It’s easy to fall for the background check argument made by the vast majority of Democrats, including Joe Biden. On the surface it seems to make sense to make it more difficult for criminals to legally acquire firearms. But even in that simple statement, we see one of the fatal flaws in their argument. Criminals do, by their very nature, what it takes to circumvent laws; they don’t need to legally acquire firearms if they really want them.
That’s not the only fatal flaw, nor is it even the biggest. One only needs to look at the statistics and facts to realize that existing background check laws do little to stop mass shootings and expanding them only eliminates a miniscule percentage. According to Just The News:
Biden explicitly asked the Senate to approve two recent background check bills passed by the house. One, H.R. 8, largely “prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties” absent a background check. The other, H.R. 1446, would address the so-called “Charleston loophole” by broadening the waiting time from three days to 20.
Most major mass shooters passed background checks
Yet in spite of perennial demands from gun control advocates for an expanded background check system throughout the United States, a review of major mass shooting incidents over the last several years indicates that such policies would have very minimal effect on such tragedies.
A lengthy review of nearly 20 mass shootings by the New York Times found that “a vast majority of guns used [in those shootings] were bought legally and with a federal background check.”
Only a few of the shooters on that list obtained their firearms without passing federal background checks. The white supremacist shooter who murdered nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015 purchased his gun after the FBI failed to conduct his background check in a timely fashion (the “Charleston loophole” gets its name from that incident). A shooter who committed mass murder in Binghamton, N.Y. in 2009 obtained his gun the same way.
In one case — that of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 — the shooter obtained his weapons by killing his mother and stealing her guns. Those firearms had been purchased legally by the shooter’s mother.
The perpetrator of the 2019 El Paso Walmart shooting, meanwhile, claimed to have purchased his gun online via a local dealer, meaning he would have had to undergo a background check before taking possession of it.
The Orlando, Fla. mass shooting of 2016 — the second-deadliest in U.S. history — was also carried out with a gun purchased via a background check. The Las Vegas shooting of 2017, meanwhile — the deadliest in American history — was carried out by an individual who passed multiple background checks to purchase numerous guns (though it’s not clear if the guns used in the shooting itself were purchased under background checks).
Most mass shooters are able to pass current background checks and would pass proposed background checks. On the other hand, there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans who should lawfully be allowed to purchase firearms but who are either hampered by or completely blocked by background check errors, complications, or hassles.
Over 250,000 veterans who need help handling their finances were added to NICS even though their disabilities likely shouldn’t preclude gun ownership. Minorities are wrongly denied disproportionately to others. People are often denied because their names sound or look similar to names of the actual criminals who are banned from guns.
Sadly, most background check denials are mistakes. According to Townhall:
Gun control advocates keep claiming that federal background checks have stopped 3 million dangerous or prohibited people from buying a gun. However, what they should say is that there were 3 million “initial denials.” Relying on phonetically similar names along with birth dates doesn’t allow for much accuracy.
It is one thing to stop a felon from buying a gun. It is quite another to stop a law-abiding citizen from buying a gun just because his name is similar to that of a felon.
That massive error rate occurs because government background checks focus only on two pieces of information: names and birth dates, ignoring Social Security numbers and addresses. The government looks for phonetically similar names (e.g., “Smith” and “Smythe” are assumed to be the same) and even ignores different middle names.
These mistakes affect certain racial groups more than others. Hispanics are more likely to share names with other Hispanics; the same is true of blacks. Because 30 percent of black males have criminal records that prevent them from buying guns, law-abiding African-American men more often have their names confused with those of prohibited people.
The biggest reason we should oppose expansion of background checks (other than the simple fact that the Constitution protects our right to keep and bear arms) is because of the real motive behind them. This isn’t just about making it difficult or impossible for law abiding citizens to arm themselves. It’s about the next logical step in their gun-grabbing plan: A national gun registry. Background checks are the gateway through which a national gun registry is born, and a national gun registry is the pathway to gun confiscations. Few Democrat lawmakers are willing to say it out loud, but nearly all of them are thinking it.
Returning to the original premise that criminals will break the law because they’re criminals, let’s look at the laws that were allegedly broken by Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the Boulder supermarket shooter. According to Liberty Nation:
Universal Background Checks: According to his arrest warrant, Mr. Alissa bought a Ruger brand AR-15 pistol on March 16, 2021. The reason police know about this purchase is because Alissa made it legally, passing both state and federal background checks.
Red Flag Laws: Reports are now emerging that Mr. Alissa’s family has described him as having mental illness and behavioral issues. Extreme risk protection orders – or red flag laws – have become popular in many Democratic circles. These allow judges to strip the right to keep and bear arms from those accused by private parties of being a danger to themselves or others. It’s a breathtaking annexation of Americans’ rights, but it’s in force in several places – including Colorado.
High-Capacity Magazine Ban: Since 2013, Colorado has banned full or high-capacity magazines under state law. It enacted a ban that forbade any new magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds from being possessed or transferred from the law’s enactment date. This grandfathered existing magazines and reduced owners to possessors.
Assault Weapons Ban: The city of Boulder, where the massacre took place, has its own gun control laws. Two years ago, it passed a ban on magazines holding more than ten rounds as well as the end goal of so many gun control proponents: a complete “assault-weapons ban.”
Open Carry Ban: In keeping with the company’s progressively more anti-firearm policies, Kroger has asked customers not to open carry weapons in their stores since 2019. This is store policy, not state or local law, but it’s still another rule broken by the murderer in Boulder.
First-Degree Murder: Finally, Mr. Alissa committed ten instances of first-degree murder. While not strictly speaking a gun violation itself, murder is the crime society punishes the most severely. Any gun control law said to be effective in the face of someone willing to commit murder must not rely on any deterrence value. We already have the maximum deterrence applied to the crime of homicide.
Expanding background check tyranny will do next to nothing to stop the next mass shooter. They WILL slow or stop law abiding citizens from being able to keep and bear arms. Democrats know this. It’s their actual goal.