Monday, March 25, 2013

The Case Against Background Checks

So Democrats keep pursuing "Universal Background Checks" for "common sense gun control."  Their primary "Fact" (which happens to be wrong, color me stunned) is that "40% of gun purchases happen without a background check."

Before I point out why background checks are a bad idea, let's go ahead and dispense with this argument.

First, as I pointed out, it's wrong.  Roughly 60% of guns are purchased directly from stores or dealers and require full background checks.  Roughly 30% of guns are obtained via gift or inheritance.  There's already laws against knowingly giving a gun to someone who isn't supposed to have one, so any additional "background check" rules are not going to do squat about that.

That leaves roughly 10% of gun purchases which do not require a background check.  Heck, let's be generous and remove the gift/inheritance demographic completely.  That means (back of napkin math) that our pool goes down to 70% of it's original.  If we assume 100 guns as the original number(this math should scale up, since we're talking real percentages), now we're down to 70 that were purchased at all.  Of those, 60 have background checks, and 10 do not.  Ten is approximately 14.29% of 70, which is far short of 40%.

But 40% sounds scarier, so that's what they're running with.

Now, lets take a look at what this argument is really saying.  It has two false premises.

False premise number one: A new law can stop people from breaking the law. 

As already mentioned, it's already illegal to give a gun to someone who is legally prohibited from having one.  If I give a gun to a known felon, I've broken the law.  Are you suggesting I'm going to be more concerned about breaking the law after your super-double-serious law about background checks passes?

False premise number two: The American people are not trustworthy.
The only reason background checks make sense for purchases at all is that we don't want "crazy people or felons" to have weapons.  That's fine as far as it goes.  However- as proven with the Newton, CT shooting, crazy people can still get guns (see point one about criminals not obeying the law).  The same is true of felons.  So the only reason that 40% number is scary at all is if you believe that a) the only reason someone would purchase in a way that didn't require a background check was to obtain an illegal weapon and b) that if that purchase now required a background check they wouldn't find some other way to obtain a weapon.

If you don't believe both of those things, then it shouldn't matter if that number is 10%, 14%, 40%, or 90%.

Now that we've shown the Liberals don't really have a case for universal background checks, let's consider the case against them.

It comes down to one thing: background checks are de facto gun registration.  Even if I don't mention the specific model of the handgun being sold, the background check alerts the government that Citizen Y has purchased a handgun.  Now the government knows that Citizen Y has a handgun.

Registration is the necessary first step in confiscation.  Not that confiscation will necessarily result (though we know that's their end-game), but that without registration confiscation is completely impossible.

Now, since we know their end-game is complete confiscation- they've said as much in hundreds of ways- then it stands to reason they also know that 100% registration is the only way to get to confiscation.  Since I don't particularly want my guns confiscated, you'll excuse me if I reject the idea of Universal Background Checks.

I trust the majority of my fellow citizens.  In fact, until a specific individual gives me a reason they cannot be trusted, I trust all of them.  It does not bother me one whit if you get a gun without a background check.  Why should my doing the same bother you?


  1. Man talk about severe withdraw....

    ARGHHH I take almost two weeks off and now they take my brain candy....

    I'll try to look into the BBS tomorrow.

  2. and by anony mouse you can call me sven