws, which cannot work, and which have been proven ineffective by multiple research studies?

UBC legislation is nothing more than a stepping stone to demanding universal gun registration (UGR). And a national firearms registry has only one purpose: to construct a legal framework that can be used to disarm law-abiding gun owners.

So-called “Red Flag Gun Laws” are one such tool, and unless and until they are struck down by the courts, they will continue to spread. But UBCs, and the subsequent UGR law that will be subsequently demanded, will be a much more powerful weapons against law-abiding gun-owning Americans.

We have already seen what the response of law-abiding gun owners is to firearms registration requirements.  Laws requiring registration of modern sporting rifles in Connecticut and New York have been almost universally ignored by the citizenry, as have laws requiring registration of bump-stocks in VermontNew Jersey and Denver. Laws which, as we know, do not even apply to “the wrong people.”

If passed, laws such as these will convert the overwhelming majority of American gun owners—people who, based on nearly all of human history, will correctly interpret these schemes as a civilian disarmament program— into felons with the stroke of a pen. And, per Haynes, those same laws will have zero impact on already prohibited persons.

What the people claiming to want common-sense gun control actually want is people control. They want to run others’ lives and control their decisions. They want to remake the world according to their beliefs and prejudices. No straws, no raw milk…but before any of that can happen, absolutely NO GUNS. “Universal background checks” are just a good first stepping stone on that path.

 

Tom Vaughan, MD is a neuroradiologist in private practice in Louisville, KY.  He is a shooting enthusiast who believes in individual liberty and personal responsibility.

This article originally appeared at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar Maxpowers says:

    Also add o the fact antigun states refuse to enforce their own laws against the criminal element while blaming others States for their violent crime and if a serious incident still happens they still defend their beliefs that their law “worked” and that it’s other states that need to follow their example.

    1. avatar Frank Wilson says:

      Here is an example proving your point! Even CNN, which is very anti-gun, has recently acknowledged in an article that registration and background check are of little value and not enforced! Statement in article on Aurora workplace shooter dated Tuesday February 19, 2019: “In 2018 alone, ISP (Illinois State Police) said it issued 10,818 revocations to FOID card holders. In most cases, ISP said it does not receive any documentation in return, noting if a gun or a FOID card has been relinquished.” It is apparent the Illinois State Police either thinks it is not their job to follow up on these revocations or believes it does not have the resources to do so, or both! This same situation will exist in any state that passes laws that are “feel good” laws but cannot be enforced, especially in rural areas, with existing resources! Link to article on Illinois background checks: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/19/us/aurora-gunman-background-check/index.html

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        It is my strongly held opinion that any law which is not enforced because of a “lack of resources” (and we’ve seen many examples of such laws) should be repealed when anyone in any authority makes that claim.

    2. avatar binder says:

      So what do you recommend, searching without probable cause? The is no firearm registration in Illinois. There is no way to prove actual possession, just a one time purchase.

      FOID cards in general are kind of pointless. If you can pass NICS, you can get one. They keep the gang bangers out of the ranges so there is that.

      Not like NYC and all the hoops you have to jump through. Gives us a B+ rating that is kind of a joke as the truth is Illinois is not really any more restricted that most sates (NFA the exception). I know they are trying to change that, but they have been trying for the last 20 years.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        “So what do you recommend, searching without probable cause?”

        I don’t quite see where that came from.
        While searching without PC would undoubtedly uncover any number of illegal activities, it wouldn’t be allowed by even the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals. Any evidence of illegal activities so obtained would be inadmissible.
        Your question would seem to be the very embodiment of non sequitor.

  2. avatar Darkman says:

    The only weak link in the NCIS process is the human factor. As with anything involving government. If it can be screwed up it will be. Some of which is Laziness and incompetence. Some is far more insidious. Simply allowing the system to fail for personal and political reasons. I know NCIS works simply because of the number of times I’ve had my name flagged. Not because I’ve committed a felony but because my name is so common. After secondary check I’ve passed every time.

