RTFU

Why I am Opposed to Background Checks

By
Updated: January 16, 2013
2ndAmendment

By Mr. Twisted

second-amendment-rifleI realize that, in writing this, the boss of Ranger Up has already stated that he takes the opposite stance from me—that he is in fact in favor of background checks. With that, this article is not written from the point of view of arguing and saying he’s wrong, but rather to explain why I, a former Airborne Grunt, PSYOP Team Chief, and current political worker in the field of gun rights, believes that background checks are, in fact, wrong and a bad idea.

The first and most important point to make comes by way of a mental exercise that I ask you take part in with me. I would like for you to imagine for a moment that you grew up as a Catholic. Your family brought you to Catholic services often, you were educated in the Catholic school system, and having attained adulthood, you attend services and confession on a regular basis.

But, as you’ve aged, you have done some studying on your own in the field of religion and philosophy. In those studies, you have come to realize that you disagree with some of the major tenets of Catholicism and, after a great deal of personal thought, decided that the religion as a whole is wrong and that you would like to leave it.

As you begin to walk away from the church and separate yourself, an agent of the government approaches you and says “hey, we think it’s totally fine that you want to leave Catholicism. But, before you do, I need to run a background check on you and make sure that you’re not a criminal. Oh, and before you go practicing some other religion, I’ll need you to take a course proving your knowledge of comparative religions.”

How does that grab you? Do you think that would fly well with you or the American public at large? If not, why not?

This is exactly what we have done to the Second Amendment. Why is it treated any differently from the First Amendment?

Yes, I already see where your brain is headed, and that is what I would like to address next.

“But guns are designed to kill people…the people in church aren’t committing mass murders. It’s different.”

Yes and no. Yes, guns are not religion—they are a mechanical device. However, a couple notes on that.

In 1997, 39 members of a group known as “Heaven’s Gate” were found dead after being convinced by their leader to take their own lives based solely on an ideology. If this had been a mass shooting, it would rank in the top five worst of all time.

In 1978, the leader of the People’s Temple, Jim Jones, convinced over 900 members of his church to take their own lives and also murder their children based solely on an ideology. No mass shooting has claimed even 10% of the number of lives that the People’s Temple church did in one day.

On September 11, 2001, 19 Muslims killed nearly 3,000 people by using box cutters after being motivated by nothing more than an ideology. No mass shooting has ever come anywhere close to the havoc wreaked that day.

The point of all this being, of course, that the First Amendment, when viewed in its purest form, can be seen as every bit as dangerous as the Second—if not more so. And at no point am I arguing for background checks on First Amendment issues (though there most assuredly are those out there who do and are), though it is clear that it, too, can lead to mass death and destruction.

But there is more, and a point that I fear is vastly overlooked in most of the debates on gun control. Setting aside comparison to religions, consider that what a background check system truly is—the scrutiny of a life of a person prior to them exercising their “right” that is supposed to be inherently theirs. This is no small issue when considering the United States Constitution as a whole—especially in light of certain hot-button issues being won or lost in the courts based on the right of privacy.

I firmly believe that if I must have my privacy invaded and ask the government for permission to do something, then it is not a right, but rather a privilege.

Yes, I see where many have their brains going here, as well, and I would like to address some of those issues.

constitutionThe first question that usually arises is something akin to “then how do you propose to keep guns out of the hands of criminals???” This is somewhat of a flawed question and here’s why—it assumes, first of all, that background checks can do that very thing. That would be demonstrably wrong (Chicago, I’m looking in your direction) on several levels. Secondly, it is ignoring the fact that a felon not being allowed to own guns is a relatively new phenomenon (1968 Gun Control Act). Third, it fails to address a massive hole in the overall problem; namely, that if we as a society have deemed an individual too unsafe to own a firearm, why is he walking freely among the populace?

Consider this fact: a felon is allowed to drive a car. How many people are killed with a car every year? In 2011 alone, over 30,000 people were killed in automobile-related incidents (accidents, vehicular homicide, etc.). This exceeds the number of firearms deaths in the same year, even when suicides are factored in to the data (which account for a relatively large amount of firearms deaths and relatively small number of automobile deaths). The point being, if we are so concerned with what a felon can and cannot do once he/she is released from prison, shouldn’t we prevent them from driving, as well?

Again, this presents the question of whether or not people who go to prison are “rehabilitated” and, if not, why are they being allowed to walk free? If they are a threat to society, isn’t that what we have prisons for?

Ultimately, some of these questions become admittedly convoluted and even somewhat philosophical in any legal sense. Everyone has their own opinion on what rehabilitation of prisoners means and what they should or should not be allowed to do, and that is an argument not destined to be solved any time soon.

However, it brings me to the next point: what, exactly, is a background check investigating? Most people when confronted with this term assume something rather vague, e.g. “It’s to make sure you’re not bad…” Well, that’s great; but who’s defining what is and is not “bad”? This is, I’m afraid, no small issue given that we currently employ people at the top levels of our government who honestly believe that “returning veterans” are a serious domestic terrorist threat. Stop and ponder that the next time you hear “more extensive background checks” or something like it. If the check is “is person X a felon or not,” that’s one thing; but I just heard a President arguing for much more than that.

So, in closing, there are three primary reasons why I am opposed to background checks, and they are all related to what our country is—not a democracy, but a Constitutional, Representative Republic.

2nd amendmentOne, it treats the Second Amendment like a bastard child compared to the other amendments in the Bill of Rights by assuming your guilt and turning it into a privilege rather than the right it was inherently supposed to be.

Two, they don’t work and never have. Criminals have—and always will—have access to guns. The background check system as it stands means one thing and one thing only—that law-abiding citizens are inconvenienced and slowed down when they wish to purchase a firearm.

Three, it leaves wide-open the ability of government to dig into your life and determine what constitutes good and bad behavior and, going back to point one, means one is asking for permission rather than seeking to exercise their rights.

There are a lot of other reasons why I believe this, but they would take another 1,000 or so words (the validity of the BATF, what “rights” are, the myth of a “gun show loophole,” etc.). I welcome any and all input and, though I believe that it will be a long time before background investigations go away (i.e., probably never), still think that it is a valuable discussion for a number of reasons, given our current political climate, as it deals with the nature of our liberty and what it is this country was founded upon.

Comments

comments

89 Comments

  1. Sean Little

    January 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    If you are against background checks(which is agreeable) do you agree with extremely draconian gun crime punishments?

    • Chet Walker

      April 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Excellent article. He picks religion and guns and tells us how each of these have caused mass murder throughout history somehow trying to justify how both are good.

  2. Ernie

    January 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Uh… not quite. That’s the most illogical association between “background checks” and, well, anything. Ever.

    Did you know that before you can drive your car on public roadways, you have to take a test and be licensed by the state?

    Did you know that in order to carry a weapon around in public, you don’t even need to know how to load, unload, aim, fire, assemble, disassemble, or enable/disable the safety?

