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Ask the Expert

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Universal background checks would not have intended results

Posted: August 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

We are prone to telling ourselves stories that make us feel better — one such story is that universal background checks will reduce gun violence.

The sentiment is laudable but the mechanics are prone to unintended consequences, to wit: Universal background checks means no permissible transfer of firearms without government approval.

So no giving a young adult a .22 for Christmas, no selling a shotgun across your fence to a well-know neighbor or friend, no giving your husband or wife a firearm for home defense, not allowing a store clerk access to a store owner’s gun, no willing your gun collection to a relative after death, no owning a firearm that belonged to a deceased spouse.

Remember, the most recent school shooting (Sandy Hook) was perpetrated by a young man who took his mother’s legal gun and turned it on her and others; a background check wouldn’t have made a difference.

What about the criminals? Jailhouse surveys indicate that less than 10 percent of prisoners bought guns at "gun shows."

Most of them came into possession by stealing them, usually in burglaries.

So what’s the point? Universal background check laws only further empowers the government over honest citizens.

If it passes, watch for burglaries to rise as criminals will not be affected or dissuaded.

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