OK so even the weakened background check bill to plug some of the loopholes in our current background checks regulations got killed in the Senate. The House now doesn't even need to think about thinking about this any more.
Lets see why background checks were defeated:
Five Democrats voted against the amendment: Mark Pryor of Arkansas; Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; Mark Begich of Alaska; and Max Baucus of Montana. Reid voted against for procedural reasons, so he can bring the proposal up in the future. Four Republicans voted for: Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania; Mark Kirk of Illinois; Susan Collins of Maine; John McCain of Arizona.The usual talking points were trotted out - "rights of law-abiding citizens," that the bill "will not prevent the next tragedy,” and on and on.
I am still waiting for anyone to tell me how full background checks on the sale/transfer of every firearm violates anyone's right(s), constitutional or otherwise? (I mean other than felons.) As far as I can see background checks may be inconvenient, but inconvenience is not the same as violating the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Enter our oppressed friends that are struggling to
survive/live/make a living/express themselves/have equality keep from having any meaningful regulations on firearms and actually come up with gems like these comparing any regulation on firearms to depriving them of civil rights:
"Yes, a civil right. No confusion. Right up there with treating everyone equally, regardless of colour, sexual orientation, creed, or gender." (in trying to explain how the right to bear arms is equal to civil rights)and
"Two words: Selma, Alabama" (in response to someone asking how any firearms regulation is oppression)So why were the background checks really defeated in the Senate? Money, first the money that the senators get from the NRA (usually accompanied by an unhealthy dose of threats) and most importantly because these would cut into the profits of the manufacturers that the NRA lobbies for. The veneer is definitely off, the NRA does not care about any rights, or about gun owners, or even the Constitution that they so frequently invoke - the NRA only cares about making money for the manufacturers that they shill for.
Illegal trafficking is the NRA's most important way to transfer legal guns into the criminal market, and the beauty of it is that many of these transfer are perfectly legal. Sure federal firearm licensees (FFLs) cannot do this without breaking the law, but anyone, other than these FFLs, can sell/transfer any firearm into the criminal market without breaking the law. It is not a right the NRA is defending, it is a market penetration tool.
How can it be perfectly legal for an individual (or a private dealer or anyone at a gun show that is not an FFL) to sell a firearm to a felon? Sure it may be illegal for the felon to buy it, but how can there be nothing wrong with a person selling to a felon and breaking no law? Even if there are some laws against selling to felons, all that the seller has to do is pretend he/she does not know the buyer is a felon and - presto - it is perfectly legal! All the seller has to do is use the idiot defense (just like Sergeant Schultz in Hogan's Heroes).
It is completely understandable that the NRA is fighting to maintain this channel to market as cutting it off would drastically reduce demand for the products they peddle, but what justification could any congress-critter have to continue obstructing regulations that do not violate the rights of any law-abiding citizen and are aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals? I mean 80-90 percent of all Americans think these should be passed (I think some of those are gun owners), but yet 46 congress-critters have to side with the NRA over the American people and obstruct even a watered-down bill. No wonder the felons are so thankful to the Congress and to the NRA! Lets hope that groups like Gabby Giffords' start evening the playing field in terms of money and in terms of holding the Congress accountable to the people.
In spite of what is said about me around these parts, I fully support the individual right to own firearms. That is in no way inconsistent with sensible regulations being proposed and that the Newtown families and many others are asking for: like full criminal background checks (on every sale/transfer), limits on capacity/speed of delivery, licensing and registration (clearly registering existing firearms is just about impossible, but we can start registering all new ones or ones that change hands or just expand the existing registry we have had since 1934).
As has been very well said: "Your rights end at the point of my nose". And let us not forget about the noses of the more than 105,000 victims that are shot every year either.
The NRA apologists keep repeating that background checks will not change anything, but they are wrong - it will reduce the number of guns in the hands of people that shouldn't have them (and hurt the NRA's pockets in the process).