    I’m sorry, but there’s a difference between “background checks” and “espionage on daily living.”

    Normally you guys are on the mark… in this case you’re just batshit crazy.

    • RU Rob

      January 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Ernie, if you are talking about licensed conceal carry, yes you do. What about all those who operate motor vehicles without a license? And, can you please explain “Espionage on daily living?” You lost me there.

      • Jedimann

        January 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        RU Rob, you said “if you are talking about licensed conceal carry, yes you do” I live in the worst state right now, NY and I can tell you that you do not need to know any of what Ernie stated. Some counties make you take what they call a pistol safety course which is not a pass/fail thing but a most simple break down of what safety is. This class is mandatory in my county which is a small ruaral area. I live between two large cities which do not have this class. You simply get your 3 references, fill out paperwork, hand in paperwork and wait 3-18 months for background checks and whatever else takes that long and bammo, you have a concealed carry permit. In either case you are not required to demonstrate the safe handling of a firearm or how to load, unload, clean, etc….

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Ernie,

      1) Driving a car is not a Constitutional Right. Owning a firearm is.

      2) Saying that people have to be licensed by the state to drive a car furthers my point of the uselessness of registration–a lot of people die in cars every day, and registration isn’t magically making that stop.

      3) Again, carrying a firearm is a right, not a privilege. It should not be up to a government agency to decide what qualifies me to do that, and in that regard, the correlation to religion is a perfect example.

      • KCG

        January 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        Perhaps we should dispense with background checks to keep sex offenders out of day care centers? Or enhanced security at airports? While background checks alone will not keep guns out of a criminals hands it will certainly make it more difficult for them…by causing a great amount of inconvenience for criminals you reduce the percentenge of violent criminals possessing weapons.

        Fun fact…a convicted felon has an exponentially greater chance of committing a violent crime than someone who is not.

        • Mr. Twisted

          January 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

          KCG,

          You are arguing from the “well if not here, we shouldn’t do it here, here, and here” point of view–don’t. I’ve stated elsewhere but it bears repeating, working at a certain company or organization is not a Constitutional right–bearing arms most certainly is.

          Fun fact…criminals always managed to get the tools they need to enact criminal activity. Also fun fact, if someone is already intent on doing something illegal, they aren’t much concerned with hoops of bureaucracy that everyone else has to jump through. They just do it.

          Applying a normal line of thinking to that of a criminal is starting from a flawed premise. Increasing the number of laws to catch the criminal doesn’t deter them because whatever they set out to do is already illegal. The only thing it really accomplishes is to widen the net of what is considered criminal behavior, thus making criminals out of people who weren’t before.

    • Bart

      January 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      I have so many more comments on this but last time I checked, driving a car is a privilege not a right. Gun ownership is a right.

    • eworthi

      January 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      Ernie, your argument makes no sense. There is no “right to drive”. The articles point that background checks turn a “right” into a “priveledge” is dead on.

    • RubiconRanger

      January 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      You do not need to have a license to buy or own a car. Nor are you required to have a license to operate a motor vehicle on your own private property. How about registering to procreate because there are all kinds of ignorant f*cktards who kill children out of ignorance and sloth. Your logic is flawed, Ernie.

    • andrew

      February 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      in most states, in order to have a gun licens, you need to know how to work the saftey, load and reload,what the parts of aq bullet are, how to clean the weapon, how to determain wether to shot or not, and what the safty even does. git some facts settled out

  3. cristina g

    January 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    WOW most stupid article ever!!!!

    • craig

      January 16, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      good comment…

    • Michael C

      January 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Wow, you really thought that out. Good for you. Does your brain hurt at all?

  4. Tammy

    January 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Truth!

  5. Zach C

    January 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I have to say, after reading your post I can agree with you.

  6. Legion Prime

    January 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Fantastic article, I have always been on the fence about background checks personally. This article does a great job of articulating a lot of the reasons why I am on the fence. Thank you, I will be sharing this.

  7. Sandra

    January 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Background checks are a part of the times we live in. Employers do background checks for employment. Parents do background checks on sitters and daycare facilities.

    Why is it different for a gun?

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Sandra,

      Though a lot of people think differently (unfortunately), it’s not a Constitutional right to work at a specific company or for a particular employer. As such, employers have any number of requirements to fill specific positions (skills, background, looks, etc.) that have absolutely nothing to do with Constitutional rights.

      Taking the argument that “well, this is how it is, so…oh well” sets a very bad precedence when concerning the subject of liberty and rights.

  8. Jason

    January 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    You guys are going to catch a lot of flak on this for dragging religion into the argument – don’t expect glowing positivity from everyone when you drag their belief system down.

    I agree with the article, just saying, when it comes to this subject the decision a persons make is black or white. There’s no grey area, and there’s no point in trying to convince people who have a different opinion from yours.

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 16, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Jason,

      I think I see where you’re going, but the fact is, I never drug any belief system down. At no point did I say anything negative about Catholicism or any of the other belief systems mentioned. I gave a hypothetical argument that involved a specific belief system (it worked better visually if I named one instead of just saying “a religion”) and explained the trappings of involving background investigations in how they relate to Constitutional rights.

      At no point am I advocating that anyone *should* leave a particular church; simply supposing what it would be like if we applied the same standards to the First Amendment that we do to the Second.

      • Jason

        January 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm

        I poorly worded my response. I’m in agreement with your opinions on this matter. I just don’t know if bringing religion in as an example was the best choice, if you are trying to sway a person’s opinion. Many Christians and Catholics are programmed to go into defense mode the second their belief system is brought into a debate, if only as a metaphor.

        I think a simple test, similar to what we have to go through in California to own a handgun, that goes over basic firearm use, safety, etc. would be a better implementation than background checks. As a Veteran who has been diagnosed with PTSD I often worry about having my rights infringed upon because of how misunderstood the condition is.

  9. robbie

    January 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I think Ernie was referring to the difference between a background check and the government snooping into your personal life. I could be wrong though.

  10. Erik The Red

    January 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Ernie – The statement about driving cars was about giving felons the privilege to drive but not the right to own a gun and comparing that privilege to your right to own a gun.

    Also the privilege to drive a car is not a natural “unalienable Rights,”*. You are right that it doesn’t take any knowledge about the firearm for it to be carried in public. However only 11 states have full permissive open carry laws** – that is only 22% of the USA.

    He is right about the background checks and who gets to decide about your past (If you served and went to the VA and have mental issues then you might not be able to own a firearm – and the people in your house may not be able to own one either. Let me point you to a great little article that will explain what I am talking about http://rhinoden.rangerup.com/the-va-and-gun-rights/ )

    How many of the other Rights that you have a limited as much as your right to protect those rights?

    * http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html
    ** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_carry_in_the_United_States

  11. Bart

    January 16, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I agree with most of your points. However, I think your initial analogy will probably be too much for a lot people to wrap their minds around.

