Monday, April 08, 2013

"Universal Background Checks" and "The Gun Show Loophole"

Republican Senator Makes The Conservative Case For Universal Background Checks | ThinkProgress:

At a town hall in Oklahoma on Monday, Sen. Tom Corbun (R-OK) made perhaps the best argument to convince conservative gun owners that they should support required background checks on every single gun purchase.
Taking the recent debate over gun regulations from the political to the personal, Coburn told constituents that universal checks are “the responsible way” for gun owners to ensure that they don’t sell their own guns to “someone you wouldn’t want to have it”: Those on that list will include felons and people with mental instability. 
A concern that gun owners are on that list or one separate to it was discounted by the senator, a fact that has been and continues to be checked on by his staff on a regular basis. “I’m for enhanced background checks because it’s a way for you to go online to make sure you’re not selling your gun to someone you wouldn’t want to have it,” said Coburn.  The responsible way is to check them against this [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] list and they don’t know that you did it.”
"They don't know that you did it."

I think this statement was intended to be reassuring to firearms owners who engage in private sales.  And I also think that it was disingenuous.

The cited article goes on to cite statistics:

Currently, private sales are exempt from background checks, and it’s estimated that 40 percent of firearm sales are completed without a check. According to Bloomberg News, “A 2004 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of inmates convicted of gun crimes found that 80 percent acquired the weapons through a private transfer.” Ninety-two percent of Americans want to change this grim statistic, and support a background check on all sales.

The statement .. and the position espoused .. assumes that private sales of firearms are typically between strangers.  In point of fact, the statement that "40% of firearms sales are completed without a check" ... includes not "sales" but "Transfers" which often do not include the exchange of money.

Which is to say, TRANSFER of firearms (which is the true scope of the proposal) includes a parent gifting a firearm to a relative.  That is a "guesstimate" of the statistic, not supported by actual data because these TRANSFERS are not included in data currently gathered by the Federal Government.

But if this becomes law ... it will be gathered, and retained by the Feds:  and they can use this information any way they want to, including as a guide which firearms they should confiscate "next".

The news reports do NOT provide the source of their statistics, perhaps because their sources are public statements by public officials, such as this Republican Senator from Oklahoma.  (Which is just one more reason why I consider myself a "Conservative" rather than a "Republican".)

Private transfer of firearms has historically NEVER been restricted by the Government at any level; only the public sales between dealers and the anonymous public.    This legislation is intended to put the Government between the provider and the recipient of ANY firearms transfer; it is not only intrusive in our private affairs, but it advances the proposition that the Government has the right to interfere in family matters; a position which is not supported by the Constitution.

Is it something in the water?  What has caused our current regimes (not government, but would-be Czars) to decide that they have a right to interfere with a gift or a will which allows a parent or grandparent to privately transfer their personal arms to their progeny?

That is the effect of the "Universal Background Check" laws which are being proposed.

Gun Show Loophole

Actually, this so-called "Gun Show Loophole" is the justification for the proposal.  And .. at least in Oregon .. it is entirely bogus.  Local sponsors of  "Gun Shows" have long ago decided that it is their responsibility to avail themselves of the National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) as part of any firearms transaction.    Do private individual conduct firearms transfers in the parking lot of gun shows?  Possibly .. even probably.  But this is not the normal profile of firearms transfers as Gun Shows, and in fact it is not the situation which we are most concerned about protecting from governmental intrusion.

This proposal is concerned that the Government be involved in ANY firearms transfer ... "if it saves just one child", as they so pompously state.  In truth, it is an unwarranted obtrusion on private family matters, and as such should be rejected out of hand.

The recent trend has been toward accepting the concept that only the Government (especially in its most all-intrusive definition .. the Federal Government) can properly protect us against the "Sale" of firearms to criminals, terrorists, and homicidal lunatics.

The NICS was originally proposed ONLY to regulate the common public sale of firearms between licensed dealers and the anonymous public;  and we accepted it, acknowledging that this was a 'stranger-to-stranger' transaction; it was "commerce", and vaguely justified by the long-abused "Interstate Commerce" provision in the Constitution.   We can live with that.

Obama's new proposals, however, have used that regulation to spring-board dramatically more intrusive governmental intervention.   Not satisfied with restrictions on "commerce", this new approach goes beyond the original "keep the guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and lunatics" goal;  now they want to know who has guns, and where they go.

Yes, you read that right.  The NICS carefully avoided retention of firearms sales records;  all it wanted to do was to insure that the recipient was not legally prohibited from buying a firearm; after the sale was vetted, records were deleted in that the identification of the firearm, and that of the purchaser, was necessarily deleted after a certain (in terms of hours, perhaps days) period.

The ONLY way that the "Universal Background Check" system can function properly .. which is to say, the only way that enforcement is possible .. is that the name of the prior owner, and the name of the new owner .. and sufficient personal & demographic information to insure identification of the individuals involved .. will be recorded.  Also, it is necessary that the firearm serial number, and other specific description be recorded AND STORED so that subsequent transfers can be empowered to track the ownership of each individual firearm.

This is .. ipso facto ... Registration.  But because of the current state of national hysteria, our wanna-be Lords and Masters believe that they can slip the whole "Registration" thingie in under the radar.  We won't understand what they are doing, because if we were smart enough to understand they way governmental regulations are intended to undermine our basic rights .. we would probably be smart enough to avoid selling guns to crooks and terrorists in the first place.

Go back and re-read that last sentence.

Think about ObamaCare, which requires 2,000+ (unread) pages to define how we need to have the federal government involved in our health-care plans, because we're not smart enough to provide for our own physical health.

In the same way, the Feds are here saying (dismissively) that we are not smart enough .. or sufficiently concerned about our own welfare . to avoid selling crooks the instruments by which they may rob and murder us.

(The Soviet union had the same idea 20 years ago:  they thought we were so dumb that we would sell them the rope by which they intended to hang us.)

But it's a two-tier scenario.  While we're focusing on the details of the proposal, and worrying about line-item veto .... we're supposedly ignoring the basic premise of the thing:

We aren't able to run our own lives, so they're going to do it for me.  It's their job, and .. the more laws they pass, the more likely we are to believe that they (the President, the Senators, the Representatives and all of the other detritus of Politics) are working for our betterment.

It's insulting.

They're treating us as if we were children.

Oh!  [Dawns the light!]  They believe that we ARE incompetent to handle our affairs.  In their minds, of COURSE we require the gentle guidance of their elected parental hands.

And they wonder why we thing that the Second Amendment needs protecting from their usurpation of our Constructional Rights.

They need to go back, and re-read (or read for the first time, most likely) the Constitution;  And the Federalist Papers!

(What a bunch of Maroons!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The bottom line, there is no gunshow loophole.