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      Well, that and “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” Just because I haven’t gone on a felonious rampage in the last 50 years doesn’t mean I won’t tomorrow. The whole concept of background checks is preposterous. If the gov says you can’t have a gun then you won’t have one, you were law-abiding yesterday (or at least you weren’t caught doing whatever you did) so you will be law-abiding tomorrow and humans keep good records.

      Literally nothing about background checks is remotely workable, realistic or valuable in any way. But we just gotta heve’m dontcha know.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I would love to know how much the system has cost through the years, I’m thinking a border wall would be cheap. And no one can point to a single (positive) thing it’s accomplished.

  3. avatar Nanashi says:

    The NRA supports them

    1. avatar Fully Involved says:

      Surprise surprise.

      1. avatar Ad Astra says:

        That nanny here took time to find a 14 second edited snippet of video from almost 20 years ago to use out of context to try and justify his anti NRA obbsesion? Nope not suprising at all.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          The NRA continues to support background checks. Apparently, the NRA cannot read and understand “shall not be infringed.”

          https://www.nraila.org/articles/20180228/nras-support-for-the-national-instant-criminal-background-system-fact-checking-the-fact-checker
          February 28, 2018
          ” In fact, the NICS – the National Instant Criminal Background System – was the legislation that the NRA supported at its very inception and has consistently supported since”
          “The NICS – set up by the permanent provisions of the Brady Act, which frankly should have been called the NRA Act –”
          “The States’ ability to make these reports to federal authorities was enhanced by the NRA-supported NICS Improvements Act of 2007.”
          “The NRA originated the idea of and supported an instant background check by the FBI on all firearm buyers. That became NICS.”
          “Dana Loesch has recently been outspoken on the need for the NICS database to include more complete records.”
          “in fact it was the NRA that conceived of the NICS from the very beginning and it has been the NRA that has consistently supported improvements in the NICS system.”

          Since gun control supporters OPPOSED National Instant Criminal background Check System (NICS) in the 1980s, who in the hell was supporting it? The NRA, that’s who! To whatever degree, the NRA sold the unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms out for a government privilege. They pushed it right over the edge of the slippery slope. At the heart of practically all federal gun control law from 1934 on has been the damned NRA. It was true then and it is true today.

          https://www.nraila.org/get-the-facts/background-checks-nics/#_edn34
          January 7, 2019
          “In the 1980s, when the Brady Campaign was known as Handgun Control, Inc., it continued to support waiting period legislation to slow down handgun sales, and opposed the establishment of NICS.[34] In 1993, Congress approved the Brady Act, which imposed a waiting period of up to five days on handgun purchases from dealers until November 30, 1998, at which time it required NICS checks for all firearms sold by dealers. Gun control supporters opposed the NICS provision.”

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          20 years ago or 20 seconds ago, the NRA is still the back-stabbing statist bastards of the RKBA movement. They write and promote gun control to the detriment of exercising the unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=5743

          “My dear, it’s time to admit it. You are in an abusive relationship. He doesn’t really love you. He loves controlling you. You may even suffer from a form of Stockholm Syndrome, in which you’ve come to believe that he does this for your own good.

          He is manipulating you with fear. He tells you that you have to give up some things, or freedoms, or you risk losing more.

          That’s his modus operandi. “Just give them what they want, or they’ll take everything.””

  4. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Systems are only as good as the information in them, and as good as the system users knowing how to get the information out of them. So you need good information and the skill to ask the right questions in the right way to get meaningful information.

    Or, Garbage In, Garbage Out.

  5. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Universal background checks in Illinois did not stop the latest Mass shooter in Chicago. And the Liberals there as normal blame their failures on other people. But not the government workers who work in the office that authorizes gun FOID cards.

  6. avatar TFred says:

    EVERYONE needs to know about Haynes v. US. Nothing provides better proof that UBCs are not designed to stop crime.

