The False Promise of Background Checks

Posted: December 30, 2014 by gamegetterII in anti-gun asshattery
Tags: , , ,

The idea of background checks for firearm purchases seems to sound sensible, but the reality is much different from the appearance. In truth, expecting firearm background checks to stop criminals is like trying to catch a few particular salmon during spawning season by placing a rock in the middle of the stream and watching for the specific fish to jump over the rock.

specious: adjective:
superficially plausible, but actually wrong.
“a specious argument”
misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive.

There are more than 15 million NICS background checks processed every year, totaling over 180 million checks since the program’s inception in 1998. Between 98% and 99% of those checks were on regular, unrestricted people – most of whom already own at least one firearm. Of the few prohibited persons caught trying to purchase a firearm, the vast majority didn’t realize they were prohibited, and who had no criminal intent. In 2010, which is typical of recent years, only about 60 individuals – out of 15 million – were considered worthy of prosecution, and only 13 people – out of 15 million – were actually convicted of illegally trying to purchase a firearm. Not a very impressive return from a program that infringes on an enumerated constitutional right – that “shall not be infringed” – and has cost taxpayers an estimated $2 billion dollars so far.

Now the same people who brought us this incredibly inefficient and wasteful system want to expand it to include private transfers between individuals. Again, the idea seems, on the surface, logical and reasonable. But again, it is just another rock in the stream – a minor obstacle at best. The arguments in favor of so-called “universal background checks” are, in part, an acknowledgement that the present system can’t work; there’s just too much stream around the rock. One more rock in a wide flowing stream won’t stop, or even perceptibly slow the flow. There will always be plenty of ways for those wishing to acquire guns for criminal purposes to easily get them. Criminals get guns by stealing them, buying them on the black market, or by convincing a girlfriend, family member, or paid associate to purchase them.

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