published Friday, April 5th, 2013

Background checks for guns are win-win

President Obama embraces Jane Dougherty, right, and Sue Connors, sisters of slain Sandy Hook psychologist Mary Sherlach.
President Obama embraces Jane Dougherty, right, and Sue Connors, sisters of slain Sandy Hook psychologist Mary Sherlach.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Gun enthusiasts frequently claim that gun control is a win-lose situation, that responsible gun buyers would lose under any tightening of gun laws, and criminals would still get all the guns they want. But that is obviously not true.

If gun control laws were made slightly more strict -- say, by closing the private-dealer/gunshow loophole that lets 40 percent of the nation's gun sales occur without a background check -- ordinary gun buyers could still buy all the guns they want. Yet criminals would have a far harder time finding private sellers who would disobey a universal background-check law for private purchases.

Indeed, it is the private-sale loophole that now openly spreads sales and easy access to guns for local criminals, for deranged people who need mental health care, and for gun-runners in states with a private sales loophole who routinely gather guns to sell to criminal dealers in the few states that require background checks for gun purchasers.

Many of the gun sales that originate under the private-sale loophole also go across the southern border to Mexican drug cartels, which is why there are several thousand gun shops near the southern borders of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

Most Americans, including many responsible gun owners, have at last realized just how insane it is to routinely allow 40 percent of the nation's gun sales to occur without a legal background check on the buyer. Indeed, recent polls show that 90 percent of Americans now favor closing the private-sales loophole, and requiring a background check for all sales.

Given that finding and the sheer volume of annual gun sales, national sentiment should carry a lot of weight in the current national debate over the Obama Administration's reform agenda on gun control laws. The FBI, for example, reported that there were 16.1 million background checks for gun purchases last year. If 40 percent more were made without background checks, the volume of unreported sales is staggering.

Yet opposition by the gun lobby, as evidenced by the fierce debate over new gun rules in Connecticut into the early hours of Thursday morning, remains a formidable obstacle. Absent the Sandy Hook massacre in which a deranged shooter killed 26 children and adults with 154 shots from a semi-automatic assault rifle in four minutes, it's doubtful that even Connecticut's Legislature would have passed sensible reforms. The changes they did finally adopt include an expansion of an existing assault weapons ban; a ban on sales of magazines that hold more than 10 bullets; a background check on all firearms sales; and establishment of a registry of mental health cases and prompt reporting criteria.

At the top of Obama's admittedly weaker agenda is a proposal to require background checks on all gun sales, whether by gun-store owners or private and online sellers. In fact, that may turn out to be the mainstay of his gun reform proposals, which otherwise involve more improved access by law enforcement agencies to gun sales data and records. Unfortunately, it's already been agreed that the initial bill will not include a proposal to restrict sales of semi-automatic assault rifles and large capacity magazines: Those will be left to be discussed as amendments.

In fact, it's not clear that the administration's legislative agenda will be brought to the floor for debate -- as previously scheduled -- when the Senate returns next week from an Easter recess. The gun lobby remains ferocious in its repudiation of any reasonable or conscionable constraint on gun rights. And too many Senate Democrats are cowering before it.

If any substantive reform of gun rights is to pass, individual Americans will have to sell it to their senators and congressional representatives. President Obama already seems resolved to make universal background checks on gun purchases the main goal of reform, if not the only one. That's not enough to claim substantive reform, but it's a start. If Americans want to shift to a saner path on guns, they will have to call or write their representatives to help push it through.

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BigRidgePatriot said...

If we were talking about background checks only you might get more agreement.

Would you like to explain why the TN instant background check and the federal form 4473 requires the dealer to include the make, model and serial number and then "promises" to destroy that information?

They have set up the infrastructure, under the disguise of the background check, to create a national gun registry. Stop collecting the firearm specific information and you will find much less resistance to background checks.

April 5, 2013 at 11:02 a.m.
timbo said...

We have gone over and over this, time after time.... Let's just suffice it to say, NO to any new gun laws. Enforce what you have before considering anything else.

The 2nd amendment is sacred. Without it there would not have been a declaration of independence. When the founders signed the constitution there was an agreement that a Bill of Rights would follow or there would have been no constitution.