  7. avatar tdiinva says:

    Let’s not forget that when a Republican Congressman proposed an Amendment to the Dem’s UBC law that would require illegals who attempted to buy a firearm be reported to ICE the Democrats through a fit. It is almost as if gun control advocates want illegals to be armed.

    1. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

      Illegal immigrants (and released felons) are a better class of farm animal, don’t you know, than US Military Veterans, American Subjects, etc.

    2. avatar Gadsden says:

      Well that’s a good thing to know for the future on how to torpedo future gun control efforts.

  8. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

    Background checks of any form (4473, UBC, FOID, Conceal carry) all violate the “presumption of innocence”. They all require you to prove you are innocent (ie, law abiding, and in good standing). That means you are granted “permission”, rather than it being a natural and civil right.

    And thus, should be unconstitutional, in this subject’s opinion…

    1. avatar TFred says:

      Another way to say that is that virtually all gun-control laws are based on the concept of “prior restraint.” No other civil right tolerates the application of prior restraint. It’s the “legal” philosophy known as “but guns.”

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      There is no “should be”, either it’s unconstitutional or it’s not. In this case, it is.

      1. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

        Hmm. Not according to some politicians and some judges.

  9. avatar Fully Involved says:

    What exactly is the pro-UBC politicians’ end-game?
    Let’s just assume everything works out perfectly for them and that America is now a place where only a hand-selected few can own handguns (think New York City but nationwide). Ok, so now essentially all law-abiding Americans are disarmed, now what? Why are they deliberately trying to weaken the American people? Is it just for the politician’s benefit (by promoting and passing laws that dont apply to them) or is there a higher benefactor? A class of people? Another country or countries perhaps?
    Gun control is clearly a long-term game, but to what end?

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      Their “end game” assumes that if they can only make guns for the “ordinary people” illegal, than the bad guys will just turn in their guns. (Some idiot said that, but I can’t remember who)
      Since this assumption is demonstrably wrong (think NYC), their whole premise falls apart.
      This only further demonstrates that Dems and the Left are more and more removed from reality all the time.

  10. avatar Larry says:

    Veterans cannot own firearms? Has anyone smoked pot and got caught many years ago? That could make it illegal to own a firearm? Been late on child support? It may make it illegal to own a firearm!! The list goes on from there to make it illegal to own a firearm!!! Is that right? Not it is not!!! The 2nd Amendment says we all as American Citizens have the right to own and bear arms!!! Not just for hunting but to protect ourselves and our families from criminals and a rough government!!

    Have we not learn anything from history!!!

  11. avatar possum with an attitude says:

    And blah blah blah, none of the “keep them out of the hands of the baddies” laws work. Okay “We” will just ban gunz altogether, in 40 years “We” will have all( not quite) of them. The second amendment died long ago. At this pioint we’re all just playing games . Cigarettes were once advertised and promoted, now look at the hate, ( “but cigarettes kill” , you say) that same out look will be towards firegums in the future. Ands it’s all based on propaganda and the people whom do no’t realize what their losing and believe the lie

  12. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Criminals don’t follow laws…go figure…LMAO

  13. avatar UpInArms says:

    ” In the 1968 decision Haynes v U.S., the Supreme Court held that prohibited persons could not be convicted for failing to register NFA weapons—machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors—because requiring them to do so would violate their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. ”

    Oooooh… I like this.

    If the state (any state) passes a law that we have to register or surrender any guns by a certain deadline or face criminal charges, then missing the deadline makes one a criminal. So, once the deadline passes, the gun owner is now legally protected, since registering or surrendering the gun would be a self-incriminating admission of guilt, and the gun owner, as per Haynes, is no longer legally required to comply with the law.

    Hah… take that, gun-grabbers. Hoisted on your own petard.

    1. avatar RA-15 says:

      UPINARMS I don’t know what a petard is , but none the less : well said !!

