Saturday, January 10, 2015

Open Letter to Senator's Editorial on Background Checks

This is my open letter to District 13 Senator, Debbie Smith (Democrat), in response to her January 9th editorial in the Reno Gazette-Journal about universal background checks. Nevermind that the RGJ already called universal background checks 'ineffective.'

I'm rather dismayed to see you parroting the ill-relevant talking points of Michael Bloomberg's hydra-headed campaigns across America to unconstitutionally infringe upon our rights to keep and bear arms. None of this was personal, nor original. In fact, your whole editorial seems to be nothing more than the standard, regurgitated non-sense that the Bloomberg campaign uses. I would even go so far as to say that they wrote it for you. 

The tagline in the editorial states that “Background checks are the most effective tool to help reduce crime and save lives.” Huh? What about the deterring effect of prisons, the police, and armed citizens? That is a blatant fallacy on its face.

You quote statistics that show women and police are murdered less in states with universal background checks. What percentage of the guns used to kill an abused woman or a police officer were obtained in private sales? You only mention two cases, highly emotional ones at that. Have your heard the caution in the field of statistics that 'correlation does not imply causation?' And what about the fact that FBI and ATF statistics show that most criminals obtain firearms through 'straw purchases' where someone else violates the law to buy the gun (after passing a background check!) in the first place, or through outright theft? 

You stated that background checks ‘stopped’ gun purchases in about 15,000 cases. The existing background check system is massively flawed. I think you mean they were denied or delayed, which means nothing, since most of those denials are often mistakes, or never prosecuted. And who is to say that the person denied at the gun store didn't turn around and obtain a gun through another fashion? The real number of guns obtained through private sales is about 11.5%. And the ‘gun show loophole’? If you had ever been to a gun show, you would know that most guns are sold by traveling, federally licensed dealers, who require a background check.

You state that Washington I-594 universal background check bill was passed "overwhelmingly"; I hardly think a (roughly) 60/40 split, especially with most of the rural, conservative counties voting against the bill, is overwhelming. Also, massive amounts of money from wealthy candidates who often support progressive causes fueled misleading advertising. And you seem to neglect to notice, or mention, that the bill is massively flawed and facing legal challenges.

Universal background check laws will inhibit the ability for a friend or a parent to give a firearm to a woman who is threatened by domestic violence. Imagine it being a crime to give your gun to your daughter because her boyfriend was stalking and threatening her. If you truly care about abused women, why would you want to make it more difficult for them to protect themselves?Here’s a story of a woman who did defend herself with a gun against domestic violence. Would you see her disarmed? 

The law has no mechanism for enforcement; no one will ever know if a firearm was transferred illegally. It’s the honor system. But I’m sure your political masters have some registration campaign or something cooked up next. 

Why would we be against this? First off, it’s inconvenient. I shouldn't have to go to a gun store and pay someone to exercise my right. Secondly, background checks have been shown time and time again as deeply flawed and simply a way to keep the honest honest (an example from Oregon). 

Lastly, Because we shouldn't require government permission to sell an inanimate object. Should we require background checks to eliminate alcoholics and reckless drivers from buying cars, all in the name of reducing traffic deaths? Maybe we need a mandatory knife background check; felons don’t need knifes, that’s what restaurants are for! How did America survive so long without universal background checks? Oh, that’s right, it’s never been about safety, has it? 

Criminals are criminals because they break the law. They steal guns, they buy them from black-market dealers, they trade ‘hot’ guns amongst themselves. Bear in mind, that the Aurora, CO murderer bought his guns legally, as did the Isla Vista, CA, murderer, and the child murdering Newtown, CT, suspect killed his mother and stole her guns. Subjecting the law abiding to something that amounts to nothing more than jumping through a hoop does nothing for safety. 

The universal background check idea is horribly flawed and is nothing more than a first step in a scheme to gradually eliminate gun rights. And if you truly believe this, get a better argument for it than emotion and misleading, flawed data. Ultimately, this comes down to the unwillingness of those in power, the government and the wealthy, who consider themselves to be the elite, to allow the hoi polloi to protect themselves.

Sorry Madam Senator, the law is already quite clear, our rights shall not be infringed upon.

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