As I read the article that was so blatantly planted in Saturday’s Washington Post, I couldn’t help but think: If only our good friends in Washington were as dedicated to doing something constructive with their time, such as not spending our money like drunken sailors on shore leave. I’m sure some of you missed it. Don’t think for one minute that isn’t why Ed O’Keefe’s piece, “Senators near a deal on background checks for most private gun sales,” was buried in the least-read edition of the week.
It seems as if the Federal government has abandoned its attempts to breach the Bill of Rights’ front door and has instead decided to climb through a window. According to the story, a bipartisan group of four Senators is just a few dotted Is and crossed Ts from crafting legislation that would bar private sales of firearms without restrictions, including a background check and extensive transaction records. Those who support this sort of intrusion will suggest that these are hardly onerous stipulations. However, beyond the obvious hassle — not to mention potential identity fraud risks — of forcing Tom to conduct a Federally acceptable background check on Dick before selling him the old Security Six that was taking up space in the safe, there are some rather obvious gaps in the logic of such a law.
Like most laws that are designed to combat so-called “gun violence,” a bill regulating conduct of private sales would hardly dent the murder rate in Chicago or one of those other Democrat-run cities that has turned into a Third World war zone. Criminals don’t want law enforcement to know what they’re up to; they certainly aren’t going to tip off the Feds to the contents of their arsenal. “Hang on there, fellow gangbanger. I need you to sign off on these Federal firearms sales records before I can legally allow you to take possession of this fully automatic RPK. We may be criminals, but God forbid we break the law.” Much like every law the Feds have bolted onto the 2nd Amendment, a law restricting private firearms sales between law-abiding individuals would bounce harmlessly off the side of the criminal element.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not as laissez-faire about gun sales and ownership as some of my libertarian friends. To me, gun ownership has always been fairly commonsense. Not everyone should be allowed to own a firearm, and I don’t mean just the criminals. The guy down the street with the trashbag-covered windows and a lifetime subscription to Mother Jones probably ought to be kept away from the boomsticks, as well. But law-abiding citizens needn’t fear their neighbors simply because the Democrats tell them they should. The fact that I own multiple firearms has proven to be of no consequence to anyone, save the occasional deer, pheasant or grouse (on a really good day). Using the specter of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy to try to convince people otherwise isn’t just dishonest; it’s cruel. By the gun grabbers’ logic, I’m as dangerous as the guy down the street who wears a tinfoil hat and watches MSNBC.
So-called “gun control” laws like the one our dear Senators are hammering out are the same as any other laws that seek to abrogate the Bill of Rights (think: so-called “hate speech” laws). At their heart, they contain a nugget of mistrust. By telling me I can’t sell a .38 to my next door neighbor’s mother, the government is telling me it trusts neither my judgment nor her character. And a government of the people has no right to question those people without just cause.