Originally Posted by gblowfish
I just posted the article for discussion. I never said I was against it. Actually, I think unless they pass a law specifying a sight test -like when you apply for a drivers license- then you can't discriminate.
But thanks for asking and assuming otherwise.
Well if you're against it then say so or frankly make any comment to the effect of your intentions on this when you post the article. Given your track record you can't blame us for assuming you'd support this.
This is in general an issue that is far more sensitive to me for issues that I won't go in to right now. But what people fail to recognize and most of the left pushing gun control won't admit is that the heart of it is discrimination against something and as a proxy a group of people they don't morally approve of.
Consider this, I'd be willing to safely admit that when people propose requiring voter ID laws you understand that the actual intent behind them is discrimination. On the surface requiring an Photo ID to vote sounds perfectly reasonable. It has the potential to prevent voter fraud and that's not a bad thing right?
The problem is that we have no actual numbers that suggest voter fraud is a significant issue the only times we see it is in isolated cases. However we do know that there are large numbers of traditionally poor and minority individuals who do not currently posses any sort of government photo-ID. Placing a requirement for them to have one would likely result in a measurable drop in those groups who vote.
So I'd be willing to bet that you understand that while on the surface voter ID requirements don't look like a bad idea inherently. They are unlikely to reduce voter fraud(because it's so low), but are likely to disenfranchise certain minority groups.
A rational person should recognize that regardless of the stated intent, the effect will be very negative(and one could make an argument that the disenfranchisement is the intended, if unstated effect).
Why do I show this example? Because I can use it to help you understand another issue. Universal background checks sound like a good idea on the surface. However there is no evidence that it will actually result in fewer guns ending up in the hands of criminals. One proxy estimate could be made in the city of Los Angeles.
CA has had universal background checks since the 90s I believe. What they see is that statistically ~2% of people buying firearms are denied because they are prohibited. In CA the people that are prohibited from buying firearms are also denied from buying ammunition. Only LA has a mandatory ammo 'background check' the number of prohibited people caught buying ammo? ~3% of purchases.
Generally speaking people who are prohibited don't try to buy the ammo or the guns. It's just easy enough to buy through straw purchases or through the black market.
Universal background checks are unlikely to make a statistically significant difference in crime. But we know by requiring universal background checks would have two other effects. It would raise the cost of purchasing a firearm(since you now have to pay for a background check). And it would raise the difficulty in buying a firearm since you have to find a licensed dealer to do so(which could be very hard in some rural counties). Both of these would reduce the number of firearms sold/number of owners, without showing any correlation in reduction in crime.
So a rational person would come to realize that universal background checks aren't about reducing crime(because we can't show a statistically significant reduction) but do succeed in reducing the number of people who are willing to jump through the hurdles. One could make the argument that the bill is about reducing ownership and not safety. So is reducing ownership of something that you don't morally approve of really 'reasonable' or is it yet another form of discrimination.
Look I know you may not see it that way, so I ask this simple litmus test. When you support making a law that takes something away from any group. Are you supporting it because we HAVE to do it, or are you supporting it because you WANT to do it. Because when we make laws prohibiting things because we want to, that's how discrimination occurs.
This also goes to the other point no one has to defend why we need to have anything. In America the burden of proof should always be on the government to show why it NEEDs to take it from us.
Edit to clarify the LA ammo purchase: Sorry it's been a while since I looked at this, but what they do is log all the info of someone when they buy ammo and then forward it to the cops. No real background check happens. When the cops check the lists against prohibited people they get a hit on 3% of purchasers.