“I support a civilian’s right to bear arms and protect the home and possess firearms,” Michael Mordaga tells northjersey.com, “if allowed to have one.” See what he did there? The civilian director of the Hackensack police supports New Jersey residents’ right to bear arms and protect the home. If a Hackensack resident wants to bear arms outside the home, fuhgeddaboutit. And clock that caveat: “if allowed to have one.” According to who, exactly? Why, the police! Amongst others. Yes, it’s gun ownership as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. But there’s no mistaking Mordaga’s end game . . .
Mordaga said he supports citizens’ rights to own firearms and believes criminals can be deterred from committing residential break-ins if they think homeowners have guns. Still, he said, gun control measures must be strengthened to make sure criminals are not able to get firearms — and a national fingerprinting system is a way to accomplish that.
“It should be the same criteria across the country,” he said. “For whoever purchases handguns, there should be a legitimate background check across the country.”
I wonder if Mordaga knows that the FBI has to destroy its NICS firearms background check records within 24 hours, in accordance with the Firearms Owners Protection Act. A piece of legislation that forbids the establishment of a national firearms owners database like the one he’s proposing.
That doesn’t cover state governments like New Jersey who maintain a firearms registration. Connecticut, California, Hawaii—all these states know what guns resident bought, where they live and keeps a copy of their fingerprints on file.
Reading the northjersey.com article, listening to former Detective Mordaga, you’d think that’s a feature, not a bug. As the son of a Holocaust survivor I can assure you it’s not. How many times do we have to watch gun registration lead to gun confiscation lead to tyranny and mass murder before we appreciate the fact that firearms anonymity protects liberty? Registration is the slippery slope to the abyss.
“If you go to fingerprinting, you infringe on [the] privacy rights and constitutional rights of every American, but the criminal will find a way to get around it,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun-rights group.
Gottleib alludes to the horrific dangers of gun registration but doesn’t quite go there. He trots out the standard gun rights media meme: “expanding” firearms background checks won’t work. As the NSSF and NRA say, “we need to fix the current system first.” Wrong. The system needs to be eliminated. All of it. Everywhere. Background checks don’t work. Period.
I know that’s not a politically palatable position. But attempting to thread the needle—turning a blind eye to the ATF’s registry (form 4473) and states that maintain a firearms owners database while calling fingerprinting an invasion of privacy—makes gun rights groups look stupid. We support the system but we don’t want to improve it? Geddowdahere!
“We find it’s still beneficial for the state to have its own strong system to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Daniel Weber, director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “While it’s not foolproof, it elevates the street price and makes it generally less available.”
When incrementalist idiots like this seem to make more sense than the gun rights groups we got trouble.
As for the former cop’s story—a criminal attempted to kill Mordaga, the con changed his name in prison and bought firearms illegally 24 years later in Virginia—so what? The tale proves Gottleib’s point, not Mordaga’s. Besides, a man who doesn’t understand the difference between Little League rules and a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right shouldn’t be making decision about anything more than where to spend his police pension.
“People get fingerprinted when they want to become coaches in Little League,” he said. “People get fingerprinted for a lot of different things . . . no one should be against being fingerprinted if they want to have firearms.”
Unless they value their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.