Analysis by Kyle A. Lohmeier
Whereas the early Internet was notorious for being basically awash in pornography (it still is, mind you), today, it feels like it’s more awash in adorableness. Not a day goes by without me hearing my wife giggle gleefully at a video of a kitten doing something cute, or a seal pup eating lettuce, or a little piglet scratching it’s back on something, etc. Today I stumbled upon my own pile of saccharine-sweet adorability in the form of Nevadans for Background Checks. This is the group that got Nevada’s Question One placed on the November ballot and is encouraging voters to pass it. They’ve even recently picked up the endorsement of the Las Vegas Lodge One of the Fraternal Order of Police.
With a naïveté typically reserved for children, the group insists that this November “Nevada voters can make our state the 19th in the nation to close the loophole criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people are using to purchase guns online and at gun shows, no background check required. Nearly one in 11 people shopping online for a gun in Nevada is prohibited from possessing firearms, including convicted felons and fugitives.”
Digging a bit deeper into the site, I found the page that explains how the Background Check Initiative works. The adorable factor skyrocketed.
Remember the South Park episode where Tweek was convinced gnomes were stealing his underpants, and no one believed him? Until, that is the other kids saw them and followed the gnomes to their underground lair where they explained why they were stealing underpants?
Yeah, it’s a lot like that.
“Under the Background Check Initiative, unlicensed sellers will meet their buyers at a licensed gun dealer. Over 97% of Nevadans live within 10 miles of a licensed gun dealer, so this would be easy and convenient (emphasis original). If the gun dealer agrees to help process the sale, the dealer will conduct a background check on the potential buyer and comply with state and federal law as though transferring the gun from the dealer’s own inventory…”
Read that again, keeping in mind that this law is to prevent “criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people” from buying a gun that they can’t get from a normal retail store because they know they cannot pass a background check that all licensed firearm dealers are required to complete before a sale.
So, the way the adorable little guys and gals at Nevadans for Background Checks think this will work is like this: Guy with a disqualifying conviction answers an ad in the paper or online for a guy selling a gun and calls him up. The seller tells him which gun store to meet at, and the buyer declines to move ahead with the purchase, because he knows he can’t pass the check because of a marijuana conviction twenty years ago. He doesn’t buy the gun. Lives are saved.
And, in a world where no one ever acted unscrupulously, it might just work.
On planet Earth today, most American gun owners realize there is no national registry of firearms; a few states may have abortive and useless incomplete registries they’ve wasted piles of money on, but there is no national registry. This means, the government doesn’t know what guns any gun owner has. So, if a guy decides to skip the go-to-the-gun-store-and-wait-for-the-background-check-to-conclude step before selling a gun to someone else, no one is any the wiser. The government didn’t know the seller owned the gun in the first place, and therefore has no idea he’s now sold it to someone else.
And since “criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people” have a terrible penchant for being scofflaws, it’s probably quite logical to conclude they won’t bother with this law either, should it pass at the ballot box this November.
I am most certainly not advocating a national firearms registry be created here, either, far from it. Such would be a boondoggle of proportions that would dwarf even Obamacare in its wasteful expensiveness and ineffectiveness, to say nothing of the inherent evil of such a thing as the government knowing which citizens own what guns. I just cannot get behind “feel-good” measures that have no potential to do anything other than make the people behind it feel good. The group claims that the 18 states that have “closed the loophole” have had 48 percent fewer police officers shot since doing so, but they offered no citation for that statistic. Given the 20+-year downturn in violent crime generally, any possible truth in that statement is likely related to factors that have little to do with an unenforceable law that isn’t routinely observed.
In fact, at a time in American history when individual firearm ownership is at an all-time high, more people are carrying concealed legally than ever before and there has been a downtrend in violent crime across the board for more than two decades, one has to wonder why the left can always summon the energy to tackle “gun control” while ignoring so many other, far more pressing issues. Not enough billionaires writing checks to fire people up about those causes, I suppose.