AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
When the discussion of gun control comes up, anti-gunners immediately call for new regulations. Pro-gun activists will often counter by pointing out how gun control laws aren’t properly enforced, particularly when it comes to punishing those who attempt to buy a gun from a licensed dealer though legally barred from doing so.
It seems anti-gunners brush that off in the debates, however. It’s an uncomfortable truth that few are willing to face.
Oddly, the editorial board of USA Today did just that.
Last week, two important pieces of gun control legislation passed the House of Representatives. One closes the so-called gun show loophole by requiring universal background checks, an idea favored by 85 percent of Americans. The other extends the background review period from three days to 10, allowing more time for disqualifying records to be found.
Both bills have an unlikely future in the Republican-controlled Senate. But improvements of any kind will ultimately fall short when existing laws are not vigorously applied. Americans can hardly be expected to get behind new gun laws when authorities keep bungling old ones.
The Brady Law of 1993, mandating the criminal-background check, has never been adequately enforced. (The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, administered by the FBI, was established in 1998 in response to Brady.)
Nearly 1.5 million people have been denied firearms under the system. But unlawful purchases still occur because agencies fail to provide NICS with necessary records or don’t follow up when mistakes are made.
And people keep dying.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The board appears to be in favor of the two gun control bills recently passed by the House but acknowledges the problems that currently exist is important. It’s rare to see a media outlet, particularly one with the reach of USA Today, admit that part of the problem is our current laws not being properly utilized and enforced.
Where I’m going to differ from the editorial board is in outright opposing any new gun control laws, not just because I believe these current laws aren’t enforced, but on general principle.
Most Americans are willing to accept certain limits on rights. They accept needing a permit to hold a protest due to logistical issues. They accept that not everyone gets a press pass to an event. They accept a minimum of restrictions, and many would classify barring convicted felons from owning guns in this category. After all, they’re usually not permitted to vote for a period of time, if ever again, either.
But anti-gunners aren’t willing to accept this. They’re not comfortable with even that degree of freedom existing for Americans.
Unsurprisingly, these are people who often also want to make so-called “hate speech” illegal and want to try and dictate what churches preach from the pulpit. They’re the people who are outraged that a church or school teaches things outside of the progressive orthodoxy and want politicians and their wives to refute those teachings just because the progressives find it “icky.”
Frankly, I think they don’t want these regulations properly enforced because if they were, they fear they’d have less justification to demand new gun laws.
Which is what their entire existence is about these days anyway.