Harry Austin being "for" something does not help the anti-gun cause.

April 5, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

"A Firearms Transaction Record, or Form 4473, is a United States government form that must be filled out when a person purchases a firearm from Federal Firearm License holder (such as a gun shop).

The Form 4473 contains name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, make/model/serial number of the firearm, and a short federal affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison in addition to fines, even if the transaction is simply denied by the NICS, although prosecutions are rare in the absence of another felony committed with the gun purchased.

The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into their "bound-book". A dealer must keep this on file at least 20 years and is required to surrender the log to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) upon retirement from the firearms business. The ATF is allowed to inspect, as well as request a copy of the Form 4473 from the dealer during the course of a criminal investigation. In addition, the sale of two or more handguns to a person in a five-day period must be reported to ATF on Form 3310.4."

Again, the specifics about the legal firearm have NOTHING to do with checking the background of the purchaser. Keep the contents of the back ground check to its stated purpose and you will find much less skepticism from gun owners.

April 5, 2013 at 12:22 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Many on the left not only want more complete background checks, they're also for the registry.

April 5, 2013 at 12:36 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Some of us want to see a population that is so revolted by gun violence that a grass roots movement based on common consensus evolves and rejects guns as a solution for anything.

April 5, 2013 at 2:03 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

If some of you were not so busy misdirecting your energies and instead focused on violent people maybe you will get somewhere. It seems as though your bleeding hearts do not allow you to direct your attention towards people, so you have to waste your time howling about inanimate objects.

April 5, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Nuck, what happens when someone breaks into a home, with a gun, knife or just bare hands? Do you call the police, try to flee, bare knuckle brawl, or present a gun if there is time to do so? I'll try D first. That would be an apt solution.

April 5, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
timbo said...

nuckanuk...when the cops and the military give up their guns, I might consider it. Talking down to people who don't sit around and sing kumbaya all the time and are pragmatic about the reals world just shows you ignorance. If you want to unilaterally disarm, more power to you. What you said is silly and chidish.

FYI, the moon is not made of green cheese and Santa Claus is not real.

April 5, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Nucanuck, you have said it superbly. Unfortunately the gun fetishists and second amendment idolaters will never see it that way. They seem to WANT to view the world around them as a perpetual war zone, with the "freedom" to bear their cherished arms for protection, instead of working towards establishing a truly peaceful and civil society that is rightfully repulsed by the very sight or mention of implements that are made for the sole purpose of killing.

April 5, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Timbo, nobody is talking about singing kumbaya but you. We know the dangers that exist in our world and we don't naively expect those dangers to just go away on account of some new gun laws. But you fools who place the second amendment on an altar, as if it were some sacrosanct right handed down from God himself, are so obsessed with your toys that go boom that you won't even try to conceive of a society that could exist without the need for such insidious tools of destruction. What with the macho infatuation that this nation has with all things military, our insane rush to go to war at the drop of a hat, and the overblown, rose-colored notion of the glorious days of the Wild West that is indelibly imprinted on the American psyche, it's no wonder we are drowning in our own blood spilled from the senseless murders that take place every day throughout this land - where the "freedom" to bear arms is nothing more than the "freedom" to amass the greatest death toll from gun violence of any nation on earth.

April 5, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.
timbo said...

Rickaroo...we already have a civil society except for one segment, blacks. FBI stats say that whites murder at a 2 per 100,000 rate and blacks murder at a 20 per 100,000 rate. Ignoring this while taking guns from people who aren't even responsible for the problem is racist and dumb.

By the way, our 2 per 100,000 is lower than England and some other European countries. Maybe our gun control efforts should be in the community that commits most of the crimes.

Of course, you think that noticing truth is racist. You think that singling out anyone but rednecks and white males is racist.

Until you people look reality in the face, I am not willing to compromise one inch.

Let the racist accusations fly!!!!!

April 5, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Rickaroo, what would you do if someone broke into your home while armed, tried to rob you while you walked down the street, or forced you off the road and tried to "whoop" you due to road rage? Call 911?

