Friday, July 24, 2015

Lafayette: Proof Background Checks Aren't a Cure-All

            Lafayette, LA mourns in the wake of its own high-profile shooting. Pundits are quipping about guns being to blame and the need for more gun control, heeding Rahm Emanuel’s advice to ‘never let a crisis go to waste.’ The facts don’t exactly fit the preferred gun control narrative. In the aftermath of the Charleston, SC, church shooting the anti-gun propaganda line is about the so-called ‘Charleston’ background check loophole. This shooting unties all the laces on the background check argument, as the erratic and disturbed John Russell Houser passed one. While his behavior was bizarre and he was probably one who could be accurately described as an asshole, he was not prohibited by law from owning a gun.
The gun Houser used [...] was legally purchased in February 2014 from a pawn shop in Phenix City, Alabama [...] Drew Griffin, a senior investigative correspondent for CNN, said it appears Houser was cleared to buy the gun because he didn't have any convictions for serious crimes. 'He just didn't show up on any of the instant background checks,' Griffin said. (source
         The Truth About Guns is now reporting that Houser was indeed a prohibited person, after being involuntarily committed in 2008. So Houser lied on the ATF form 4473, an easy thing to do. The background check system failed because it didn't have his mental health record in there. Oops. TTAG describes it beautifully: "And even if the ATF had discovered Houser’s lie, there’s almost no chance they would have done anything about it. So this isn’t a story of broken gun laws, but one of a broken system."
          Background checks are being offered to the mainstream public as the panacea for gun violence. For every major shooting to make the news, the anti-gun groups banged the drums over banning private sales using the deceptive tactic of ‘universal background checks’ despite the truth that none of the killers would have been stopped by them. Background checks don’t work if there is nothing in the background to disqualify a person.
            Also, criminals don’t obey the law. You know, like the laws against murder. Real deterrent to those with an abandoned heart... The only deterrent to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. In an earlier post, I wrote about how gun owners like me feel about this. We absolutely hate these shootings and this is why we carry everywhere we can. Feel-good measures don’t keep people alive or stop murderers from murdering. It’s even worse when some use the innocent victims to support their twisted agenda.
            This is a post that I think should be shared across Facebook groups, your Twitter followers, and every person you know who respects gun and private property rights. Why? There is an awful storm on the horizon ready to batter us and prime an unsuspecting public for gun registration. This storm is the universal background check initiative—a name that is a lie of the highest order. The initiative will in actuality ban private gun sales by forcing all sales to go through a federally licensed dealer (which then can be tracked). Merely lending a hunting rifle to a friend will be a crime.
            Because the proponents of this evil are couching it as ‘background checks’, we have to fight to overcome their propaganda lead with the truth that gun rights and private property rights will be destroyed. They call it a ‘universal’ background check because they can’t admit that federal law already requires background checks for most firearms sales and a minority of guns are sold in private sales. “Let’s ban private gun sales and ruin gun shows” just won’t go over that well.
            Many of the petition gatherers’ pitch included something like “You don’t want guys like the kid who shot up that school in Connecticut to be able to buy a gun, do you?” Supporters of the universal background checks implied that the recent mass shootings in America would have been prevented had the so-called universal background checks been in place. By playing on the residual horror, many were swayed into believing that a simple background check could have saved the day and signing the petition. Anecdotal evidence shows that petition gathers and supports have outright lied about the facts to the public when it came to the details of these terrible crimes.
            Adam Lanza, the Virginia Tech shooter, James Holmes, John Russell Houser, and many others should have been mentally incompetent to buy guns, but a poor mental health system let them slip through the cracks. Background checks routinely fail. Ironically, the Brady Check is named after Pres. Reagan’s press secretary James Brady who was paralyzed when he was shot, along with the president, by demonstrably mentally ill John Hinckley Jr. Hinckley was misdiagnosed as simply being immature and sent on his way. He was never adjudicated mentally deficient or committed to a mental intuition (prior to the assassination attempt). Even with modern background checks, Hinckley would have been able to purchase a gun.
            Background checks are simply a deterrent and annoyance for a truly determined prohibited person to overcome. Felons are generally the ones most often stopped, however they frequently turn to ‘straw purchases’ where they have someone who can legally purchase a firearm illegally buy one on their behalf. Did you know that 75.9% of illegally bought/sold guns would not be stopped by universal background checks? That’s because criminals find a way around the law or simply turn to illegal dealers or theft.
            Only about 25% percent of guns, and not the 40% lie that is bandied about, come from private sales that would be regulated by the initiative. Only 14% of illegal guns are bought in private sales—and here’s the kicker: we don’t know how many of those ‘private sales’ were already illegal. As we saw with the willingness of all the mass murder suspects (not to mention ‘petty’ murderers) to violate the existing laws regarding murder, how can we expect criminals to obey the law? This law would simply shackle the law abiding and take us backwards.
            Nevadans just got rid of the worthless Clark County ‘blue card’ handgun registration system. We don’t need to be forced to turn our perfectly legal activity into something that requires government scrutiny. Our gun sales and transfers are tracked already, albeit in a very cumbersome way. All the ATF has to do is scan the form 4473s through an optical character recognition scanner and viola; we have an electronic gun registry. No one has to do anything other than buy or transfer a gun; that’s how they did it in California. This administration has done everything it could to strip our gun rights away—do we want to be one bill away from gun registration?
            Let’s make no mistake: bad people abuse the trust of honest, law abiding citizens selling their guns face to face. However, we cannot let the fact that the minority of private party gun sales are to criminals override the right of innocent gun owners trying to conduct lawful business with one another. Also, it is downright malicious and deceitful to imply that the most horrific, emotional crimes in recent American history would have been prevented if we had a universal background check law. The supporters of this initiative do not care for the truth.

            We are the grassroots. We have to spread the word to our friends, our families, the media, and even strangers now. Spread the word or we will lose our right to sell our private property to each other and take the first step towards gun registration. Learn more about the initiative.

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