From Guns.com comes this excellent piece regarding Bloomberg’s recent announcement. Here’s the quick summary and some commentary:
1. New name, same stink
You can’t polish a turd. In other words, they can call it whatever they like, but as long as Bloomberg is at the helm of the organization they’re going to encounter heavy opposition to their cause.
I genuinely think he doesn’t get that outside of the Northeast and anti-gun places like Chicago, people aren’t so keen on him. Pretty much nobody likes out-of-town billionaires telling them how they should do things.
2. Timing is everything
If it’s true that timing is everything, then one has to question why Everytown chose to announce this move approximately two weeks before the National Rifle Association’s annual show and convention, which is the gun lobby’s one weekend during the year in which they are certain to garner mainstream media coverage and reach millions of Americans.
Yeah, that’s weird.
3. The real objective to background checks
Various polls show that there is widespread public support for universal background checks yet many gun owners are opposed to a law mandating them. Why is this?
The reason gun owners object to universal background checks is not over the notion that private transfers shouldn’t be subject to background checks, but over the implementation of the measures lawmakers proposed.
The article goes on to suggest that rather than mandating that all purchases go through an FFL, where a record of sale is kept, private individuals should have access to NICS (or at least a basic version that says “Proceed” or “Consult FFL”) in the form of a smartphone app or something otherwise easily accessible. They also mention a useful thing that’s often overlooked: having the app be able to save and print out a receipt/record of sale, so the seller could have a record Just In Case.
I, for one, would be totally fine with a law opening up NICS as an option for private sellers, so long as (a) it’s optional and (b) that’s all the law does. No registration, no data retention, no mandated FFL transfers, etc.
If I’m going to sell a gun to a buddy I’ve known since I was a kid, there’s no need for me to do a NICS check — I know he’s good, but if I were to sell to someone from Armslist, someone who responded to a classifieds ad, or someone I met at the range it’d be nice to check to make sure they’re not a prohibited person. Criminals will, as usual, simply ignore the law so it makes no sense to mandate the checks.
4. Why go to war, when compromise is possible?
It appears that Everytown is gearing up for war when it’s quite possible that they could have cut a deal with gun owners and saved Bloomberg millions of dollars.
Suppose [...] Bloomberg’s being sincere in his remarks1, I bet most gun owners would readily sign a deal that established national, ‘shall-issue’ concealed carry reciprocity laws in all 50 states and created a federal law banning bans [AZR: emphasis mine] on ‘assault weapons’ and ‘high capacity’ magazines in exchange for an improved background check system, tougher laws cracking down on domestic abusers and increased funding for suicide prevention and the safe storage of firearms.
Easy: For Bloomberg it’s not about the guns, it’s about control. He doesn’t want a deal, he wants to win. If he actually gave a damn about increasing public safety there’s about a zillion other things he could with $50 million that would be enormously more effective.
Lest anyone think his “nobody is going to take anyone’s gun” remarks are sincere, look at the history of gun control activists: they always say they don’t want to take anyone’s guns, then they ratchet the restrictions tighter when they can.
One need look no further than Sunnyvale, California, where they recently banned even the possession of grandfathered “high-capacity” magazines and require that people turn them into the police. It should be obvious that “universal background checks” is a stepping stone. Indeed, MAIG and MDA, both funded by Bloomberg, have explicitly stated that they want to ban “assault weapons” (which are, of course, the most popular guns owned by ordinary people and some of the least-likely types of guns to be used in crimes) , restrict magazine capacities, and work to eliminate the “gun culture”.
5. All this for what?
Before one wages a $50 million war, they ought to know what they stand to gain if they win. And in this particular instance, what’s achieved by expanding background checks to cover private transfers is not quite clear, meaning that there’s no statistically significant evidence to suggest that universal background checks would have a positive effect on crime rates.
Again, Bloomberg wants to win. He knows that “universal background checks” aren’t going to do squat against criminals, and probably so do the people at MDA, the Brady Campaign, etc., unless they’ve all been drinking the kool-aid. It’s just the camel’s nose in the tent and a point of leverage for future encroachments; baby steps, if you will.
They realized that asking for the whole pie isn’t going to work, so they’re asking for just a teensy-tiny slice. Then, in the future, they’ll ask for another and another until eventually they get where they want. We have to counter them at each step lest they gain a new foothold.
Edit: Minor corrections to grammar. I really need to proofread before posting.
- “Nobody is going to take anyone’s gun. Nobody is going to keep you from hunting or target practice or protecting yourself,” said Bloomberg on Wednesday during an appearance on the Today Show. “Just making sure that a handful of people, who we all agree shouldn’t have guns, don’t get their hands on them.” [↩]