  12. Linds

    January 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I live in CA… During his speech President Obama brought up a CA school shooting that happened 5 days ago… In CA in order to purchase your first handgun you must go through the following steps (as simply as I can explain it)…

    Start the process with a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check (PFEC) application (this is NOT the background check), take the safety test – which if you don’t pass in 2 tries you are SOL, pay for the gun upfront with ID and submit thumbprint, fill out the AFT Form 4473, DROS form, Wait 10 days while your information is sent to the DMV, DOJ, and FBI, once cleared you go back to the shop and sign the 4473 form again, you must also purchase an approved locking device/safe, purchase an owner’s manual, and if the gun does not have a slide, action, or trigger lock provided by the manufacture – you must purchase one… finally you are required to show you can handle the handgun safely. This is done by having you lock back the slide and releasing it. Load a dummy round into the magazine, and loading the gun with it. Ejecting the magazine and a question will be asked, “is the gun still loaded?” Ejecting the round, all while maintaining muzzle control, pointing the muzzle in a safe direction, and keeping your finger off the trigger.

    While I don’t agree with the entirety of this article, I do think it is time that we stop blaming an inanimate object for the actions of the criminal and/or insane.

    • Jason

      January 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      I’ve never been required to show I know how to use a gun, or buy an instruction/user’s manual when I make a purchase of said gun.

      I think implementation of something similar to the PFEC rather than background checks would be a better option – but that it should not expire after passing the test. Honestly, it’s such a simplistic line of questions that I would be worried about anyone owning a firearm who could not answer them properly.

      As far as owning a safe or gun lock…that’s just common sense to begin with. A lot of these spree shootings that involve stolen firearms could have been prevented if the guns were properly stored. Maybe the Government should use some of the tax money taken from firearm and ammunition sales, and manufacture gun safe’s at more affordable pricing instead of leaving it up to the private sector to provide them.

      There are a hundred better solutions to our current situation, background checks do nothing but infringe upon our rights further.

      • Chuck

        January 16, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        Jason,

        PFEC, safe or gun lock, and a lot of other things are great ideas. But requiring them as a condition of ownership is an abridgment of that inherent 2A right to own the gun. There is nothing in the 2A that says, “as long as you can prove you are responsible”.

        If you want to do something like that, then universal gun education/certification in high schools would do the trick. Then everyone can be assumed to have the basic skills, and there’s no need to make an entrance gate to gun ownership. But that won’t be real popular with those who demonize the gun to avoid assigning personal responsibility for criminal behavior.

        • Jason

          January 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm

          You’re preaching to the choir, Chuck. I think every able bodied person in the United States should serve at least a year in the military when they’re done with school, frankly. We’d be a lot better off, but don’t go say that in public – you’ll get a shit storm of backlash.

          Frankly, if everyone in this country could legally conceal carry a gun without any sort of paperwork – I don’t think we would have any of the problems we see now in our culture. Educating kids in High School on proper weapon discipline is an excellent idea for a solution to the ignorance, give them the option to opt out if their parents do not agree with the politics.

          • Jake

            January 22, 2013 at 12:52 am

            Chuck and Jason,

            A class in high school would be a great idea, but some of the people who envision a perfect utopia would strike that down in a heart beat. My step dad familiarized my little brothers and I with firearms which has helped immensely, but in big cities, and I don’t want to throw political parties under the bus because I don’t want to get into a debate over parties, but most faculty members, and parents would not want a weapons safety in their schools because that would lead to potential dangerous situations. When and if I have children they will be taught firearms safety in house. Thumbs up to the states that do allow these courses though. The earlier you teach a kid about firearms safety, the less taboo a firearm is to them, and hopefully they will know they are not toys.

  13. Jerry

    January 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I like the points you make. I felt there was no problem with the background checks, but now you have me rethinking my stand. Especially, with the new criteria that are sure to be added.

  14. Whitey

    January 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    My issue with background checks is this: I have to pass a background check to buy a gun, essentially prove that I’m NOT a criminal. What happened to that concept we were all taught in elementary school about how the law in America says that we shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty? And what of the 4th Amendment, which says we as citizens cannot be subject to investigation, search, or seizure unless there is reasonable suspicion justified by evidence (probable cause) of wrongdoing, or unless the court has seen sufficient evidence against us to merit the issue of a warrant, which must explicitly specify what they are looking for and where they may look for it. A background check is an investigation leveled at a person not because they are suspected of breaking the law, but because they are attempting to excercise a right specifically enumerated in the Bill Of Rights, which we have all been told is the Supreme Law Of The Land.

    Since some are saying the 2nd Amendment is somehow “outdated,” maybe we should throw some other ones out as well. Like:
    -The 4th Amendment. Privacy is clearly obsolete in this modern age of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
    -The 5th Amendment. Everybody does plea bargains anyway these days, and with modern investigative technology, if they accuse you of a crime, it’s probably because you’re guilty. Why should we keep a law on the books that says you don’t have to incriminate yourself?
    -The 6th Amendment. See argument above. If you’re guilty and you’re going to get a plea bargain, then why should we waste taxpayer money giving you a defense lawyer?
    -The 8th Amendment. Nobody has been burned at the stake or drawn and quartered for hundreds of years. Why do we need a law that says that can’t be done? It’s not like modern civilized society would ever let something like THAT happen, right?
    -The 14th Amendment. Slavery is ancient history. Jim Crow is a distant memory. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Why does Postracial America need a law saying that a person cannot be denied rights or citizenship based on race? As for the Due Process Clause, see the above argument for why that’s no longer necessary.

    So who thinks we should do that with other inalienable rights of the people? Anybody? Then why do you want to selectively apply it to the 2nd Amendment? You see, there is this thing called precedence, that is, if they can do it once with one law, they can do it again with others, including the precious (not being sarcastic) Freedom of Speech. It is a slippery slope. And once we start sliding down that slope, we will need to bleed a lot to climb back up.

    • Gunship Load

      January 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Whitey,

      Your 4th Amendment arguement is severely flawed…

      “-The 4th Amendment. Privacy is clearly obsolete in this modern age of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.”

      Facebook, Twitter, and other social media is put up my the users, not Uncle Sugar…

      Privacy is now a choice! I still have my privacy, because I choose not to use Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media crap.

      I have far better things to do with my time.

  15. CAS6

    January 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    The problem with comparing guns to cars is that it is a constitutional right to own a firearm, it is not a right to own a car. Cars are FAR more deadly by ANY metric than guns. People are just afraid of guns and are attempting to legislate by fear rather than by logic or reason.

  16. Whitey

    January 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Catholics and Christians, huh? Catholics ARE Christians! Would you say “Lutherans and Christians” or “Baptists and Christians”? Catholicism is the original Christian denomination. As a Catholic (by choice, no less) I am almost as sick of that as I am of anti-gun rhetoric. Sorry, I know it’s off-topic, but that’s a serious pet peeve for me.

