Let’s Talk About Background Checks, (Again)

blame the gunToday Colion Noir (@MrColionNoir) shared an article from the Arizona Republic, penned by EJ Montini, which amounted to a cesspool of false claims, ridiculous appeals to authority, and blatant logical fallacies. Let’s dive right in and start to tear this to shreds.

The article begins with a simple appeal to reason: Let’s stop terrorists like Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson, perpetrators of the attempted mass-shooting at a Texas art contest, from getting guns. How does the author suggest we do this? By closing the supposed “gun show loophole” of course!

Here’s where we run into our first problem. I can’t find any information regarding the source of the firearms used by the terrorists at Garland, TX, I can only find multiple regurgitations that they were “assault rifles.” We immediately know 2 things about these firearms from the lack of information about them: 1) They were not purchased privately, but through a licensed dealer and 2) They were not AR-15s. How can we infer this? Simple, if either were the case, it would be plastered over every news outlet in the country. We wouldn’t be able to get away from the fact that these evil AR-15s, used to perpetrate nearly every mass shooting in recent history, were purchased from a private seller without a background check.

So immediately the author runs into the ongoing problem of gun-control advocates: What you are proposing would have done nothing, absolutely zero, to stop these men, or any of the men from any other mass shooting, from obtaining those firearms.

The next problem with this article is far more egregious: blatant lies. He states that:

            …the gun-show loophole has become the Internet loophole. A brick-and-mortar gun store must conduct background checks. But that isn’t the case for people purchasing weapons from a private seller or online.

While it is true that there is no federal law requiring a background check between two American citizens in a face-to-face transaction (so long as the individual purchasing the firearm is of legal age to own it), the claim turns to absolute falsehood when he incorporates “or online.” The only way to legally purchase a firearm online is to have it shipped to your local brick and mortar gun store where you have to go in person for a background check. If the author of the article has ever had a Glock dropped off at his doorstep by UPS he should share that information with us, so we can share it with the local ATF.

And of course, no “gun show loophole” article would be complete without falsely perpetuating the claim that “80% of Americans want a better background check procedure.” That was a quote drilled up from Sen. McCain circa 2003. Interestingly enough, that wasn’t true then, and the 92% figure you see endlessly today (which was conducted in a poll paid for by Michael Bloomberg, interestingly enough) isn’t true either. In fact, when polling was conducted after the 2013 Senate voted against staunch gun control measures, 39% of Americans were either “very happy” or “relieved” by the result with 47% of people either “disappointed” or “angry.” That’s a far cry from the 80% and 92% numbers that the gun-grabbers like to throw around.

The author somehow finds a way to slip further down the logical landslide with his closing arguments:

“If we had a national referendum, a law like that would pass easily. But it can’t get through the U.S. House and Senate. So, does Congress represent you or the NRA?”

So here he knowingly dives right into a “Bandwagon” logical fallacy. According to him, such an overwhelming number of American’s support universal background checks (numbers we now know to be incredibly inflated in the first place) that if we held a popular vote, it would pass with flying colors. This must be proof that the Congress is just in the pocket of the NRA and doesn’t care about you, the voters. Right?

Well, this is a prime example of why we have a Republic instead of a Democracy. It is the job of the Republic to uphold our rights, even if they aren’t popular at the time. While I don’t have the numbers (apparently polling wasn’t as popular or reliable in the 19th and early 20th century as it is today) how do you think the Women’s Suffrage movement, the 13th 14th and 15th Amendments, or, more recently, the Civil Rights Act would have fared in a “national referendum”? It is not the job of our elected officials to do what is popular, whether you like it or not.

On a final note, I know very few gun owners that would oppose universal background checks, so long as we had the assurance that it would never lead to a gun registration, but it will, so we oppose it. Many would ask how one would enforce such a law. Well it’s quite simple, enforce it the same way we enforce every other type of illegal commerce that isn’t registered with the government: You catch them in the act with solid police work. Stings, investigations, questioning, basically every tactic we use in the war on drugs could also be used to combat private sales of firearms without an FFL transfer.

Would it be as effective? No, it wouldn’t be. But hey, let’s remember that we’re talking about legislation that would have zero effect on all of these mass shootings in the first place, whether it’s accompanied with a registration or not.

So, now that we’re talking about the effective rate of return on an utterly pointless piece of legislation, can we finally admit that we’re just splitting non-existent hairs and drop it?

 

Andrew Scott, CEO

 

Original article:

http://www.azcentral.com/story/ejmontini/2015/05/26/gun-sale-loophole-sen-john-mccain-fbi-director-james-comey/27713531/

Poll numbers:

http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.org/2013/12/remember-those-claims-that-80-to-90-of-americans-wanted-the-senate-background-check-bill-to-pass-well-it-was-clearly-wrong/

CNN article mentioning rifles, not source of acquisistion:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/05/us/texas-police-shooting-hero/

 

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