It’s almost impossible to open a newspaper or turn on a TV and not read or hear another story where some politician or political activist is calling for more gun laws. They used to call it gun control, then that fell out of favor—primarily since most Americans are not in favor it it—so they renamed it “common sense gun laws.” What are these “common sense gun laws?” Universal background checks are their current hobby horse. After parading around citing a flawed, 30-year old study that claims criminals buy 40% of their guns at gun shows, they pradle on incessantly about the “gun show loophole.” Their reasoning is that if we had just one more law—or a dozen—then criminals would stop being criminals. Really. Because criminal are if nothing else, known for paying strict attention to the law. Right…
In the last two years, I’ve purchased a number of guns, having moved to America where I can do that and all. The number is high enough that I had to count using both hands to remember how many. Guess how many Form 4473s I’ve filled out? One less than the number of guns I bought. And that’s only because I bought two at once. If you’re not familiar with a Form 4473 (because you get news from mainstream media, not people who actually know what they’re talking about), that is the form for the National Instant Check System, or NICS. That is a background check. I have to fill out all my info, give the gun seller my driver’s license and list all my info, including my SSN. The SSN is optional, but it saves time if there has been another Mike Sessler convicted of a felony.
Some of the guns I’ve purchased were bought at a gun show. Others were bought on line. Still others were bought at a gun store. Every single one went through a background check. Any Federally licensed firearm seller must perform a background check on every transaction. And even when I buy from an FFL out of state, they have to ship to the gun to a local store who I pay to do an NICS check on me before giving me the gun. That’s how it actually works.
Now, when I sold one of my guns to a family member, we didn’t have to do a background check. That’s because as a private citizen, I can sell my private property to another citizen without government intervention. That’s not a loophole, that’s Federal law. And boy, does that piss off anti-gunners. What they would want is for the two of us to go down to the gun store and pay $30 for a NICS check before I take my family member’s money and give them the gun. What, exactly, does that accomplish?
It should also be pointed out that if I have a gun for sale, privately, if a dude comes to me to buy it and I have even a suspicion that he may be a prohibited person, it is a felony for me to sell him a gun. The universal background check folks like to point out that there are some private sellers at gun shows and they don’t have to do background checks, and that’s how criminals get their guns. I can tell you that’s not true. The non-FFL guys at the gun shows are selling guns so they can buy more guns. They are gun guys. They like guns and they like buying, selling, trading, shooting and collecting guns. The last thing they want to do is commit a felony by selling a gun to a gang banger and lose their right to continue buying and guns.
I’ve been at gun shows where guys walk in with their hats on sideways, their pants around their knees, with obvious prison tattoos trying to buy guns from private sellers. They get turned away It’s not worth the risk for law-abiding citizens to break the law.
Moreover, when actual criminals are interviewed about where they get their guns, the overwhelming majority—as in 95%+—come from theft or black market sales. That is, they either steal them—often from cars parked outside “gun free zones” where law-abiding people are forced to leave their carry guns in the car for “safety”—or from another banger under the El.
I have this great idea for a video that I would love to see produced someday. It starts off with a banger driving through the hood in his hooptie, listening to really aggressive rap music. He pulls up into a vacant lot where another obvious banger stands beside his car. Banger 1 gets out and they do their secret gang handshake. Banger 2 pops the trunk of his car, and the camera dollies up to see an entire collection of illicit firearms for sale. Banger 1 grabs a few, find one he likes and asks, “How much, yo?” He has to say, “Yo.” The price is stated, a deal struck, but before the cash changes hands, Banger 2 whips out a clipboard and hands it to the first guy. I should point out that the rap music is playing in the background the entire time.
Banger 1 asks, “What’s this, yo?” Banger 2 says, “Background check, man. I gotta do this all the time now.” At this point, the record skips and the music stops. Because obviously the universal background check law has just been passed and even criminals now have to fill out a 4473 before they can buy a gun from their gang-banging criminal firearms dealer. Because that’s going to happen. All. The. Time.
Criminals Gotta Be Criminals
See, here’s the thing that anti-gun people are either too ignorant to grasp or unwilling to admit: Criminals don’t give a rip about the law. They are, at their core, law-breakers. It’s even in their job description. Never once has a criminal with a gun started to walk into a business with the intent to rob it, stopped to read the “No Guns” declaration and said, “Dangit! Now I gots to go find me another joint to rob.” Never once has a “No weapons” sign outside a school stopped anyone intent on committing a few dozen felonies stopped and re-considered their life choices.
Here’s the other fascinating thing: Robbery is already illegal. Armed robbery is illegal. Assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, theft, murder…all illegal. And yet, it still happens. Why? Because some people are evil. Now, should we have laws so we can prosecute people who break the laws? Yes! And we should prosecute them, vigorously. But we don’t.
