For some time, anti-gunners have been claiming that something like 40 percent of all legal gun sales are conducted without a background check. Now, most gun owners know that number is absolutely laughable. Remarkably few sales are private transactions, which are the only ones legally not required to conduct a NICS background check and we know it. We know it because we know where people tend to buy guns.
It now seems like the Brady Campaign, who has long touted the bogus figure, may be backing off on it.
But Brown does say something that goes against long-established Brady dogma when it comes to the actual number of gun sales that are done in the country without a background check. Over the past several years, the organization has maintained that “40 percent of guns now sold in America are done so without a Brady background check.” The statement is under their current key statistics and has been consistently mentioned in press releases in 2014, 2015, 2016, and in recent years.
This comes after fact checkers from Politifact, the Washington Post Fact Checker and FactCheck.org have all repeatedly blasted the figure as being both outdated and false. In fact, a more recent 2017 study cited by the checkers found the figure closer to 13 percent.
So what does Brown say on the figure?
“Making sure that the one in five gun sales that happen today without a background check, that loophole is closed,” says Brown referencing the need for universal background checks.
Now, for the mathematically impaired, one in five is 20 percent, not 40.
Even still, 20 percent is higher than the 13 percent presented by fact checkers. One wouldn’t expect the Brady Campaign to use actual numbers, despite their claim to “fully support the Second Amendment.”
Granted, they have a funny way of showing support. I mean, their every effort is an attempt to gut the amendment until it is practically meaningless, but let’s not let facts get in the way or anything.
The truth is that the Brady Campaign is still going to present the number in a way that sounds like a lot because they have to. If they don’t, suddenly people see that universal background checks are useless in keeping guns out of criminals’ hands. Voters, even gun control proponents, don’t really want incremental impacts on crime. They want monumental ones. It’s why the 40 percent number was so important to them.
So why have they changed it now?
Well, for one thing, pretty much every fact-checking organization has called them to the mat over their bogus claim. Every time a gun control advocate spouts the statistic, a Second Amendment supporter can easily counter with Politifact or Factcheck.org and kill the argument where it stands. They don’t like that.
Now they claim “one in five.”
Make no mistake, this is an attempt at rhetorical trickery, too. The phrase “one in five” makes something seem common, as if it happens everywhere all the time. Meanwhile, 20 percent sound far less common. They mean the same thing, but each creates a different emotional reaction.
The fact that it’s still overblown is irrelevant. They’re probably justifying it by rounding up from the .65 times out of five that a purchase doesn’t go through a background check, which I might be willing to concede if they weren’t so deceitful about the rest.