U.S.A. (Ammoland.com)- I’ve made mistakes before and I’ll probably make some again. That is why it’s important to be aware and skeptical as we try new ideas. There is a time for persistence and a time to ask if you’re headed in the right direction. All that came to mind as I read about the US House of Representatives proposing universal background checks for firearms owners. These background checks have failed too many times to try them again.
The fundamental failure of a background check is that it looks backward. Mass murder is not a long-term career path. Background checks do nothing to stop a first-time mass murderer. Here are the most recent examples.
- The mass murderer who killed 12 people at a country western bar in Thousand Oaks, California passed his background checks..several times.
- The mass murderer who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue passed his background checks for each weapon he owned.
- The mass murderer who killed four people in an Annapolis, Maryland newspaper office purchased his firearms legally and passed his background checks.
- The student who killed 10 people in his El Paso, Texas high school stole his guns. He took the legally owned guns from his father without permission, so background check laws would not have stopped this murder.
- The schizophrenic who murdered 4 people at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee was disarmed after he made threats. In a federal lawsuit, the murderer’s father said he was never told that his son was a prohibited person and not allowed to have guns.
- The murderer at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida passed his background checks even though he had many psychological counseling sessions and had been reported to the school, to local police, and to the FBI.
- The murderer at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killed 27 people after passing his background checks. He should have been barred from getting a gun since he was treated for mental illness, convicted of domestic violence, and dishonorably discharged from the US Air Force. The Air Force never submitted his criminal records to the national background check system.
- The murderer at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas killed 59 people after buying his firearms legally and passing a background check for each gun he used.
I could go on for hundreds of examples but I fear you wouldn’t read them. If this is what background checks do for us, then we should run from them rather than embrace more of the same. It is clear that background checks don’t stop mass murders.
Do mandatory background checks reduce other violent crimes? No other state does gun-control as much and as hard as California. California is rated the first in the nation for gun-control. Background check requirements were imposed in California three decades ago and should have worked there if they would work anywhere.
Sociologists and criminologists published a report in the Annals of Epidemiology where they compared California to other states which hadn’t mandated background checks. Neither mandatory background checks nor firearms prohibition for misdemeanor crimes reduced gun homicide or suicide in California. In fact, the California homicide rate rose by 16 percent from 2014 to 2016. California gun-control doesn’t work.
Why do politicians propose failed ideas over and over again?
For the politician, background checks don’t have to make our streets safer. All they have to do is sound good on TV. Most of us don’t do our homework. We buy our ideas the same way we buy knives on the shopping channel at 2 in the morning. We buy gun-control because it sounds good and is sold with enthusiasm.
Mass murderers and other criminals don’t follow our gun laws. Stop pretending they do because our gullibility is getting us killed. Here is the downside to gun-control and background checks.
Licensed concealed carry holders are among the most law-abiding and non-violent groups of people on the planet. Law abiding citizens use legally owned firearms for self-defense thousands of times a day. Disarming even a few honest gun owners us will leave more of us as disarmed victims of criminal violence. The cost of that will be measured in lives lost.
There are no exemptions in our gun laws for need. There is no exemption for the young woman who has a stalker and suddenly needs a gun for protection. There is no exemption for the sexual assault victim who now wants a firearm to feel secure when she is home alone. It is illegal to give these innocent and honest people a tool for self-defense until the state approves. The victim’s needs come second after the state has its mandatory background checks..and its fees.
The time to stop and turn around is when you realize you’ve made a mistake. Universal background checks sound good but cost lives.
About Rob Morse
The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.