Persecuting the Law-Abiding
A few months ago, a woman was arrested in Chicago for multiple straw purchases. If you are unaware, a straw purchase goes like this: You are a prohibited person, meaning, you can’t buy a gun legally. But you want a gun because you got to go bust a cap in someone. I am not a prohibited person. In fact, I am an Illinois resident with a FOID card—that’s the card you have to have in IL to buy a gun, and it requires some effort to obtain. So I go and buy a gun, then sell it to you under the table. Now at this point, we’ve both committed felonies.
This woman did this four times—that they know of. All four sales that the police tracked resulted in sales to prohibited persons where the guns in question were used in crimes. All kinds of laws were broken, both at the state and Federal level. And yet she was not prosecuted. The freaking geniuses at the state said they probably wouldn’t even revoke her FOID card. Yet they want to make it more inconvenient for me to sell a gun to a friend or family member. Right…
All of this is to say, criminals don’t obey the law. By definition, only law-abiding people do. If and when the government, with the support of all the anti-gun “let’s pass more laws” crowd ever starts actually enforcing the current laws on the books, then we can have a conversation. Until then, shut your pie hole. Keep in mind, it was our government, with the full support of the previous President, who thought it was a good idea to sell guns illegally to Mexican drug cartels so they could “track them.” Of course, after they sold a few hundred guns, one of which was used to kill a US Border Patrol agent, did they realize they had no freaking idea how to actually track them. Good job guys, you just outfitted a drug cartel with some nice hardware. And these are the people telling me I shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun when I want one?
Limiting Gun Sales
This is another one that pisses me off. In the fascist dictatorship known as California where I once resided, they are poised to enact (and it may have already gone through, I can’t keep up with the velocity of new laws out there…) a law that limits citizens—law abiding citizens with no criminal record at all—to buying a maximum of one gun per month. The rational, as stated by the bill’s sponsor is, “There is no reason why someone should need to buy more than one gun per month.” My response is simple: “Who the f$*k are you to tell me how many of anything I can buy in one month? Do we live in Venezuela?” Apparently, that utopia is what the CA legislators are going for.
Limiting how many or what kinds of guns law-abiding people buy accomplishes absolutely nothing. No one is in any more danger if I buy one more gun this month or ten. It literally affects no one except me. And my bank account. And anyone who gets to come out on the range and shoot them with me. Standing offer to anyone who doesn’t like guns—I’ll take you to the range, cover all the costs and even buy lunch. Give it a go before you write it off completely.
Once, I bought two guns in an hour! In fact, it was two at the same time! OMG! Danger, danger! Why? What could I possibly need with two guns at once?!? A: I don’t have to justify this to you because I live in America. B: I will anyway; it was a good deal, I had the money and I saved $10 by not having to do a second NICS check in a month had I waited.
I don’t always buy a gun when I go to a gun show. But I might. If I find a good deal on a gun I’ve been looking for for a while, I might buy it. Sometimes, I buy one because I run across something that’s just cool. There have been shows when I wish I had an extra $3,000 to spend as there were 3-5 guns that would be really fun to own. If I had the money, I would have bought them all. Darn kids and their college educations…
The point is, it doesn’t matter how many guns I buy and when. As long as my wife is OK with it—and she has been so far—no one else should give it a second thought, least of all our increasingly corrupt government or lefty celebrities. Sorry Kim Kardashian, I don’t give a crap what you think about gun control.
We Don’t Need More Laws
The bottom line in all of this is simple: We don’t need any more gun laws. The firearms industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the country. It’s regulated a the Federal and State level. Criminals will commit crimes, with or without guns, with or without more laws on the books. Criminals will always find ways to get guns, and the only the passing more laws to further regulate guns will accomplish is dis-arming or inconveniencing law-abiding citizens. “But if it saves just one life, it’s worth it!!” We hear that all the time. And no, it’s not. We cannot legislate our way into a 100% safe utopian society. America remains the greatest nation on earth because we are still the freest people on earth. The price of freedom is that we have risk.
Here’s something else to think about: some 30,000-40,000 people are killed in cars each year. And yet, no one wants to sue car makers for unlawful use of their products, no one is calling for “car control,” well, except for the guys at the Felt Recoil Podcast and their tongue-in-cheek MACI (Make All Cars Illegal) campaign. And Michael Bloomberg is conspicuously not giving $25 Million to help enact new common sense car laws.
And don’t get me started on the 270,000 people—including my dad—killed each year through medical malpractice.
Stew on that for a while. What is the real end game here? If they would be honest about the answer to that question, maybe then we could have a conversation.