      1. avatar UpInArms says:

        A petard is a bell-shaped explosive device used to breach walls or gates. Exactly how one gets hoisted on this is beyond me, but that’s the expression (cliche?) anyway. More accurate to say blown up by one’s own bomb, I guess.

        1. avatar Wilson C Gulick says:

          The phrase comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

          Hamlet speaks of an engineer being hoisted by his own petard in reference to two guys he’s sent off with letters. Hamlet doesn’t trust these two gents and the letters that the two men carry are meant to be given to the King of England. The two guys think the letters ask the King to help kill Hamlet but Hamlet has revised the letters to request that the letter carriers themselves be killed.

          So they’re carrying a what they think is a weapon against Hamlet but in reality it’s going to kill them, like a sapper who fucks up his explosives.

          English Lit. Fun, informative and full of revenge, murder, trickery and MORE MURDER!

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          AIUI, “hoist by his own petard” does refer to an explosive charge used to breach doors in medieval times.
          The problem with such devices was getting them to go off when the user wanted them to, and not some other (inopportune) time.
          Fuses of the time were amazingly unreliable. (Electric detonators were, of course, not available.) Even during the building of the Trans Continental Railroad, explosives going off prematurely were the cause of hundreds of deaths.
          Even today, the makers of IEDs will not use fuses for that reason. It’s easy to make a pipe bomb, the trick remains getting them to go off on command, not when they decide to by themselves.
          Trust me on this, I was an Army Engineer. We blow shit up for fun.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I don’t know what a petard is, either, but I have hopes it includes a long, sharp blade with barbs.

    2. avatar binder says:

      The whole thing is crap anyways, they just get busted for possession, not failure to register.

  14. avatar pg2 says:

    Universal background checks are as effective as the mythical vaccine induced herd immunity.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      herd of unicorns, I presume?

      1. avatar pg2 says:

        Sounds about right.

        1. avatar ‘liljoe says:

          And like a bad case of herpes… Pg2 shows up… I get it, you are not anti vaccines, your anti doctors, since any time one writes an article you pop up.

          Do you need a good therapist? I can recommend a few that deal with obsessives.

        2. avatar Pg2 says:

          Lol joe, still sore about the doggy comment? Or being clueless about a product you sell to infants while not knowing anything about the lack of safety? Joe, outside of tv weathermen, who else can be as wrong as you are? Speaking of herpes, what else triggers you?

  15. avatar strych9 says:

    “So only law-abiding gun owners can be prosecuted for failing to register firearms.”

    Technically speaking I would suggest that this is incorrect. Failing to register, whether intentional or not, would itself be a crime which means the 5A could be invoked by the “legal right up until” citizens as well as the people who knowingly procured a gun for the commission of a crime.

    How you ended up at that position is really immaterial. They’re accusing you of a crime so the 5A applies because you they cannot legally force you to admit that you intentionally broke the law or even admit that you made a mistake that constitutes a crime.

    All they can do is level the charge and hope it sticks. They cannot compel your cooperation in your own prosecution. Therefore you’re effectively the same as the criminal who knowingly got a gun and didn’t register it insofar as that they can prosecute you for possession of an unregistered gun but, I would argue, not failure to register since the fact they allege “failure to register” as a crime brings the 5A into play for that charge and any others they may find due to an investigation into the “original crime”.

    This seems like something a decent lawyer should be able to wrap around the prosecution’s neck pretty easily.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      What!!!! Prosecuted for possession? But that is just too much logical thinking for a TAG article.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      IANAL, but…
      Someone already in possession of a gun when it’s made illegal is not like someone who comes into possession of a gun after it’s been made illegal.
      The first has a legal responsibility to do what the law requires while he is in possession.
      The second has a legal responsibility to not come into possession in any circumstances.
      Or so it seems to me.
      If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will correct me.

  16. avatar pg2 says:

    Until this author corrects the multiple patently false statements in this article: https://drgo.us/the-vaccine-loophole-and-other-myths/ he has some explaining to do. With his reference to raw milk maybe he’s getting there.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      2, yo, tinfoil is your friend, bro!

