Politics Magazine

There Is No Legitimate Excuse To Oppose Background Checks

Posted on the 20 May 2018 by Jobsanger
There Is No Legitimate Excuse To Oppose Background Checks
The chart above is from a survey done by the Pew Research Center in 2017. With the continuation of school and other mass shootings in this country, I seriously doubt that those numbers has decreased since the poll was done. In fact, an overwhelming majority of Americans have been in favor of the closing of loopholes in the background check law for quite a while now -- extending those checks for gun buyers to ALL sales, including those at gun shows and private sales by individuals.
Unfortunately, our current Republican-controlled Congress doesn't care what the public wants. They oppose closing the loopholes in the background check law, even though it allows about 40% of guns to be sold each year without a background check (a loophole that any violent abuser, convicted felon, terrorist, or dangerously mentally ill person can use to buy any kind of gun they want).
When asked, they have two excuses for refusing to even allow a law to improve background checks to be debated or voted on in Congress. First, they claim it would violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (which gives Americans the right to own a gun). That argument is rather disingenuous, since the Supreme Court has ruled many times that government can put reasonable restrictions on gun ownership (and restricting ownership by criminals and other violent people is very reasonable).
The second argument is one they use even more frequently -- that it would interfere with the right of a parent or friend to give a gun as a gift. That's also disingenuous. While the giver would need to do a background check (for a modest fee), it would NOT prevent them from giving a firearm as a gift to their children or friends. It would only prevent those gifts to people who have a criminal record (including domestic violence) or have been deemed to be dangerously mentally ill. Isn't that a good thing? Do we want people giving guns to dangerous individuals?
It would do one thing though. If a background check showed a reason to deny the person a gun, and the gun was given anyway, it would make the giver both criminally and civilly liable for any crime or deaths caused by that gun. I think that's also a god thing. Shouldn't any person who knowingly provides a gun to someone who legally can't buy one on their own, be liable for that action?
The American people want everyone who buys (or receives) a gun to first have a background check, and there is no legitimate reason why that should not be required. It's just a common sense and constitutional action that would save many lives.

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