Over and over again, we keep seeing people claim it’s easier to buy a gun than to vote. It’s a common enough refrain, and we all know it to be absolute BS.
For one thing, I’ve never had to undergo a criminal background check at the polling precinct. Plus, there are plenty who don’t think we should have to show IDs to vote, but we have to in order to purchase a firearm. Much of that is something we’ve previously addressed.
However, part of the reason the perception, however, is that many states don’t have universal background checks.
To vote in Wisconsin, you have to register with the government, provide proof of where you live, and show election workers an official identification card.
To buy a gun in Wisconsin — even a military-style weapon — you can quickly and discreetly get one from an unlicensed dealer with little or no scrutiny. You don’t even have to pass a background check when you purchase a gun from a private seller online or at a gun show.
That’s dangerous and needs to change. Buying a gun shouldn’t be easier than voting, especially when our state and nation are suffering a resurgence in mass shootings as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
It’s not easier than voting.
As noted, there’s a ton you have to do to purchase a gun from a gun store, which alone negates the claim that it’s easier to buy a gun than to vote since that’s where the vast majority of firearm sales take place. Further, it should be noted that illegal gun sales–the ones that are the source of any problems in Wisconsin–aren’t going to suddenly conduct background checks because of a new law. Let’s get real.
But do private firearm transactions make it easier to buy a gun than vote? Well, sort of…if you get wonky with your definitions.
A private firearm transfer is nothing more than an agreement between two individuals. It’s the voting equivalent of a group of friends taking a vote on where to go for dinner.
In that case, there’s no registering to vote, no ID shown, nothing. That’s voting, too, after all, and it’s much easier than buying a gun.
See, the problem with this whole line of thought–the idea that it’s somehow too easy to buy a gun and then comparing it to something like voting–is that voting is something that was always intended to have regulations. One person, one vote. Voting requirements are actually pretty minimal, all things considered. We make sure you’re eligible to vote, then you show an ID to vote during the election. That’s it.
Yet with guns, things are far more invasive. We have to fill out paperwork for each and every purchase. We have to undergo a background check for each and every purchase unless you live in a state where your concealed carry card is sufficient. For those, though, you have to get fingerprinted like a criminal and fork out extra money.
It’s kind of a pain.
But for voting, you just show an ID, fill out a piece of paper with your name and address, and you’re golden. Hell, you can even have a ballot send to your house and then mail it back, for crying out loud. You don’t even have to get off your fat butt to vote anymore.
“You can buy a gun from some guy! That makes it easier!”
Sure, you can…if you can find someone who has what you want for sale and they’re not asking an insane sum of money for it. But you can also vote in private clubs or with groups of friends without registering to vote.
Maybe, but not enough to matter to me or any of the other millions of gun owners in this country who are tired of hearing this kind of outright BS from anti-gun zealots. Especially since the criminals–the people anti-gunners claim they want to keep guns away from–aren’t going to stop getting guns because I’m required to get a background check when buying a gun from a guy who’s known me since elementary school.
And, frankly, I’m not so sure it’s all that different. Private voting, private gun transactions. My rights aren’t up for debate anyway.