      1. avatar pg2 says:

        yep, nothing keeps an egg, cheese and bacon sandwich hot better than tin foil.

        1. avatar Ad Astra says:

          Actually metal would conduct heat away fron your sandwich faster. So physics is no a strong point of yours either.

        2. avatar Pg2 says:

          Very true, but let’s keep pretending injecting metal known to be neurotoxic into newborns and infants is safe. So many incomes depend on perpetuating this myth.

        3. avatar Miner49er says:

          “There is a robust body of peer-reviewed, scientific studies conducted in the United States and countries around the world that support the safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines. The scientific evidence collected over the past 15 years does not show any evidence of harm, including serious neurodevelopmental disorders, from use of thimerosal in vaccines. Specifically, the Institute of Medicine (now known as the National Academy of Medicine), and others have concluded that the evidence favors rejection of a link between thimerosal and autism. Scientific studies of the risk of other serious neurodevelopmental disorders have failed to support a causal link with thimerosal. (see Bibliography- Notable Studies and Assessments Supporting the Safe Use of Thimerosal in Vaccines)”

        4. avatar Pg2 says:

          Miner….posting quotes without citing the source….did you even go to high school?

        5. avatar Pg2 says:

          Miner, if you’re not a troll-bot profile,try to make a coherent reply to this- Dr. Andrew Zimermenn, pediatric neurologist and former government expert medical witness, testified under oath that vaccines can and do cause autism. He even described the mechanism.

        6. avatar Big Bill says:

          “Miner, if you’re not a troll-bot profile,try to make a coherent reply to this- Dr. Andrew Zimermenn, pediatric neurologist and former government expert medical witness, testified under oath that vaccines can and do cause autism. He even described the mechanism.”

          I don’t see a source.

        7. avatar Pg2 says:

          https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/425061-how-a-pro-vaccine-doctor-reopened-debate-about-link-to-autism

          Bill, Looks like you have a financial stake in pushing the vaccine safety lie. Either that or you’re not very bright.

        8. avatar Big Bill says:

          My comment, which you are evidently too dumb to realize, was because you previously blasted another commenter for not including a source, which you then proceeded to do yourself.

          As for your sources, the second merely echos the first.
          From the first: “No known studies have been attempted.” Which means, he’s talking out of his ass.

          Nice try.

        9. avatar Pg2 says:

          Bill, you’re full of shit. Even the vaccine demigods, Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Stanley Plotkin, admit that they cannot say that vaccines dont cause autism. You have a growing number of animal/biological studies showing vaccines and their ingredients and an autism link. You have 100s of thousands of parents reporting immediate regression into autism following vacccines. You have a a senior CDC researcher stating the CDC buried, altered, and destroyed data showing an MMR vaccine link to autism. You have Dr. Zimmerman’s testimony. And much more. But somehow you think a TTAG troll bot profile is more credible. And by the way, no pediatric vaccine has ever been safety tested against an inert placebo, so any belief you have about pediatric vaccine safety Is faith and wishful thinking.

  17. avatar Gideon Rockwell says:

    It needs to be hammered into everyone’s thick skulls in the government the 2nd Amendment is Article 2 of the Bill of Rights. All of the Founders were documented numerous times stating and writing the Bill of Right is a Documentation of GOD given rights no person shall tamper with. Having just freed themselves from a cruel abusive aristocracy the Founder all stated the people are the militia and firearms are the teeth of liberty. They put the 2nd Amendment in place so the people themselves will be able to defend themselves from enemies both foreign and domestic. Taking the Founders at their word, the 2nd Amendment means the government is to keep it’s hands off of the peoples ability to buy, own, maintain and carry firearms. In that vein all laws interfering with our rights to firearms are highly illegal, maybe even treasonous. The 2nd Amendment is the lynch pin that gives us the ability to defend all of our other rights.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      PLEASE don’t go there! I am a big and long time supporter of 2A, but I also understand there is no god, we need to separate natural rights from fictional ones. You even offend ME with that silliness, we need to avoid stomping on people’s toes, not celebrate it. The rest of your post is spot on.