April 5, 2013 at 3:33 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Timbo, the response will be either "racist", or "we need to spend more money" on that group of society. Destructive behavior isn't condemned, it's excused due to past wrongs done to blacks.

April 5, 2013 at 3:35 p.m.
timbo said...

Rickaroo...guess what? The second amendment protects me from people like you who want the tyranny of the majority. Your comment about the motivations gun advocates have using childish psycho babble about guns is just another reason to ignore your silly comments. Just the thought that you don't or can't understand the 2nd amendment is a testament on why it is there. You are threat to our freedom from either being to dumb to get it or to naive to understand it. You are so naive that you don't realize that the Pollyanneish world you want to live in will never happen. In reality you are advocating weakness.

Weakness invites violence. You make fun of strength by calling it macho. Macho is a good thing. Macho is why the human race survived and thrived. People who make fun of courage and strength are usually cowards. They make fun because they don't want people to notice how afraid they really are. Cowardice is not a positive trait. Promoting it is a precursor to our destruction.

April 5, 2013 at 3:44 p.m.
nucanuck said...

While some of you think a gun-free society is a silly pipe dream that could never happen, I live in a city of 330,000 located 90 miles north of crime ridden Seattle and we have no guns, no desire for guns, and have almost no violence. Gun-free is not an unachievable dream, it is instead a worthy achievable goal for every community in the world.

But you have to want it!

April 5, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

LB, I have a rifle at my home. I seldom ever touch it but it stands at the ready, just in case. I'm glad to have it but I hardly ever give it a second thought, and I never think about taking a gun with me wherever I go. I'm not so paranoid about being attacked when I'm out in public that I feel the need to carry a gun on my person or even in my car. I have lived over 60 years without the need of carrying a gun and I still don't feel the need for one. Of course there are dangerous areas of the city (of any city, for that matter) but I never have occasion to go there, and if I ever do, I would exercise caution but I still wouldn't want to resort to carrying a gun. If you are so afraid of being attacked in public, well, that's your problem. I'm sorry that you have to view life always looking over your shoulder. You naively believe that carrying a gun is always going to work to your advantage but there is a far greater chance that you will use that gun inappropriately or hastily than that you will stop an attacker cold in his tracks. What happens in real life seldom happens like it does in the movies.

Timbo, I have learned that the person to be the most cautious of is the person who goes out of his way to tell you how honest he is. Likewise I have learned that those who try to impress people with how brave they are are usually the ones who have to build themselves up to protect an underlying fear and a sense of inadequacy. What you think of me or call me matters not one iota to me. You're a mere twit, an arrogant buffoon with a huge ego but a miniscule mind. That is all that I have to say to you for today. I have better things to do. Now, go take some target practice, and keep America propped up on the broad manly shoulders of your business empire, Mr. Atlas. Or is it Rambo?

April 5, 2013 at 4:36 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

nucanuck said... "While some of you think a gun-free society is a silly pipe dream that could never happen, I live in a city of 330,000 located 90 miles north of crime ridden Seattle and we have no guns, no desire for guns, and have almost no violence."

Well, I live in a sleepy little area near Lake Chickamauga. Great neighbors, the lake is a short walk away... I can't say everyone has guns but the vast majority I know personally do. Some of my neighbors have gun collections that humble my little collection. Guess what, also no crime and no violence. The house and cars are seldom locked, the truck might sit in the driveway all weekend with the keys in the ignition.

Just a few minutes away we have the war zone that is Chattanooga. What is the difference nucanuck? It clearly has nothing to do with gun ownership levels. Don't you think it might have something to do with societal decay?

Again, it is about time that you dreamers get your heads out of your arses and start dealing with real problems. Once you start dealing with root causes you might be able to find a solution beyond running to a location that is not encumbered with those same root causes. You will find that there is plenty to work on beyond harassing us who understand and appreciate firearm ownership.

April 5, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

The way this conversation has turned is a perfect demonstration of why gun owners do not trust those who claim that they only want expanded background checks or registration. We cannot even discuss that topic without the gun control crowd starting to spout about their fantasies of a gun free society.

In reality, nucanuck does not live in a gun free society, I know plenty of Canadians who own guns. I also know of areas in Toronto that have their share of violence.