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 17, 2013 at 12:11 am

      Whitey,

      I’ll be honest, I’m really not sure what you’re talking about. Your comment doesn’t relate to the article at all (unless it was in response to another comment above…?).

    • Timothy

      January 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      I’m sure baby jesus agrees with you… Of course christians worship god catholics worship the pope……

      • Horsem4n

        January 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        thats not correct. catholics look to the pope as a beloved leader. somebody who will lead them to the salvation of God.

  17. Mike Smith

    January 16, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    You’ve got a good point. I’ve been thinking them last month that them background checks might not be a bad thing. Keep them stuff outta them hands of these kooks, and I’ve had a check everytime I’ve bought a gun. But them them things I worry about are, how long will this take, cause if it’s like NY were they take a year plus to check you out for a permit, them that’s bs. Plus with Me being a retired Vet, and J. napalatonoes. Statement about comparing us with terrorists worries Me. And will them categorize Me with crazies cause I had been diagnoced with tbi and ptsd. I want to keep guns away from these people but I don’t want to get my rights taken awy.

  18. Hydguy

    January 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    VERY well written article.
    However, it is already blatantly obvious that too many people, even within the gun owning community, are not at all educated on what exactly the Constitution, or Bill of Rights, actually provide for Americans.
    We hear all the time from the ‘hunting’ side. “Why do you ‘need’ that.”
    The simple fact that they even ask shows that there is a basic lack of knowledge.
    Even with the wide spread access to the Internet, where it just takes a few clicks to find literally hundreds of examples of the Founding Fathers explaining their rational for the Second Amendment, too many people, for whatever reason, lack the ability to understand it.
    And that is a crying shame.

  19. Butelar

    January 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Awesome article. Your analogy to the first amendment was very well articulated and I believe right on target. (no pun intended)
    As to Ernie’s car registration argument,just because the government infringes on one of your rights, that makes it ok to infringe on another?
    For those of you arguing that Driving is not a right. I think if you told Thomas Jefferson he needed a license and registration to drive his buggy on a public road, he would probably pull out his unregistered blunderbuss and shoot you in the face. My point being, we have bought into a lot of ideas related to trading freedom for “public safety” (helmet and seat belt laws come to mind) that I do not believe would have ever passed muster with our Founding Fathers. I do not necessarily buy the argument that driving is a privilege, it very well may fall under the umbrella of the “pursuit of happiness” (high speed pursuit perhaps, but pursuit none the less).
    Keep up the Good Work, Mr Twisted.

  20. Brandon

    January 16, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Whenever I’ve sold to anyone, I make sure they’ve got either a CCW or Mil. ID. Just a little something to cover my ass, along with a bill of sale, just in case they decide to death blossom in a crowded area.

  21. Mr. Twisted

    January 17, 2013 at 12:21 am

    For those of you that don’t like the religious comparison, try this on for size:

    Next time you go to buy beer, imagine getting a background investigation for it. And, while you can own it, you can’t drink it without taking a class on what alcohol can do to a body.

    Oh, and you can’t buy more than a six pack per week because, c’mon, no reasonable person needs more than six beers a week, right? After all, we’re not saying you can’t drink; we’re just being reasonable. It’s not an infringement on the 21st Amendment to investigate you when you drink; it’s just protecting the innocent children, right?

    Remember, nobody *needs* more than six beers a week. So, if you think you do, clearly you hate children.

    • karta thanatu

      January 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Every right is tempered with restrictions. One cannot say they have a bomb in an airport or “fire” in a movie theater, Native Americans cannot use peyote in their rituals (Employment Division vs Smith), one cannot stone a woman for adultery, nor can one participate in human sacrifice. Alcohol sales are suspended on Sunday in some counties. Your argument boils down to this: because there is no gross governmental overreach on other rights, there should be no restrictions at all on gun ownership. I believe in the second amendment, but I think it needs to be tempered with some common sense restrictions such as: let’s make sure you aren’t a criminal before I sell you a gun. P.S I am a NRA member and a veteran.

      • Mr. Twisted

        January 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm

        1) For the “fire in a movie theater” line of thinking, see my comment responding to DJ.

        2) People could smoke pot for a while, then they couldn’t, now some can and some can’t. Do you want to use that as a basis for Constitutional liberties such as the First and Second Amendments? The peyote argument is a bad one because it assumes that’s how it *should* be and always be. This is not necessarily the case, given the way drug laws could change.

        3) A woman being stoned is murder. That’s why it’s illegal. So is human sacrifice. Bad examples to use in this argument.

        4) Yes, alcohol sales are suspended on Sundays in many places. Does that automatically mean it’s a good law?

        Your argument boils down to this: There are already ridiculous restrictions on several aspects of life, so that means that we shouldn’t question them. Ever.

        Also, my question for you and anyone else who uses these two words together, whose “common sense” are we referring to, exactly?

  22. Ronnie G

    January 17, 2013 at 12:53 am

    I completely agree, how is allowing a government to say what classifies and what doesn’t to purchase firearms, in that case if your an alcoholic I want you to be tested mentally to make sure you never drink and drive or abuse your spouse or kids. If you smoke cigarettes then you should be educated on how it affects my health and your own and if you continue to smoke its considered suicidal (knowingly harming your body with cancerous chemicals) and that to should be considered a mental health crisis.

  23. HillbillyfromAL

    January 17, 2013 at 2:57 am

    I agree 100% Brother. I guess we’ve been reading some of the same documents and books. Apparently though there are people out there who have no clue what The Federalist Papers, or Common Sense are. God Bless You.

  24. Rich

    January 17, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I totally agree with Mr. Twisted on this. When you start lumping Medical data into the system you need to start looking in the mirror. I have PTSD from multiple deploymentments to Mid East, Africa, and South America and I am afraid now that I ever got help for my PTSD. I did not need drugs just needed to talk to someone that helped me get though things (Divorce brought back some bad memories so went again) and the VA was free and the Shrink had been on two tours in Iraq so what did I have to loose. Better than talking to the lady that never served my Insurance wanted to send me too. I know I have a file. I have currently a 60% disablility rating from the VA and most of that comming from my PTSD after having to relive a few of the worst moments of my life. Think about the EMS professionals, Police Officers, Firefighters, Mom and Dad’s who lost a kid or and even the scum bag lawyers (trying to make a joke there) they can all get PTSD and if you do not get help it can lead you to worse things. My Shrink told me to sleep with a gun next to my bed and guess what the bad dreams went away. I sleep with a M11 next to me in the shoulder holster I used on the FOB. I have a gun with me at all times. I have a Conceal Carry Liscense, still have a TS clearence, and I travel with a M4 in my Truck. I know nuts but fuck I have Doctoral level knowledge on the M4, M9, M11, and Glocks. I am still going to use that knowledge to protect my country and I have a kid on the way with my current warrior goddess (a police officer and former Soldier; SSGT) and this busted up Major is not going to let anything happen to him. See NCOs still run my Life. I tell this to my SGM everyday I go to work. No bad dreams since I have met her but she is also a certified counslor too. Sorry for rambling.