      1. avatar Poggy says:

        People who do not believe in GOD have not looked around their selves lately and asked: Where did everything come from?

        1. avatar UpInArms says:

          According to Richard Pryor, it all come from da come-from man.

        2. avatar BehindEnemyLines says:

          Okay, I’ll bite. If GOD (in all caps for some reason) made everything, then who or what made GOD? Did GOD spontaneously come into existence? If so, why is it so preposterous that the universe spontaneously came into existence? If GOD is eternal, then why is it so preposterous that the universe is also eternal and experienced a state change 13.7 BYA? Perhaps there is a GOD. Perhaps there is not. All we have to go on is faith in stories penned by highly biased men, then translated, and retranslated, and retranslated again.

          Look at all the arguments over the meaning of the 2A, and consider the men who penned that lived two centuries ago and spoke almost the same language as we do. I have no faith that the English Bible resembles anything like what it’s authors (be they men, or GOD) intended when they first penned it.

          If you follow the modern 10 commandments, then self defense homicide is a sin. Earlier versions had commandment 6 as “Thou shall not murder,” which is what most pro-2A Christians believe, but this shows how changing just one word can substantially change the philosophy of the religious text.

          So, the only claimed evidence GOD exists is an ancient collection of self contradicting stories that appears to have been written by generations of rulers to control people? Excuse me if I remain skeptical.

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        The issue here isn’t the existence or lack of existence of God. It’s terminology.

        The term “natural rights” was picked because it encompasses all belief structures. If you believe in God then God is the source of nature and therefore the source of those rights. If you don’t believe in God then an appeal to the logical workings of nature, that all animals act to defend themselves, works too. This defeats both the arguments on behalf of a Monarch with “divine rights” and those of an atheist arguing logic for social control structures that exceed rational governmental authority.

        Either way the rights are, well, rights rather than privileges and they are bestowed simply by your existence as a living creature. This way no one can appeal to religious or earthly authority to take them away or try to argue your rights out of existence.

        This is why I continually say we have to examine our arguments for holes before publicly presenting them. The same way serious thinkers did a few hundred years ago. Doing otherwise opens us up to significant counterpoints that, at absolute best, distract from the topic at hand which is often what a skilled debater will do to avoid topics they know they cannot win on. Why do you think antis don’t really want to talk efficacy but often divert to bullshit?

        Well over 1000 years of very smart people making very serious inquiries into the nature of the universe, existence of God, existence/nature of the soul etc etc has not produced an argument that convinces everyone of the existence of the soul or of God. Based on our concept of what God is/could be I doubt an argument will ever be found that is truly convincing to the skeptical. That’s why it’s called “faith”, because you can’t prove it to be true.

        Since we cannot be assured that everyone agrees with the starting point that there is a God, never mind how he bestows rights if He does indeed exist, this is a poor base premise. It is, from an argumentative perspective, weak ground to start building an argument in the political sphere. We should avoid this premise. At least at the outset of a discussion.

      3. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Don’t sweat it, LarryinTx. The Declaration of Independence attributed it to “their Creator”. For you, that might be evolution, the universe, or whatever you honestly believe. For me, I believe in G-d so that is to whom I attribute my unalienable rights. Regardless, the fact rings true that each individual is endowed with unalienable rights. Who or what constitutes “their Creator” is semantics, IMHO.

        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    2. avatar binder says:

      “Taking the Founders at their word, the 2nd Amendment means the government is to keep it’s hands off of the peoples ability to buy, own, maintain and carry firearms.”

      Well you get that part right.

      And while you at it go read the The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth. Even the Deceleration thy say “their Creator” not God. I would say that this country is founded more on Deism than anything else.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        “I would say that this country is founded more on Deism than anything else”

        Historically speaking there is a strong argument for this.