April 5, 2013 at 7:06 p.m.
Easy123 said...

91% support universal background checks

Universal background checks have overwhelming support by gun-owners and non-gun-owners. Stay in your little WingNut bubble. Eventually, universal background checks will be the norm.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/04/poll-obama-guns-background-checks.php

April 5, 2013 at 7:40 p.m.
nucanuck said...

BRP,

I did not say Canada was gun-free, I said that I live in a city that is gun-free (with a very few exceptions) and the city has very little violence. I did not suggest that you needed gun control, I said that I hoped for a time when a popular consensus would react to gun violence by deciding to abandon gun ownership.

Our city has a diverse mix of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Some assimilate easily and some don't, but we do not have the low education levels that produce the majority of the crime in the US. Pay scales are high which means almost everything you buy costs more, BUT that gives us a larger middle class and very little poverty. We can't afford to buy as many things, but who really needs as much stuff as is commonly consumed and wasted in the US.

So yes, I agree that Chattanooga has more societal problems. I spent 65 years dealing with and trying to improve life in Chattanooga. In retirement I found a place that has developed effective systems to avoid many of the problems Chattanooga faces. Chattanooga should probably send a task force here to examine how a city of similar size and interests has met the challenges of societal complexity. I must also say that there are things that Victoria might learn from Chattanooga. No place is perfect.

April 5, 2013 at 11:31 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

The left is playing a game of words creating confusion about expanded verses universal background checks. I bet the vast majority of those that say they support universal background checks do not understand that they are supporting the creation of the infrastructure for a national gun registry. The NRA has educated Congress on these issues but the national media has only confused the general public. That probably explains the difference between those stupid poles and what is going to happen in legislation.

This is a good demonstration of the danger of a pure democracy. If you misinform the public they cannot be expected to come to correct conclusions. Government has a history of lying to the governed in order to slip things past them.

April 8, 2013 at 9:03 a.m.
timbo said...

nucanuck...

You "found a place that has developed effective systems to avoid many of the problems Chattanooga faces." You also said that, "Our city has a diverse mix of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Some assimilate easily and some don't, but we do not have the low education levels that produce the majority of the crime in the US." Either your high on "wacky tobaccy" or a liar. The "ethnic" diversity of Victoria, according to the 2001 census are the following:

English - 131,670 Scottish - 79,275 Irish - 56,655 German - 34,345 French - 29,440 Dutch - 13,805 Ukrainian - 12,770 Chinese - 11,720 Aboriginal - 10,230

Also, from a demographic standpoint there are almost no blacks in Victoria, or even British Columbia, or even Canada for that matter. Blacks are about 20% of our population and responsible for over 50% of our murders.

I also looked up the populations of both cities, Chattanooga and Victoria, and they are 175000 versus 339000. Victoria is twice the size of Chattanooga.

I just looked on the Victoria Police Website and found that there were 175 homicides in 2011/2012. Since Chattanooga is half the size of Victoria you would expect that Chattanooga would have 87 homicides. Nothing could be further from the truth. CHATTANOOGA HAD 25 DURING THE SAME TIME PERIOD!!!!!!!!

Also, according to the Victoria BC police website, there were 3.1 murders per 100,000. According to the FBI, there were 2.0 murders per 100,000 by whites and 20 per 100,000 for blacks in the US during the same time period. Homicide in the black community is abnormal and needs to be addressed first.

Armed white people in this country murder people at a rate of 30% less than white people in Victoria British Columbia where there is strict gun control laws and "no one has guns." How did 175 people get murdered without guns? I GUESS THEY ARE BLUDGEONING EACH OTHER TO DEATH. Guess what? Give me good old Chattanooga over Victoria any day.

This would be funny if nucanuck wasn't trying to be serious. Mr. nucanuck is a typical lying liberal. They will say anything to make a point. That is why anything liberals say can't be trusted.

By the way, I am glad you moved to Canada from Chattanooga. One less lying liberal.

NUCANUCK..COME ON DOWN...YOU HAVE BEEN BUSTED.

April 8, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.
timbo said...

BRP...what did you think about that?

