Korwin: Why Background Checks Are A Lie
Anti-gun-rights crusaders are calling for new and improved background checks. You know why. They’re dancing in the blood of victims. It’s what they do.
The problem is that background checks are a lie. The crusaders’ big claim, now repeated on all the old-news channels, is that the existing check has stopped about three million gun sales. What a glorious achievement. We need more of this, they say.
Not a single reporter in the entire profession has the brains, training or ethics to ask even the most obvious questions. This perpetuates the lie. Whether that’s deliberate, ignorance, stupidity, a plot, it doesn’t matter. What matters is it’s harmful. I’ll ask.
Where are the three million arrests?
It’s a serious crime to try to get guns if you legally can’t, you know that. The check is designed to find criminals trying to buy guns at retail. The criminals banned are really bad dudes—bank robbers, rapists, murderers, fugitives, addicts, the mentally unstable, spousal abusers, jihadis, illegal aliens, there’s a federal list. It’s a long-term felony for these people to try.
What good is the background check if it finds these villains, has them right there in the store with the FBI on the phone for Pete’s sake, and we just turn them away? Do you know how much money we’re spending on this? Do we want to catch and lock up “the element” or not? We have their signatures on a form for proof. The background check is a lie.
But wait… are these people really guilty of anything? That’s one of the excuses the Brady supporters and authorities give (they have many) for not locking up virtually any of the desperadoes they identify: a positive hit in the system is insufficient grounds for dispatching an arresting unit. It’s not exactly court-quality evidence to press charges. Say what?
Put another way, those three million background-check “victims” experienced denial of their fundamental constitutional right to buy firearms by government clerks and a list. They could not confront their accuser, did not get a reason for the denial, and in significant numbers the denials were wrong. They were essentially convicted and denied their rights without a trial. Their due process was revoked. The background check is worse than a lie, it’s a travesty. For those three million denials, prosecutions are extremely rare, in low two digits annually, convictions are apparently not even routinely tracked.
Left-wingers dreamed this up, and got it enacted dancing in blood (like now) back in the 1990s. It seems to make sense, like many of their schemes, but in practice it is totally bogus. It destroys due process, plays find and release with criminals, can’t distinguish between the guilty and the innocent and wastes scarce funds. They don’t care, they just promote it like crazy, maybe because they are and it is. Reporters march along.
The BIDS system, the Blind ID System, performs a similar function, but it costs far less and doesn’t register gun owners by the tens of millions, like the current “NICS” system seems to. Gun-owner registration is the primary but unspoken goal of the current plan, another lie. When Janet Reno first built the thing in Clarksburg, W.Va., back in 1998, not only was it a registration system, in direct violation of the enabling statute’s ban on recording (18 USC §922 s&t), she had the audacity to announce that her $250 million computer could not erase records. There is no end to the hubris of bureaucrats.
The FBI assures us none of the inbound gun-buyer data is stored in any way, but you can’t audit, and how much faith do you have in that? In the BIDS system, instead of gathering millions of innocent people’s names, licensed dealers receive the names of the bad guys, like wanted posters, and they check it out in their stores. Simple, efficient, encoded, logged so you can’t check out your daughter’s boyfriend. We trust certified dealers to sell guns, we can trust them to look up their customers in a secure phone book.
BIDS might make sense. The send-me-your-name NICS registration scheme is hoax-like from the word go. But ever since the last administration change, the nation is learning how much one side perpetually lies.
Alan Korwin, a national columnist, award-winning author of 14 books and veteran of more than 1,000 radio and TV interviews, has been writing as a journalism ombudsman since 2006. He can be reached at GunLaws.com.