Out of a sense of duty to my fellow man, I watched hours and hours of the Democrat “No Fly No Buy,” Universal Background Check and “No Bill No Break” Sit-In on the House floor. It was literally painful to watch. I heard calls for a debate on the issue and an up or down vote, but as you’ll soon see there is nothing to debate. Both of the proposals are D.O.A. I heard platitudes and chanting with all the depth of a hashtag-laden 140 character Tweet. I also heard a parade of heart-wrenching stories of death and suffering that definitely tugged at my soul. What I did NOT hear was any solutions.
No Fly No Buy
No Fly No Buy is the clever hashtag phrase attached to legislation aimed at denying those on No Fly and/or terrorist watch lists from buying guns. Granted, on the surface it sounds like a reasonable idea, right? However, when you look below the surface, serious issues and concerns emerge regarding No Fly No Buy. For example, the lists themselves, which are secret to begin with and there is no way to know if you are on the list wrongly until your rights have been violated. Speaking of your rights being violated, it is not only possible, but documented, that people are on the list simply due to a similar name. Not a terrorist, no due process, just one day you find out they won’t let you board a plane. Or if the bill passed, one day you just get denied on a background check for a gun purchase.
Being secret, potential wrong and possibly denying the rights of innocents without due process is just the beginning. Then there is the little issue of the “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” aspect of due process. So, now you are potentially branded a terrorist, without due process, denied your right to travel freely and your right to bear arms. If you are a terrorist then YAY! That’s a win. If you are an innocent American citizen with an unfortunate name, then yeah, not so great. Now that we have pointed out the problems, what is the solution?
The obvious answer is to:
- Fix the lists. They are obviously insufficient to be a basis for denying citizens their rights.
- Stop trying to control guns. If 80+ years of gun control have taught us anything, it is that laws do not keep guns out of the wrong hands. So, for the sake of public safety we need to put more guns in the RIGHT hands.
Speaking of gun control failures…
Universal Background Checks
Several mass shooters have armed themselves legally and passed background checks. Criminals and crazy people couldn’t care less about gun laws and don’t typically buy guns from reputable dealers who run background checks. So, like No Fly No Buy, on the surface universal background checks sound like a reasonable expansion of a system that isn’t working as it should. There again, just below the surface, lies the dirty little secret, enforcement and policing. What the universal checks are aimed at are “private sales,” often referred to as internet sales or the infamous “gun show loophole.” A private sale, or transfer, is nothing more than you selling a gun to a friend or passing it down to a child. They propose that every recipient of a gun be background checked, Period!
Manufacturers and dealers are registered, licensed and heavily regulated. They track serial numbers, do the background check paperwork and have to account for every gun made or sold. If I buy a gun from my neighbor there is no such paper trail which leads to certain questions…
- How will the government KNOW if I buy a gun from my neighbor or pass down a firearm to my son or meet some guy I found online or at a gun show? ANSWER: They won’t. The only way to regulate private sales/transfers is by registering each and every gun in America. A database with the serial numbers of every gun you own and some way to update it regularly. If you buy a gun, register it and then sell it a week, a month or ten years later, how will the government know? Obviously, they’ll have to audit your guns on a regular basis, most likely through the IRS on your annual tax forms.
- What if you have one of the infamous “Ghost Guns” that doesn’t have a serial number because you made it yourself? I mean, seriously, all it takes is an 80% lower, a drill press and jig, then VIOLA! You have a new AR-15! They will have to be serialized and registered or confiscated and destroyed. Which means that 80% Lowers will have to outlawed/confiscated and probably regulations on drill presses, too. Then you’ll have to scrub all the blue prints, How-To’s and videos from the internet and libraries.
Once you know where every gun is and who owns it. Once you eliminate any potential of home manufacture. Once you set up an audit system and inventory control for every American gun owner. Then, and only then, would you even have a chance at enforcing and policing a universal background check. Unless of course, you think that criminals, crazies and terrorists will voluntarily seek out background checks for private transactions, because the law says so.
People look at the surface of these No Fly No Buy and Universal Background Check proposals, they hear the rhetoric and are touched by the horror stories. Few people look below the pristine surface to examine the ugly details underneath. A good habit that more Americans need to acquire. After watching hours of the 60s Hippy Love-In on the floor of the House of Representatives, I wouldn’t trust any of those people to write a Thank You Note, much less a law regulating Constitutionally protected rights.