Since the passing of the Brady Bill (in 1993) requiring background checks on all gun sales from federally licensed dealers, approximately 3 million ineligible persons have been prevented from buying guns legally. That’s good; it proves that background checks work to protect innocent citizens from senseless violence and death.
Unfortunately, because of what now seem like glaring loopholes in the law, there have also been an undetermined number of sales to people who, for one reason or another, didn’t want anyone looking into their backgrounds. The number is undetermined because by using one of these loopholes there is no record of the sale.
Why not undergo a check?
So, the first thing that comes to mind is: Why would any honest and responsible gun buyer choose this option? If you are a legitimate gun buyer what do you have to lose by undergoing a check?
The answer I’ve heard from those on the other side of this issue goes something like: If there’s a registry they (the imaginary enemy) can come and take our guns away at any time, leaving us legitimate gun owners vulnerable to some totalitarian government that the Second Amendment was created to protect us from.
First of all, the Second Amendment was created so the government could quickly stand up a (well regulated) militia to defend itself from an attack.
Firearms have radically changed
Also, when the Second Amendment was written a muzzle loader of the era took about a minute to load and fire one bullet. Now, an AR-15 can fire 45 bullets in the same amount of time, and with minor alterations, many more than that. And also, in my view, our Constitution was meant to evolve. That’s why there are amendments.
I support closing all loopholes that would allow anyone to purchase any type of firearm without a comprehensive criminal (or mental health) background check. No honest buyer has any reason to object to a short wait to protect the public safety.
Also, as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated, “No right is unlimited.” And “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding … laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” In other words: States can make laws for public safety, without violating anyone’s rights.
Certainly the lives of our loved ones, as proclaimed 11 years before the writing of the Constitution, in our Declaration of Independence, as the “unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” must be balanced with the “right to bear arms.”
We the people must demand it.
I’ve hunted and target shot for half my life. I am not arbitrarily opposed to guns for sport or self-defense. I believe with better regulation, everyone wins. Gun Laws are pro-life!
Jon Frasz is from Northfield, Minnesota.
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