April 8, 2013 at 5:03 p.m.
Easy123 said...

timboner,

The statistics you provided about the murder rate in Victoria, BC aren't correct. There were only about 80 murders in the ENTIRE province in 2011.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/legal12a-eng.htm

You love blaming murder on black people. What's it like being a vocal racist?

"Armed white people in this country murder people at a rate of 30% less than white people in Victoria British Columbia where there is strict gun control laws and "no one has guns."

That is false. You conjured that percentage up based on incorrect information.

"How did 175 people get murdered without guns?"

They didn't, moron. Your stats are wrong.

"Mr. nucanuck is a typical lying liberal. They will say anything to make a point. That is why anything liberals say can't be trusted."

You're the liar. And you've, once again, showed just how ignorant you are by not understanding statistics.

"NUCANUCK..COME ON DOWN...YOU HAVE BEEN BUSTED."

No, you dumb son of a bitch, you have. Try again.

April 8, 2013 at 7:50 p.m.
timbo said...

slEasy321..... My statistics came directly off the Victoria police website and statistics for homicide 2011 to 2012. The FBI statistics are not racist. Numbers don't take on the characteristics of the living, breathing beings.

On the other hand ignoring the statistics IS racist. You sleazy321 are a racist because you ignore where the problem lies. No matter how shrill you get about name-calling, The fact is that blacks commit murder at 10 times more than whites. This is not a gun-control problem it is a cultural problem in the black community. As I said before a ignoring it is racist in itself and will not ever help black people at all.

The problem is when black people finally realize that you liberals want to keep them on the plantation they are probably going to revolt.

How about all the liberal racist who think that any conservative black person is somehow brain-damaged? I guess we're just supposed to ignore the racist comments about conservative black people.

You literally make me sick. Just because the almighty sleazy says something is not true we're supposed to believe you.

April 8, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.
Easy123 said...

timboner,

"My statistics came directly off the Victoria police website and statistics for homicide 2011 to 2012."

Then you misinterpreted them. I even provided a link to prove you wrong. You've provided nothing.

"The FBI statistics are not racist. Numbers don't take on the characteristics of the living, breathing beings."

Your interpretation and opinion of those statistics ARE racist. I have called you on it several times before and I will continue to do so.

"On the other hand ignoring the statistics IS racist. You sleazy321 are a racist because you ignore where the problem lies."

I haven't ignored anything. Even if I had, it wouldn't be racism. Try again, moron.

"No matter how shrill you get about name-calling, The fact is that blacks commit murder at 10 times more than whites."

False. African-Americans DO NOT commit murder at 10 times more than whites.

"This is not a gun-control problem it is a cultural problem in the black community."

Murder and gun-violence is not exclusive to the black community. Saying so is blatant racism.

"As I said before a ignoring it is racist in itself and will not ever help black people at all."

Your premise is illogical. You're a moron.

"The problem is when black people finally realize that you liberals want to keep them on the plantation they are probably going to revolt."

Baseless WingNut propaganda. The fact that you talk like that is racist in itself. Only WingNut racists like you use rhetoric linking African-Americans back to the "plantation".

"How about all the liberal racist who think that any conservative black person is somehow brain-damaged?"

Show me one person that has said anything of the sort and made their comments exclusive to African-American Conservatives.

"I guess we're just supposed to ignore the racist comments about conservative black people."

You haven't proven that such things exist. They obviously haven't been said here. I won't ignore your racist comments. That's a promise.

"You literally make me sick."

The truth hurts, doesn't it?

"Just because the almighty sleazy says something is not true we're supposed to believe you."

I've provided evidence to back what I say up, moron. It's there in black and white. You're the dumb bastard that thinks people should take you at your word.

You're a proven liar and demonstrably ignorant, timboner. Today is just another example.

April 8, 2013 at 10:11 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

timbo said... "what did you think about that?"

Wow. Nice job of research. I notice that we quite often get a twisted understanding of what realities are in the highly restricted areas. The Soviet Union skewed violent crime statistics for decades, by under reporting crime to make themselves look better. THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS towards digging out the truth.

April 10, 2013 at 9:19 a.m.
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