Why gun owners see background checks as registration


There’s a lot of back and forth on the internet right now.  Guns tend to get folks riled up pretty well.  Gun rights advocates are screaming to the top of their lungs about universal gun registration, while gun grabbers are yelling that it’s about keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

Well folks, you may not realize it, but the gun rights advocates are actually right on this one.

Sure, no one who supports universal background checks is saying registration.  In fact, they honestly believe they’re avoiding gun registration.  Unfortunately, there’s a reason why gun rights advocates don’t believe them.

First, one must understand the entire process of purchasing a gun through a licensed dealer.  The background check is only part of the process.  The rest involves paperwork that also registers information about the weapon purchased.  These records aren’t shredded after a certain period of time.  No, the dealer is required to hold onto these records indefinitely.

By forcing all gun sales to go through Federal Firearms License holders, you force all weapons to have paperwork filed on each and every firearm purchase.  That is a form of de facto registration.

Now, this isn’t some gun armeggedon or anything.  Most guns would still transfer just as they always have (Obama’s figure that as many as 40 percent of all sales don’t go through the background check is complete bull), but some will now have to go through a third party.  So what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that it’s just a small step to take all of those records and record them into a central database.  Maybe in the form of a computerized system that makes life easier for everyone.  The Feds will even input historical data for the gun dealers.  Of course, the most feasible way to do that is a web based application.  That would require a central database.

Yeah, that last part is just some spitballing on my part, but it’s a very small step.  However, the reality is that a universal background check system would require every legal purchase of a firearm to be recorded.  If that’s not registration, then what is?

The kicker is that the bad people you want to stop?  It won’t stop them at all.  Either they will use other weapons (ranging from bombs to knives), or they will get their guns through illegal channels.  After all, that’s where most criminals get them these days, and that’s without all of the other roadblocks the government is currently trying to throw in their way.

Some will argue that just because it won’t stop most of these folks, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.  However, my question is why should we restrict the rights of the law abiding when even proponents of the measure admit that it’s unlikely to really accomplish anything?  The idea of “we have to do something” laws bother the hell out of me, especially when it’s “we have to do something at any cost” like these ideas tend to be.

Folks, registering guns won’t stop the bad people.  It will turn a lot of good people into criminals because they simply won’t take roll over and register something because of what others have done.  It’s past time to abandon these hairbrained schemes and realize that losing freedoms because of a handful of madmen is no solution.

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