  25. David Gravely

    January 17, 2013 at 9:40 am

    With the understanding that we all served our time and deserve to have our own opinions, I agree and disagree with some of your take.

    Do I think there should be background checks to purchase a firearm? I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but it shouldn’t include some of the things that the president mentioned yesterday. A background check should seek to find out if you have a criminal history with the police. If you do, I don’t want you to have firearms. By breaking the laws of the land, you’ve given up that right. Yes, I think it’s a right in a way, but you could also consider it a privilege. I don’t think our founding fathers intended for the 2nd Amendment to protect the criminal element.

    Now with that said, let me say this…..if we would simply enforce the gun laws and other laws that are currently on the books, people would stop wanting to break the law. We should make prison an unattractive option. Stop sending people who commit murder, rape, and robbery to country club prisons with cable TV and fitness centers. Stop giving inmates college educations and put them on a work crew. If going to prison was a bad thing, less people would want to do the things it takes to get there. Right now, we have prisoners that are treated better than our vets and the elderly.

    Do I like the government being involved in my life or having their nose in my business? Absolutely not, and I limit how much they can do that by obeying the laws of the land and being a good citizen. If I do that, then my background check should be a three to five minute issue that does nothing more than give me a few extra minutes to see what kind of ammo and accessories they have for the weapon I’m buying.

    I think that there should be some way to identify the mentally disabled or unstable, and to prevent them from being able to purchase firearms. It’s clear that it is unsafe. I can also see where there will be individuals who are wrongly denied access to firearms. It comes down to an issue of a patients right to privacy and a communities right to safety. What will be made accessible, and how will that information be protected?

    I don’t know what the right answer is, but what I do know is nothing is going to please everyone. What I do know is that I have written my representatives and expressed my concern over any types of bans or restrictions on law abiding citizens, and I encourage others to do the same. As an 11-year Army veteran I should feel free to go down to any gun store and purchase any type of firearm that I want, but I’m willing to submit to a criminal background check by someone who may not know me to make sure that I’m not someone with a criminal past. Making the decision to do the right things should be rewarded with privacy and the ability to live your life the way you want. Making the decision to break the law should result in a loss of some of your privacy, and restrictions on things you are allowed to do.

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 17, 2013 at 11:47 am

      David,

      Thanks for the well-written response.

      Now, if I may respond:

      You wrote that “by breaking the laws of the land, you’ve given up that right.” Back to the original point I made in the article, if a person has forever given up rights, then A) why are they walking around among the populace, and B) why do they still get some rights/privileges and not others?

      For example, as I mentioned above, from a logical point of view, wouldn’t it make the most sense to deny criminals the ability to do the most dangerous things? I gave the example of driving a car, which kills more people than firearms. Why should they be allowed to do that? Stop and consider the fact that a guy can go to jail for driving his car through a store front, endangering the lives of many and causing a great deal of destruction with his automobile, serve his time, and eventually get his license to drive back; yet he can never own a firearm again. How exactly is this making the population safer?

      You wrote that you “don’t think our founding fathers intended for the 2nd Amendment to protect the criminal element.” Two things: 1) I don’t mean this to sound rude, but it may come across as such–it doesn’t matter what you “think” they intended. Read what they actually wrote. They never wrote about a provision for “felony offenders.” 2) The Amendment was written and put in the Constitution for a very specific reason. It wasn’t hunting, it wasn’t target shooting, and it wasn’t so I could show it to my friends. But to the point here, it was considered a right–not a privilege.

      “Making the decision to do the right things should be rewarded with privacy and the ability to live your life the way you want.” You have it backwards–that right comes first. You don’t have to (or shouldn’t have to) earn the right to privacy. It is supposed to pre-exist. Your philosophy is working off of a meritocracy, whereby a person does good things and then they get the benefits of it. That is true in the sense of our workplace and our sports; it was never intended as the rule of law.

      • DSTRYR/DSTRYR

        January 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm

        Hopefully I won’t get run over in this debate but I find my position on the stated opinions somewhere in the middle of the road. Rather than wasting time I’ll go into explaining my points of debate:

        -Privacy is a right also protected by Amendment. That being said if someone commits a serious enough crime I feel they should be able to serve their sentence and then be held under a certain amount of scrutiny and possibly denied the right to firearms. My reasons tend to be from personal experience; I would not feel comfortable knowing my fiancee’s ex-husband has access to firearms when he has a documented history of abuse and assault against my lady. He gave up the right to firearms, in my opinion, when he proved to society that he could not maintain the proper discipline as a man.

        – Background checks: a necessary evil. To keep monsters like the above stated away from firearms I do feel a cursory criminal background check is a necessary evil. The inherent problem is that the rest of us, who live up to the standard (at the very least) as men and women have to suffer a slightly longer wait to obtain our firearms that we rightfully have access to.

        – Health care privacy. I feel the provisions for “mentally unstable” denials are going to be abused. Further the possibility of those denials infringing on our rights will drive more veterans and civil servants to avoid the proper care. I can understand severe suicidal and homicidal tendencies being a red flag but anything else seems almost like convicting someone of a crime without any actual crime being committed.

        I could go on for days about this but I feel I’ve hit my points accurately enough for now.

        • Rog

          January 30, 2013 at 12:29 am

          Your fiancee’s ex-husband will have access to firearms no matter what the laws are. No laws will change that. He also has access to a plethora of other items that he could use as weapons. You will never be able to completely prevent him from getting his hands on something he can use as a weapon (including.. his hands). If he intends to harm someone again, background checks and restrictions will not stop him. If he is such a threat to society, he should be locked up.

          How do background checks really stop people from obtaining a firearm? I think most people know whether or not they can pass a background check. The people that won’t pass will not even bother going through it. It still will not stop them. At most, they are inconveniences. They don’t really solve anything. Criminals will just get around the checks. Again, no law will change that (obviously, since they are criminals). This is the problem with ALL of the laws regarding firearms. They only affect the people that have no intention of committing crimes.

  26. leftoftheboom

    January 17, 2013 at 10:09 am

    The “presumption of innocence” is the issue.

    In order to exercise my right to own a firearm, I first have to violate my rights voluntarily to prove that I am innocent. Why? Because in this nation, you gain more rights as a criminal than you have as a regular citizen who has committed to crimes. We all know how law abiding the criminals are right? Oh wait, THAT IS WHY THEY ARE CRIMINALS AND A LAW IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE THAT.

    The issue would be resolved by treating criminals as criminals instead of finding a thousand and one excuses for their behavior and wishing they were better people. The crux of the issue, how do we separate the good from the bad without a background check? Criminals are not going to submit to a background check. They are either going to steal or convince someone with a clean record to get them what they want.
    But to address the issue it is simple. Criminals like tattoos, I know other people do so don’t get butthurt, Put a nice large F for Felon on the right cheek and then all felons are visibly identified.

