By NRA News commentator Dom Raso
It seems like a lot of Americans are still clinging onto background checks as the best, most “reasonable” way to stop gun violence and I can understand why.
Because when I first heard of “more better stronger” background checks, I thought it sounded ok. It really does seem to make sense on the surface. Out of everything being proposed, this actually seems to make some sense to me: what’s the harm in a background check if there’s nothing wrong with your background, right?
Amidst all the noise about banning this gun or a specific magazine, the average person hears background checks and says, “yeah, of course that makes sense” … and they move on throughout their day and never think twice about it again.
Here’s what I wish they knew: WE ALREADY HAVE A BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM! I can’t say that enough. Every licensed seller is already required to issue a background check before the sale. The problem is, what are we doing to go after the people who fail the test?
Here’s how it works: before the seller runs your name in the system, you have to fill out a form testifying you’re legally allowed to purchase a firearm. Lying on that form is a federal felony. So let’s say that’s what happens — the criminal lies on the form and the seller takes it to the back to run the name through the system. In 2010, that scenario played out 76,000 times … and only 13 of those 76,000 were legally blocked from buying a firearm and were actually prosecuted and convicted for committing a felony in order to TRY to buy a firearm.
So if you’re a bad guy, why not give it a shot and see what happens? The worst thing that’s gonna happen is you waste a little bit of gas getting to the store and they tell you no.
The Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about this statistic, and he said there isn’t enough time to catch and prosecute all these criminals.
OK, fine. Law enforcement is stretched thin and they’ve got a lot of problems on their hands already. But don’t tell me that that situation is going to get better if we have a “universal” background check system. When there’s a background check on every sale — not just from licensed sellers but from every single civilian — somehow Eric Holder’s going to find the resources to prosecute and convict more than 13 people a year?
This is a political game and agenda that has nothing to do with making Americans safer. You get it, and I get it. But it’s up to us to make sure our neighbors, our friends and our fellow gun owners understand. Otherwise, we’re gonna wake up one day and find out we’ve traded our freedom for a political idea that no one is serious about enforcing.