Now that they're facing
That's the slang for someone who legally buys a firearm from a licensed gun dealer, then sells it to someone whose criminal or mental health record prohibits them from making a legal purchase.
Back in the 1990s, you may recall,
Now the organization has gone to war against background checks, calling the current push in the wake of the
As if that were a bad thing. It is ridiculous in my view to require licenses for cars but not for guns. Yet while all states require licenses for cars, the federal government prohibits itself, at the NRA's urging, from keeping a national registry of gun owners.
Short of that, most of the country, including many gun owners in recent surveys, favor background checks as a reasonable requirement for people who want to purchase firearms.
Why wouldn't reasonable gun owners want to keep firearms out of the hands of people whose criminal or mental health records make them most likely to give all gun owners a bad name?
Besides, even in today's fever pitch for gun violence prevention after the
Yet the NRA these days barely sees any daylight between background checks and a national gun registry, which they see as only a teeny, tiny baby-step away from national gun confiscation.
There is no political tool more powerful than fear, it seems, whether it is fear of guns in the hands of the wrong people or fear of people who might be itching to take your guns.
Still that argument stands on such wobbly legs that gun lobbyists have to grasp at whatever straw they can find to prop it up.
Take, for example, an NRA ad running online and in newspapers partly targeted at states where Democratic senators will be defending their seats next year. It uses a justice Department memo it obtained to argue that the Obama administrations believes its own gun control plans won't work unless the government seizes firearms and requires national registration.
In fact, the administration has not proposed or announced support for either of those drastic moves. Neither has gun legislation proposed on
In fact, since 2004, again at the NRA's urging, information on firearms purchasers who have been approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System must be destroyed within 24 hours of the dealers' notification of the approval. Before
Of course, that shortened time period has been a tremendous convenience to corrupt firearm dealers seeking to avoid detection of their sales to prohibited buyers. Yet that's fine with the NRA.
As a result, records retention has become a major sticking point in
Sure, most criminals may get their weapons from the black market on the street. Yet we have to start somewhere. Nobody is seriously talking about gun confiscation. Registration is a mere formality to those who have nothing to hide.
Right now, it is simply too easy for teens to buy illegal guns on the street cheaply. We should not let the pursuit of impossibly perfect solutions be the enemy of our ability to do a lot of good.
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