    Background check is now resolved. Good people don’t have an “F” on their face, bad people do; don’t sell guns to bad people, anyone who does will get and “F” of their own. Why is this not acceptable?
    Why don’t we do this? Because criminals are protected against cruel and unusual punishment. Why are they protected? Because apparently the people who wrote the law wanted to show higher moral standards. Of course if we executed the felons, we would not need background checks either. I could go for that too. I don’t have high morals. I just have morals. Since I am not God, I don’t have to forgive anyone. The rules of society are easy to follow. It is time to start getting rid of the rule breakers permanently.

  27. Whitey

    January 17, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Mr. Twisted
    My second comment was answering another that pushed a major button for me. I apologize for letting my Irish temper get the better of me. I did not intend to derail the discussion about your article, with which I wholeheartedly agree. I will try not to let that happen again.

  28. DJ

    January 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

    While all of these points seem sound, the logic behind them is a little flawed.

    The First Amendment one is a bit of a stretch based on a common misunderstanding of the amendment. Yes, your right to free speech is protected from government intrusion, but that does not create a consequence free environment. It simply means the government isn’t allowed to limit what you can and can’t say.

    You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater and then claim it was your First Amendment right to do so.

    And the background check point, as well, is a stretch. People willingly submit to background checks all the time to get jobs. How is that any more immoral than this? It’s not like they’d be doing anything as in-depth or invasive as that. They won’t be calling a past employer or a personal reference. They won’t be checking your credit score. The entire concept is pretty common sense: the government flags certain things (maybe a history of mental illness or violent crimes) and those folks can’t own guns. What’s the big deal?

    And the popular “criminals will still have guns” argument is weak and a cop out. If that’s the case, that no matter what we do “bad people” will have access to outlawed things and thus why outlaw them, then why have any laws at all? Saying that the capability of someone to break a law is grounds to say “Well, the law doesn’t work, let’s get rid of it,” is foolish. It may not stop ALL criminals, but stemming the tide to any extent is a positive thing, right?

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      DJ,

      You get the award for being the first to bring up the “fire in a crowded theater” argument.

      That being said, it’s a flawed argument. Read the Supreme Court case on that very issue; it’s not illegal to yell fire in a crowded theater. Do you know why? Because there may actually be a fire!

      The point being, what is illegal is yelling fire when there isn’t one, and the intent of the “yeller” is to incite a riot/stampede, thus causing mayhem and destruction. But–and this is very important–the penalty comes *after* the fact; not before.

      The way the law stands now, people who wish to exercise their Second Amendment right are penalized *before* being able to do so. Whether it be due to an intrusion of their privacy or paying a certain tax to the government so they can do that (and fund the BATFE and database system), the law-abiding citizen is forced to pay a penalty without ever having broken a law.

      “People willingly submit to background checks all the time to get jobs.” I’ve written this a couple times in the comments already, but will do so again: getting a job at a specific location/organization/company is not a right outlined in the Constitution. You are not arguing this from a constitutional perspective, but rather what you, personally, deem as “common sense.”

      “It may not stop ALL criminals, but stemming the tide to any extent is a positive thing, right?” Does it work? Does it “stem the tide” in any way? Let me ask you a question: how hard is it to get a bag of weed if you want one? That is something that has been completely illegal for a very long time and is so readily available that every high school student in the country can get a hold of it whenever they want.

      The point being, it’s not a cop out. Unless, of course, you think the Constitution is a cop out…? Yes, bad people will always do bad things. But guess what? I should have the right to try and prevent them from doing those bad things to me and my family without having the government dictate whether I can, or snooping around in my life, or putting me on a list that they can maintain–especially if it is my right to do so.

      DJ, everything you argued is from a modern, “common sense” frame of mind; it’s not based on Constitutional law. The idea that the government should be able to flag “certain things” like mental illness should scare the hell out of anyone who appreciates freedom. Can you imagine the people at the DMV tackling an issue like mental illness and using that to dictate whether or not people get to drive? That’s about what would happen with background checks and firearms.

      Keep this in mind: recently the Surgeon General stated that, in the next couple of decades, over half of all Americans will have some form of mental illness. Stop and consider that for a moment. Over half. Now we have a government (and apparently people such as yourself) arguing that people with “mental illness” should be flagged and not be able to have their rights. What dictates mental illness? According to our top doc in the government, most of the people in our country have it or will have it!

      Really ponder what that means–mental illness screening for a right, done by a bureaucracy that has willingly handed firearms over to known drug cartel members, and based on a criteria set by another bureaucracy who maintains that the majority of Americans are mentally ill.

      Wow.

      • DJ

        January 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        I understand where you’re coming from, I really do, but there’s NOTHING WRONG with applying some common sense to the Constitution. The same document once said that my father and I are only 2/3’s a man. (Not trying to spark any controversy/discussion on that or get a sympathy vote there, just FYI)

        The fact is, if that had just been written off as “Well, it’s in the Constitution,” where would we be?

        It’s clearly stated that something is only a right until it infringes on someone else’s rights If someone’s abuse of a right infringes on other peoples rights, then it might be time to analyze what can be done to fix the problem. I say again, it’s not like the government has plans to do anything ridiculously offensive or invasive (from what I’ve heard, if I’m wrong please correct me).

        And the “everyone is mentally ill” defense is a little weak. Especially in a society where cheating on your spouse numerous times is a mental illness because you have an “addiction to sex”. The criteria for what the Surgeon General deems as mental illness and what a panel deciding what should limit someone on owning a firearm are vastly different.

        And the marijuana point is a little soft, as well. You can’t compare a $10 bag of marijuana and an AK-47. One is much more easy to come by than the other. And criminals can’t grow a gun, or even build one of their own. They have to be acquired, through some process that starts at a legitimate vendor for these items. If that vendor is no longer in the United States, that doesn’t stem the tide any? Especially once those times of weapons are continually seized from criminals and destroyed? That’s an apples and oranges point that doesn’t really hold water.

        The problem is that you’re viewing a background check as some form of punishment. How is that a punishment? I brought up the jobs point simply due to the comparative severity of both “checks”. Do you think the government is going to put near as much time or effort into a background check as corporate America? Calling relatives and references, checking your “social media footprint”, etc? No, yet no one objects to those. A criminal history check and, maybe, a mental health check for a predetermined set of criteria that makes you a danger to others when possessing a firearm. What’s the big deal? If you have a relatively clear background (as the people that most of the vocal pro-gun types say they’re defending supposedly do), then what’s the problem?

        The one’s that are truly concerned about this, and trying to steer the argument away from why they’re bothered by it, are those with a spotty background. Concerned that the multiple domestic assaults they have on their record may make them ineligible to own their precious firearms. And they’re twisting up genuinely concerned people like yourself into thinking it’s about something else.

