“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho Marx
In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings and others, our politicians in Congress feel that they must “do something” to end the killings of innocents. This includes reintroducing gun control and universal background check legislation. The politicians, as usual, have it all wrong as to what they can and should do.
Gun control is nothing more than a gun ban, period. The intent is to deny and disarm the American public from weapons that can be used for sport (hunting or target shooting) or self defense (intruders to the home, people intent upon causing bodily harm, or from our own government). Furthermore, the efforts to enact a gun ban is fully against the Second Amendment and against the following recent Supreme Court rulings:
- District of Columbia v. Heller, which upheld an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes.
- McDonald v. Chicago, which held that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the States.
Universal background checks sound very appealing to the populace as a sound bite given by the politicians and the media until one looks into what such checks could actually entail. While I have not seen any legislation concerning a universal background check, what is understood is that EVERY transfer, sale, purchase, trade, gift, rental, and loan of a firearm between any and all individuals must go through the process of a background check.
Let’s understand a few points on the existing system:
- It is ALREADY a federal felony to be engaged in the business of buying and selling firearms, for livelihood and profit, without having a federal firearm dealers license (FFL).
- It is ALREADY a crime for a federally licensed dealer to sell a gun without doing a background check – that’s all dealers, everywhere, including at retail stores, gun shows, flea markets or anywhere else.
- It is ALREADY a federal felony for any private person to sell, trade, give, lend, rent or transfer a gun to a person that is known who is not legally allowed to own, purchase or possess a firearm.
- It is ALREADY a 10-year felony to sell a firearm to a person who is a criminal, mentally ill, mentally incompetent, alcohol abuser or drug abuser.
- It is ALREADY a felony to submit false information on a background check form for the purpose of purchasing a firearm.
- All background check records are destroyed within 24-hours.
Now some of the potential additions to the above that have been floated around the Internet include the following:
- Create a national firearm registry.
- Create a national firearm owners registry (complete with fingerprints, pictures, and cross-referenced with the firearm registry).
- Mental health records are to be a part of the registry (more on this later)
- Private sales must include a background check through a licensed FFL dealer.
With the proposed universal background check in place, giving your 12-year old son a .22 rifle for Christmas (as my father did 40 years ago) would be ILLEGAL without having a FFL dealer run a background check on your own son!! Folks, this is getting to be both insane and inane.
Let’s stop, take a deep breath, and think about this for a few minutes. If outlawing guns will eliminate murder by a firearm, then by the same logic, outlawing drunk driving, illegal drugs, and all crime would halt these activities as well. Obviously, this has been done, and these incidents still continue. Prohibition was a roaring failure as is the war on drugs. Criminal acts are still committed no matter what laws are made and penalties handed out.
I hope that you are beginning to see the point – any attempt to legislate the removal of evil behavior is bound to fail, and the illegal activities will continue. The human condition has been with us from the beginning of time, and removing guns from the scene won’t change that aspect. Remember – the first recorded murder was committed with a rock.
Why the politicians are intent upon limiting and disarming the American public is cause for speculation by many people and pundits. But I think that this quote hints at the reason:
“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.” – William S. Burroughs
Indeed, if the only people that have weapons are agencies of the government, can an oppressive and tyrannical government be far behind? If one is paying attention to the antics of the recent administration, then one could argue that governmental overreach into the rights of the American people is no longer just speculation, it is reality (Obamacare, for instance, mandates that everyone will buy insurance from a governmentally approved entity). And thinking of Obamacare…
One of the points from President Obama’s much publicized 23-Executive Order list (of which he did not really sign) is to “Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.” In other words, to invalidate HIPAA privacy rules & patient rights and have that information logged into a national database. Does this really sound like the government is interested in your individual rights?
Not really, at least in my mind. It’s all about power and control. For example, the main concern of a national registry is that a registry is often the precursor to the confiscation of firearms. From Free Republic:
The Government will know who has legal possession of each firearm. They will know where the firearm is stored. When physical possession of the gun is desired, they can order you to turn it in. This has happened repeatedly. The historical examples include NAZI Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, and Cambodia. Recent examples include Kosovo, Great Britain, Australia, New York, and California.
The only purpose of gun registration is gun confiscation, whether it is done individually and piecemeal, as the legal requirements to own a gun become more and more difficult, or en mass, when the government feels the necessity to disarm its citizens in order to further its control.
Governments that push for gun registration distrust their people, and have earned the people’s distrust.
And I’m really distrusting this government and administration, and not only about what is written above. But those are posts for another time…
Cross-posted to Wise Conservatism