Tuesday, January 5, 2016

And you thought the broccoli salesman has a tough job!


I just listened to the President outline his plan to put an end to the "gun show loophole" and other measures to reduce firearm deaths in America.  I'm not sure people not interested in firearms understand what the gun show loophole actually is.  Let me shed some light on the subject for you:

There are hundreds (?) of gun shows every weekend in this country.  Interested vendors can rent a table from the gun show promoter and then display and sell their offerings.  Many vendors sell peripheral things like holsters and cleaning kits and ammo and such, while actual gun dealers sell their firearms.  

You or I cannot buy a gun directly from Smith & Wesson or Colt or Sturm Ruger.  If you inquire they will direct you to a federally licensed firearms dealer.  These dealers buy from the factory and sell to individuals, but they are first required to submit the buyers names to the Feds for an (almost) instant background check.  If the Feds say OK, money and guns can then change hands.  The dealers are routinely audited by Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and are rarely a problem.  These are the rules all licensed dealers follow, regardless of whether they are selling off a gun show table or from a brick and mortar store.

But the law says an individual can sell directly to another individual WITHOUT a background check.  If I want to sell one of my personal guns to a friend or relative, for example, I can.  That's not in question.  This is the scenario the law meant to allow.

The problem comes when an individual buys guns from wherever he can find them all week long, then takes them to a show, rents a table, and resells them for a profit to anyone who plops down their cash....WITHOUT A BACKGROUND CHECK.  That's the gun show loophole.  He might claim they are his "personal" guns, but that's a farce.  He might own them, but they are just products for sale.  It's just a way to make $$$ without doing any paperwork.  It's a cash business, no receipts exist, it's totally anonymous, and of course no taxes are collected from the buyers or paid by the sellers.

I can think of three groups who might buy from an unlicensed seller:  Those who can't pass a background check, those who prefer buying used guns (most of the guns sold through these sellers are pre-owned) because they are less expensive than buying new, and those who can pass a background check but simply don't want the government to know they own guns.  To them it's a privacy issue.

I don't think many of us have any sympathy for the group that can't pass a background check.  They can't pass a check for a reason.  And I doubt many of us would have any prejudice against those who just want to save money.  But I DO think many of us have a problem with allowing their names to be added to a government database that identifies them as gun owners.

The argument goes that with such a database as a starting point the government could build on it until they knew exactly who owns what guns and where they are.  Then it's just a matter of time before the ATF knocks on your door and says "hand 'em over" *.  It's this potential "mission creep" that worries gun owners.

And honestly, who trusts the government?  If you've ever dealt with the government at virtually any level, it's pretty obvious they don't act like they work for us.  It often seems like the tail is wagging the dog.   This is the problem.  

It's our government's habitually abysmal performance and blatantly non-transparent way of doing business that the NRA so easily exploits.  The NRA can hit that hanging curve ball out of the park all day long.  Until people believe their name will never appear in a background check database, at least this part of "gun control" will be a hard sell.

S

*  Never gonna happen.  By noon on the first day of "Operation Gun Roundup" there would be dead ATF agents littering the landscape.  Resistance would be violent, extreme, and widespread.  Not even the government is dumb enough to try it.




15 comments:

  1. I always think the car analogy some people use is a good one. Everyone has to get a license and insurance for their car, but no one worries that someday the government will come around and "take all the cars" even though car accidents probably kill more people per year than gun violence. I really have no sympathy for paranoid nuts like those guys in Oregon.

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    1. Sorta true, except cars have never been vilified like guns have. No one, liberal or conservative, young or old, rich or poor, would want cars taken away from us. It's a political non-issue. No one could make any money from a car-free America. The same can not be said about guns.

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  2. Are you sure that the government isn’t keeping a list of that small number of people in the US who DON’T have a gun, so they can monitor them for un-American activities?

    And for what it’s worth, I agree with Pat. Why should anyone believe that the government is going to take their guns away any more than they’re going to take their car away? Surely the US economy would collapse without Americans’ paranoia about the need to have a gun? President Obama is probably being bribed by the gun manufacturers to say he’s going to limit gun ownership in some way; it must boost their sales every time something like this happens.

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    1. Ha, you're right. The non-gun-owners list would probably be the shorter list. And I agree, as I said, that the government is NOT going to take our guns. They couldn't if they tried. Our country is so extremely polarized, and both camps are playing up the gun issue for all they can, for political gain, pure and simple. And yes again, every time "gun control" comes up, gun sales go through the roof. "Get 'em now while you can!"

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  3. If I was a licensed dealer I'd be pissed if some rag tag guy can set up a card table at a gun show and sell guns without meeting the same requirements as a licensed dealer. Same thing if I owned a licensed liquor store and some unlicensed guy was selling liquor off a card table at a swap meet. The licensed dealers should be lobbying a change in this gun show loophole.

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    1. You're right, it seems the licensed dealers would be big winners if the unlicensed vendors closed shop. I haven't heard them as a group express an opinion on the loophole issue. Wonder why?

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  4. OMG, I agree with Pat! Time to book that ski trip in Hell.

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  5. I'll have a bushel of broccoli, please.

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  6. Well, I'm old, some would call me on the upper end of the income scale, and I'd really like to take your cars away from you. Each and every damn one. Well, maybe not all, but limit your travel to say 1K miles from residence. That way I'd see damn fewer tourists here in Mt.
    And you don't want to hear what I'd do to your damn 2nd amendment bullshit. Repeal as a word comes to mind. Severely amend is another. Oh please, give me a chance.
    I wonder if the gun lobby is putting money into H. Clinton's campaign....it's money in their pocket....any 'publican will have fewer gun sales in their time than any democrat. Isn't that a funny stat?
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Your plan won't work because you're bucking the money interests. And you're spot on....more guns are sold when Democrats talk about gun control. I wish someone could scrub Hillary's contributor list to see how much the gun lobby is donating. I do, however, take exception to your wish to pick and choose among our Bill of Rights and keep only those that suit you. If you want one repealed, there's a legal process for that.

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  7. Let me throw this out just for the sake of getting beaten up. Could we just put the onus on the buyer? Anyone who wants to buy a gun must show that he has a federally issued license which would include a background check, to buy a gun. He shows the license to the seller and the sale is legal, any sale to an unlicensed buyer would be subject to penalty to both parties.

    To get the license you must be of age, pass a written test and a shooting test confirming efficiency and also pass a background check. The license would need periodic renewal.

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    1. Brilliant. Seriously. Actually that is similar to what Concealed Handgun License holders do now. They've taken a class, shown gun proficiency, been photographed and fingerprinted, and checked out with state and federal databases. Then once they get their license they can buy a gun without another background check. And it must be periodically updated. And it works! Only something like .002% of CHL holders commit crimes.

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