        I also return to my point about a few people being able to circumvent a law is not grounds to doubt it’s necessity. People drink and drive all the time. Should we allow it to just be legal because we can’t stop everyone?

        And if the discussion is referencing the Constitutional nature of the debate, why can’t I own an RPG? It’s within the rights laid out in the Constitution. It doesn’t say I CAN’T own an RPG. So why can’t I? Because COMMON SENSE dictates that I don’t need and probably shouldn’t be allowed to possess one, for the greater good.

        The article posted earlier written by Antonio Aguilar gives the perfect point: “The very first line of that critical portion of the Constitution mentions ‘a well regulated militia’ “. REGULATED. Not just “If you have a finger to pull the trigger, here have a gun.” No pro-gun advocates like to look at that part.

        “Inshallah” is not a viable answer for this situation.

        • Mr. Twisted

          January 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm

          DJ,

          The first problem here is that you failed to address any of my arguments in any real, logical, or legal sense. “The same document once said that my father and I are only 2/3’s of a man.” Correct; and how was that changed? Was it changed by a law being pushed through on the basis of “common sense”? No, the entire Constitution had to be amended. That’s my point — if you want to change the Second Amendment, great! The Constitution allows for an amendment process. Follow it.

          ” it’s not like the government has plans to do anything ridiculously offensive or invasive…” The government is already on a regular basis doing things that are invasive and offensive. But, that being said, let’s assume that everyone in it has all the best of intentions. That’s all fine and great, but what about 10, 20, or 50 years down the road? Tyranny never came on over night. Historically speaking, it has usually been a slow creep.

          “And the “everyone is mentally ill” defense is a little weak.” I hate to break this to you but, no, it’s not. Currently (not possibly or maybe in the future — right now) Veterans who served their country are having their Second Amendment rights taken away because at one time they told a doctor they haven’t been able to sleep and have nightmares. This is not an exaggeration, and I can’t help you if you don’t see the correlation there.

          The drug comparison is simple: our government has openly declared “war” on drugs for several decades now. Has it been successful? Now imagine if they just want to “regulate” something. My point is this: if it’s not going to work, why make life harder on law-abiding citizens?

          “The one’s that are truly concerned about this, and trying to steer the argument away from why they’re bothered by it, are those with a spotty background.” You are demonstrably wrong here and a statement like this has no intellectual basis whatsoever in the discussion.

          “People drink and drive all the time. Should we allow it to just be legal because we can’t stop everyone?” I’ll tell you what, I will respond to this as soon as you agree to start telling people it is “common sense” to apply background checks and limits on booze purchases. Until that time, you are creating a false start argument that is flawed on several levels.

          “Because COMMON SENSE dictates that I don’t need and probably shouldn’t be allowed to possess one, for the greater good.” Whose common sense, DJ? Yours? Mine? Diane Feinstein’s? Chuck Schumer’s? President Obama’s? “Common sense” is not an argument — it’s a cop out. Pick any 20 Senators currently serving and I will show you vastly different definitions of what “common sense” means. This is another non-starter.

          “REGULATED. Not just ‘if you have a finger to pull the trigger, here have a gun.’ No pro-gun advocates like to look at that part.” You are showing a gross misunderstanding of history and the intent of what is written regarding militias. Where do you think the militia came from? Do you think that it was like the modern National Guard and received state and federal funding and kept all their guns in the armory? No; it came from common men who were able to serve because….wait for it….they had the arms to be able to serve. The arms were not provided for by the government; nor were they purchased by the militia; they were the personally owned weapons of the common man.

          • DJ

            January 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm

            We can go round and round about this for days, as most tend to do. While some of my points could be considered emotional at their base, there are logical points in there that you chose to overlook.

            I’m a vet dealing with mental health issues related to my deployment back in 2011. If my doc had told me after an appointment that “Hey, you shouldn’t have unrestricted access to a firearm right now,” that definitely would have sucked, but having seen the other side of it, I understand why it would be helpful. I’ve had to hear through the grapevine about friends and battle buddies killing themselves or pulling a firearm on their spouse because they haven’t learned to deal with the issues yet. Same as a mental health hold can be placed, it can be removed.

            Again, you refuse to see these checks and systems as anything but a punishment. So there’s no point in even discussing it with you because you’ll only zero in on how the system might fail, not how it could possibly be successful or helpful.

            Your response to the “drinking and driving” point was completely pointless. You chose to illogically zero in on the booze part to try and prove your correctness, but think about the other half of the point for just a moment. We DO have checks and limits when it comes to driving. It’s called a Driver’s License and a Driving Record. And it’s not perfect, but it helps. Get a couple DUIs then come back and tell me how ineffective the system is. And, just FYI, there are limits on booze as well. Drinking ages, ID requirements, etc. I’m just saying.

            As I said, we can go round and round about this until we’re blue in the face. The simple fact is that we’re operating from two different ethical view points. And because I disagree with you, you’ll say anything to try and disprove my points, if not to others than at least yourself. As I also may do given enough back and forth.

            You picking out minute sections of what I wrote and painting it as my sole point to suit your argument or response is weak sauce. And responding with stuff like “I’ll respond to this when….” is as well. If you can’t respond logically to a point, then just leave it out.

            No disrespect intended. This has been….engaging. And I appreciate you taking the time to diatribe with me on the subject. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future, Mr. Twisted. Have a good one.

          • DJ

            January 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm

            We can go round and round about this for days, as most tend to do. While some of my points could be considered emotional at their base, there are logical points in there that you chose to overlook.

            I’m a vet dealing with mental health issues related to my deployment back in 2011. If my doc had told me after an appointment that “Hey, you shouldn’t have unrestricted access to a firearm right now,” that definitely would have sucked, but having seen the other side of it, I understand why it would be helpful. I’ve had to hear through the grapevine about friends and battle buddies killing themselves or pulling a firearm on their spouse because they haven’t learned to deal with the issues yet. Same as a mental health hold can be placed, it can be removed.

            Again, you refuse to see these checks and systems as anything but a punishment. So there’s no point in even discussing it with you because you’ll only zero in on how the system might fail, not how it could possibly be successful or helpful.

            Your response to the “drinking and driving” point was completely pointless. You chose to illogically zero in on the booze part to try and prove your correctness, but think about the other half of the point for just a moment. We DO have checks and limits when it comes to driving. It’s called a Driver’s License and a Driving Record. And it’s not perfect, but it helps. Get a couple DUIs then come back and tell me how ineffective the system is. And, just FYI, there are limits on booze as well. Drinking ages, ID requirements, etc. I’m just saying.

            As I said, we can go round and round about this until we’re blue in the face. I can pick apart what I see wrong with your points and you’ll do the same right back. The simple fact is that we’re operating from two different ethical view points. And because I disagree with you, you’ll continually try and disprove my points, if not to others than at least yourself. As I’m sure I’ll do given enough back and forth.

