If Mr. Obama plans to resurrect John McCain’s 15-year-old proposal for gun-show control, after praising it as worthwhile in his Jan. 5 and Town Hall gun-control speeches, we’re in for a world of hurt.
It’s a myth that McCain even proposed a background check—the first in a series of myths we need to explore. The “progressive” left keeps throwing myths in the way of real gun education and safety, and slowing down progress.
John McCain’s plan was to force the closing of gun shows, require prior federal approval of anything broadly defined as a gun show, and it goes downhill from there.
Democrats promise one distasteful thing, and then deliver something entirely different. Yes, McCain is a republican, in name. But a democrat just offered that old bill as an example of good law, and complained it was turned down by lobbyist-controlled congressional idiots. No one delivering news reads these things, so it’s up to me and my editor.
Look inside, but start here with common sense. Democrats everywhere are now proclaiming that “Survey Says!” 90% of everyone agrees background checks are good!
Everyone knows 90% of the public doesn’t agree on anything political—let alone gun rights!
What John McCain’s gun show “loophole” bill (S890) really proposed was not background checks. His bill would require you to obtain permission to run a gun show, but the feds weren’t required to approve one:
- Perfectly legal gun shows are outlawed without prior federal approval, licensing and central registration of each show; (Is that what 90% agreed to?)
- Centralized federal licensing and registration of every organizer who runs anything broadly defined as a gun show;
- Centralized federal registration of every vendor—including non-gun vendors—at any gun show in the country. For me to sell my BOOKS at the show I’ll have to pre-register and prove who I am, or face arrest; (Count me out of that 90 percentile.)
- Centralized federal registration of every person who attends a gun show in America, whether or not they buy or sell anything. You won’t be allowed in without registering yourself with the FBI. Does that count as a background check bill that 90% of Americans support? It’s what Obama likes;
- Centralized collection of “any other information” on gun-show attendees, as determined solely by the Secretary of the Treasury;
- Imprisonment (on conviction) for attending a gun show and failing to give up any information required by regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury;
- Imprisonment (on conviction) of any gun-show promoter who fails to register a single vendor. Three separate registrations are required—30 days prior to the show, 72 hours prior to the show, and five days after closing, with arrest for non compliance. That was made clear when 90% of you voted (somewhere) to support the plan, right?
- Imprisonment (on conviction) of gun-show promoters who cannot prove they notified every person attending of the new rules (eight pages of small-type legalese), and obtained from attendees any information the Secretary of the Treasury mandates by regulation. The bill doesn’t say it but the only way to prove you’ve done this is to have everyone fill out a form before entering with identifying information and a signature or equivalent (fingerprint, eye scan, etc.).
You’ll have to be registered to simply assemble where someone is selling constitutionally protected property (firearms), or everyone is in violation. This offends the First Amendment so intensely the people proposing it (including my senator) should be subject to recall or censure by “more proper” authorities, but they’re asleep at the wheel. (Actually, McCain was censured by the Arizona Republican Party, but nothing happened.)
Let me stop there. This is not some “simple background check.” The president lied about that on TV to the nation. If you like your plan you can keep your plan.
As I read the plan, writ on parchment not paper (Obama rewrote history with that halting tongue slip), the McCain plan is infringement. The person who swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, who proposes this plan, is in violation of the oath of office and earns removal in disgrace. Or tell me why that’s not so.
The Manchin-Toomey gun registration bill, also praised, is practically worse. That’s next. Stay tuned, I’ll be exposing all their myths. With facts.
Alan Korwin is the author of 14 books, 10 of them on gun law. His book After You Shoot examines ways to lower your risks after a self-defense shooting. He has been invited twice to observe oral argument in gun cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Reach him at GunLaws.com, where he is the publisher of Bloomfield Press.