12 May 2008

More Nonsense About Closing The Non-Existent Gun Show 'Loophole'

This time, instead of being for the children, it's "for the mothers."

Actually, these are re-issue (you know, sort of like re-treads on old tires) of a tired and increasingly ignored argument, but this letter-to-the-editor effort was timed to coincide with Mother's Day. I'm sure similar "canned" letters went out to editors all over the United States.

And of course, the editors at the San Francisco Chronicle took the bait.

Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post ran another piece by the Brady Campaign's (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) Paul Helmke this weekend. He was reminiscing about Mother's Day in Washington DC in 2000, when approximately 40,000 mothers . . . whoops that was the police estimate, sorry . . . when 750,000 mothers and supporters . . . right, got it: that was the Brady Campaign estimate . . . gathered to protest "gun violence" during the so-called "Million Mom March."

Firearms from gun shows are not a problem in this nation, and comprehensive federal stats back it up showing that fewer than 2 percent of firearms mis-used by criminals to commit crimes come from pawn shops or gun shows. But gun shows, family events that are a bastion of 1st and 2nd Amendment freedoms, are under fire because a handful of very shrill people with extreme views think they can demonize something that the majority of Americans don't understand.

So I ask you: How intellectually honest is that?


Anonymous said...

We've discoursed on this before, so I'll be brief. How important is this issue to you?

Let me put it in a hypo, assuming it's a state-law issue. Assume closing "the loophole" with Ohio law would somewhat mollify anti-gun folks, and we could get something tangible in return (say changing CCW law to allow carry at universities, most govt. buildings, and in restaurants). Further assume that sheriffs would be required to perform these checks for private sellers/buyers for no more than $10.

Would you support requiring background checks then? (maybe "support" is too strong, how about "oppose less"?

I am pro 2A, yet never have been able to muster any enthusiasm for battling against "closing the loophole." I guess it's a combination of my complete willingness to go through a background check, and my early bad gun-show experiences (bitter people clinging to guns and religion and all ;)

If background checks were made reasonably convenient and inexpensive, and more importantly it could be used to bargain for much more important things for Ohio's gunowners, I would be all for it. Negotiation 101 (as you know): give up something NOT so important for something that IS.

Brent Greer said...

A- Thanks for the note. I will write some now, and some later as I am late for a meeting. Sufficed to say that this issue should be of import to everyone in this nation. The "loophole" that is complained about is not such at all. That private transactions were not to be affected under Brady was intentional. To blame gun shows for crime is not honest. Blame criminals for crime, or lazy lawmakers who do not empower their police divisions, or are afraid politically to do so. And banning private transactions at gun shows are the logical first step toward banning all private transactions, period. There are far more private transactions of firearms (brother to brother, father to daughter, grandfather to granddaughter) that happen in this country than private sales between individuals at gun shows. And a strong argument can be made that the attempt to "clamp down" on gun shows is an abridgement not of Second Amendment rights, but of the First Amendment, as well. When I write next I will tell you of a proposal that was quietly floated here in Ohio about 10 years ago that would have answered several of your concerns, and it was shot down by state and federal (Clinton administration) officials.

Anonymous said...

I don't know enough to disagree, and I admit to not being as focused on the "big picture" as you are.

It just seems that favorable gun laws like CCW are actually on the upswing, with moderate people coming to understand the utility (even necessity) of firearms, and getting comfortable with the idea of RKBA. Someday I want firearm rights to be mainstream - once liberals get over their fears, they really should support individual self-defense rights, though personally they may choose never to own a gun.

This gun show thing still seems like an ENORMOUS thing for the antis, and a much SMALLER thing for the pros, so it might make sense to give in... The self-defense rights advocates might garner some political capital with the mainstream.

There are arch-stereotypes of extreme antis and extreme pro-gunners, and I don't have much use for either one of them. It will NEVER happen that people will have unfettered access to any form of firearm they want. Once one gives up on that delusion, it all becomes political give and take. The NRA still scares many political moderates. Accepting some comparatively innocuous "gun control" might just sway moderates to support many gun rights.

I don't mean to imply I have this all figured out, and also I dispise politics. Maybe both sides beating each other over the head is the only way to go...

Just an alternative position to consider...