        Their own writings indicate that the Founders probably fell into three broad groups. Those of the Judeo-Christian faith, former Christians who were Deists and those who were still “Christian” but rejected the miraculous stories and supernatural portions of the religion and were probably heavily influenced to this view by Deism.

        The largest group seems to be the last while the straight up Deists were the smallest. Together they outnumber the traditional Judeo-Christian folks.

        Interestingly religious views didn’t seem to influence politics as much as one might imagine with people from all three groups falling all over the political spectrum within the framework of the founding politics of this country.

        Either way, looking at the language of the time it’s clear, as I said above, that folks who were influenced by the Enlightenment were looking for arguments that appealed to all people across religious lines and arguments which couldn’t be easily attacked from simply either a religious or irreligious perspective.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “Either way, looking at the language of the time it’s clear, as I said above, that folks who were influenced by the Enlightenment were looking for arguments that appealed to all people across religious lines and arguments which couldn’t be easily attacked from simply either a religious or irreligious perspective.”

          Exactly.

  18. avatar Poggy says:

    “In the 1968 decision Haynes v U.S., the Supreme Court held that prohibited persons could not be convicted for failing to register NFA weapons—machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors—because requiring them to do so would violate their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.”

    So, using this in reverse, if a gun owner refused to turn in their firearms they will become a criminal, and thusly cannot be prosecuted under the 5h amendment, right?

  19. avatar Aaron Walker says:

    To those infected with the Liberal Pathogen of the Globalist NWO…The Liberal Demo-Nuts and THEIR counterparts the GOP RINOs…Under THEIR mindset, every U.S. citizen has the “potential” to be, or become a criminal…With said, in their collective (NWO) reasoning. Only Big Government can be trusted to such endeavors…So, yes…No guns, or any kinds of “legal” weapons for the U.S. citizenry…Hence, the direct attacks, or the attempts by our so-called “Representatives” to “redefine” the U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights
    (Due Process, etc…) We the People NEED to get OUR government back on track….For the people…Or allow Enemies, both Foreign and Domestic systematically break down it’s infrastructure…

    1. avatar Aaron Walker says:

      …Obviously, THEIR just trying to convince the “low information” voters of the general public that this is a good thing…..The Marching Morons, The Misinformed Mob…..

  20. avatar M1Lou says:

    They just want UBCs at the federal level so when it doesn’t work they can scream for a registry. What comes after that? Bans of course. They know what you have and where you live because of the registry. People will then turn their stuff in or suffer 3AM SWAT visits.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      New York State has proved that people will not register or turn in their guns, even if the law demands it.
      That such laws (which are demonstrably ignored) are being put forward only proves how far divorced from reality the Dems are.

  21. avatar Draven says:

    The CA Democrat Egnine’s pet anti-gun scientist, Wintemute, has stated that CA’s UBC has had no affect on crime rates. Cite this to your reps when you write them about this.

  22. avatar Gman says:

    How do “the wrong people” typically get their guns?

    By being let out of prison.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      Well, hardly.
      Even in prison, there are guns. A lot of them.

  23. avatar possum says:

    @gman,,, there’s all kinds of crime that can land a person in the pen. What your saying is someone who cheated on their income tax , or sold a bag of weed to an undercover cop, or, stole a horse, or didn’t turn in their bumpstick should be locked up for life?

  24. avatar PMinFl says:

    I think this is a pretty good editorial, Dr.Vaughn, now get it printed in five major newspapers in the U.S. Then we can all argue for and against it.

  25. avatar Tony Bell says:

    Educate and train our youth safe, effective use and storage of weapons.
    Mandate adult education safe, effective use and storage of weapons.
    Punish abusers of weapon use very harshly, and publicize the punishment.
    Employ capitol punishment to convicted murderers that use guns, publicize the punishment.

    A good start on controlling gun violence.

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