Timothy Buchanan
What's wrong with universal background checks
By Timothy Buchanan
January 10, 2020

At least ninety-five Virginia communities have now been declared Second Amendment sanctuaries. Does this mean that the threat to our Second Amendment rights has been averted? Not at all. In fact, the battle has just begun.

Having failed to pass Universal Background Checks at the national level, the gun-control lobby has turned its attention to the states. Virginia is a chosen battleground, in part, because the N.R.A. headquarters is here.

The newly-formed Democrat majority in the Virginia General Assembly is set to introduce a Universal Background Check (U.B.C.) law, ostensibly to reduce mass murder and gun violence. To some, the proposal may seem like a benign extension of the instant background check required of licensed gun dealers. But as with most deceptively-termed political goals, the danger lies in the murky details.

Virtually in unison, gun-control advocates in Richmond and local news media couch the law as a way to "close the gun-show loophole." The trouble is that there is no loophole; only a noose.

Currently, federally-licensed firearms dealers are required to run background checks prior to making interstate and commercial gun sales. The proposed U.B.C. law will extend government authority to all private firearms transfers within the state by lawful citizens. Under this law, a parent who wants to provide a firearm to a son or daughter living alone or threatened by a stalker or abusive spouse, would be exposed to criminal prosecution unless that parent obtained prior government approval for the transfer.

What about reducing crime? There is no evidence that increased background checks have any impact on gun violence for the simple reason that those who use guns in the commission of crimes do not generally follow the law. The penalty for violating gun laws is of little import to someone determined to commit a serious gun crime. No law enacted by a government agency is effective in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, just as drug laws do not prevent illegal drug.

U.B.C.s are an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment, requiring the creation of a firearms database – the first requirement for confiscation. Obviously, guns held by criminals would still be untraceable because they are usually stolen or bought illegally rather than purchased at retail from an authorized dealer.

The U.S. Constitution dictates that powers not explicitly granted to the government are reserved for the states and the people. That is, unless the people foolishly forfeit them, which many seem willing to do. The fact is that Universal Background Checks do not result in more background checks being conducted. Washington, Colorado and Delaware have all enacted laws similar to the Universal Background Check law proposed for Virginia and these states report no significant increase in the number of checks performed.

Some may recall the provocative actions taken by former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, an avid gun-control extremist. In 2008, Mayor Bloomberg sent agents out to several states including the Commonwealth of Virginia in an effort to test our laws by making straw-purchases of firearms. If the trick had been successful, Bloomberg would have likely made national headlines showing Virginia's gun-laws to be ineffective and blaming the Commonwealth of Virginia for New York's high crime rate. But the ploy failed.

In 2008, Virginia's Attorney General, Bob McDonnell, discovered the dangerous conspiracy and demanded that Bloomberg cease testing Virginia's resolve by trying to circumvent state gun laws. Just a few years later, the American people learned of a more malignant version of the scheme conducted at the federal level by the Obama administration. It was called Operation Fast and Furious.

With Fast and Furious, federal gun regulations were violated by our own government in an effort to demonstrate the weakness of the law. Under the auspices of then-U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, firearms were sold to Mexican nationals. Some of these were believed to be members of drug cartels. U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Brian Denny, was killed with one of these illegally-sold weapons along with as many as 200 or more innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.

Shrewd political marketing of Universal Background Checks coupled with a lack of due diligence on the part of average citizens leaves us all vulnerable to long-term harm. While the government cannot seize the Second Amendment rights of the people, they can be forfeited by the uninformed and apathetic. Once forsaken, basic rights are rarely restored, compelling voters to elect only candidates who strictly honor their oaths of office and work to immediately expel those who do not.

Elected officials who violate the law in order to demonstrate its weakness – who create problems in order to propose solutions that cost the people their most fundamental rights – pose a greater threat than any foreign power. We are free to choose, but we are not free not to choose to preserve our constitutional rights. Refusing to resist a reprobate government is choosing to submit to its unjust dictates.

The evil intents within the hearts of men and women are the real root cause of violent crime in America. And no state of federal law can ever protect us from their designs. The sooner we come to terms with this fact, the better and safer we all shall be.

© Timothy Buchanan


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Timothy Buchanan

Timothy Buchanan is a US Navy veteran, a former defense contractor and broadcast engineer. He's the author of two published books and a regular contributor to BarbWire.com. Timothy and his wife live among the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.


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