            You picking out minute sections of what I wrote and twisting it out of context to suit your argument or response is weak sauce. And responding with stuff like “I’ll respond to this when….” is as well. If you can’t respond logically to a point, then just leave it out.

            No disrespect intended. This has been….engaging. And I appreciate you taking the time to diatribe with me on the subject. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future, Mr. Twisted. Have a good one.

  29. Chris

    January 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Some other reading. I think PTSD will become a dealbreaker for many Vets wishing to own firearms, the very people fighting for our freedoms.

    What is so “unnecessary” about HIPAA (#2)? http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/16/list-executive-actions-obama-plans-to-take-as-part-anti-gun-violence-plan/

    The link spells it out. http://www.examiner.com/article/senate-democrats-protect-administration-s-right-to-strip-ptsd-vets-of-guns

  30. Whitey

    January 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I had a discussion with a coworker the other day about the issue of privacy. Her stance was, “They can look all they want, I got nothing to hide.”

    But here’s the problem with that idea: that’s basically saying, “It’s okay, I can prove my innocence.”

    I pointed this out in my first comment (before my off-topic rant), and Mr. Twisted and others have as well, that by law we are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. You do not have to prove your innocence, THEY HAVE TO PROVE YOUR GUILT. The “nothing to hide” mentality is nothing less than an acceptance of the need to prove your innocence, which by the way is a surefire sign of tyranny.

    Do I have something to hide? Hell yes! It’s not illegal, but it is my home, my business, and not theirs. If somebody wants to investigate me, the law says they had better be able to show me a warrant. This is the guarantee of the 4th Amendment. Isn’t it interesting how attacks on the 2nd Amendment quickly threaten the rest of the Bill of Rights as well?

    Mr. Twisted is correct. We should not have to prove our innocence to exercise a right specified in the Constitution. He is also correct when he deconstructs the pre-employment check analogy.

    Background checks do nothing to deter crime. Statistics compiled by the US Department of Justice indicate that only a minuscule percentage of weapons used for violent crime are obtained legally. The overwhelming majority of offenders get their guns the same way they get their drugs. Inconveniencing and harassing those of us who obey the law solves nothing.

  31. Chris

    January 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Mr Twisted,
    Thank you for writing articles like this! You made several good points in writing this, and while I can’t say I agree with every bit of it, it’s still intelligent and thought provoking. The parallels between religious freedom and gun rights are a completely new way of looking at the issue for me and really got my attention. Before I write the next sentence, I want to post a caveat first ( I do not think I am, or claim to be ANY BETTER than someone else, and I sure as HELL don’t believe I’m anything special when I say this. I have my personal demons, same as everybody else) As someone with strong Christian beliefs and convictions (see above caveat) I could not agree more that, when misused, religion and ideology are every bit, if not more dangerous, than any firearm. The Nazis didn’t attempt to wipe out an entire ethnic group because they really wanted to use their shiny new K98’s and MP40’s, they did it because of an ideology sold to them by a maniac. And I won’t even get started on the Islamist nut jobs. Every point you made in this article was valid. Again, I can’t agree with all of it, but I’m certainly open to the discussion. And to anyone out there who took offense at what was said… Just don’t. It’s a waisted emotion. If you want to be angry about something, be angry about the newest attack on our Constitutional Rights and Liberties. Don’t get mad just because someone has a different opinion than you. Again, thank you Mr. Twisted for another great article. Keep up the good work!

    • Jay

      January 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Background checks do nothing to curb crime. You need a prescription to get regulated painkillers and sleeping pills yet we have a huge pill problem. Freedom is about accepting that you are resposible for yourself, including self protection. Violent felons and mentally distubed people with guns is an unpleasant thought, but the truth is they already have illegal guns. Giving the federal govt an inch will result in a mile. Far fetched look at the personal income tax rates. In 1913 the top tax rate was 7% and in 1945 it was as high as 94%. Social securtity was supposed to be voluntary.Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither – Ben Franklin

  32. Antonio Aguilar

    January 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Sorry man, but I think it would be a horrible idea to get rid of background checks. Being in law enforcement, I’ve seen many a case where being able to arrest a felon for having a fire arm prevents a crime they were planning. If, in that case, you could accept that felons shouldn’t be allowed to have fire arms then why not check to make sure someone isn’t a felon before selling to them? It makes no sense.

    If you can’t get a security clearance without a background check, or work in some civilian jobs, or, for that matter, pass a vision check to drive a car, then why should there not be background checks before selling guns to people?

    I am all for law abiding citizens being able to own guns virtually restriction free, but violent people who have proven the propensity to misuse guns should not be allowed to buy them.

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Antonio,

      I actually addressed most of this in the comment section.

      A couple of points, however: you wrote that “violent people who have proven the propensity to misuse guns should not be allowed to buy them.” What should they be allowed to do? Can they buy booze, a car, and a bunch of knives? Should they be allowed to leave their house? Basing the rights of citizens on what felons can or cannot do is a disastrous path to travel down. There are numerous examples of how this has related to gun ownership in the past (and currently in many states) that begin to open up doorways of “pre-crime” philosophy.

      I’ll state this again, for the record: if I must pay a tax and ask my government for permission to do something, it is not a right.

      If one wants to argue that it shouldn’t be a right, that’s one thing; that would actually make more sense than someone saying they believe it to be a right, but that it should have tons of restrictions. But, as it stands, owning a firearm in this country is not the right it was intended to be, and restrictions such as background checks, waiting periods, permit systems, and the existence of the BATFE proves that to be true.

  33. FatDave

    January 18, 2013 at 1:22 am

    I say we let law abiding citizens buy and carry whatever firearms they want and carry them wherever they want. (open or concealed) This way the felons and nut-jobs out there who want to shoot up malls, schools, etc. would have something to worry about. I say get rid of the back ground checks and spend the money encouraging gun ownership and teaching weapons safety classes. This might lead to a temporary increase in homicides as good citizens shoot the bad citizens in the commission of a crime (I am not seeing the downside there) or the criminals would rehabilitate themselves. After this temporary increase I predict violent felonies would fall to historic lows.

    Mr. Twisted I would love to hear your views on the Automatic Weapons Ban of 1968 in relation to the 2nd Amendment. I personally don’t agree with it.

  34. Mr. Twisted

    January 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    FatDave,

    The 1968 Gun Control Act….sucks. Badly. I’m not sure where to begin, but since you brought up automatic weapons, I’ll address that.

    Understand that there is no “automatic weapons ban.” You can own one. But here’s the kicker (and proof that it’s not about “safety” so much as it is about government control): you must submit a very lengthy background check and pay a fee of about $300 per weapon you want to buy. That’s it.

    Think about it this way: if automatic weapons were so incredibly dangerous that no one should own them, then they should be banned outright, wouldn’t you think? Or, if they’re not super-dee-duper dangerous, they should be available just like an AR15, no? But what we have is this in-between nonsense where the federal government figured out how to make money off of people to further fund the machine that…is responsible for coming up with these regulations. It makes very little sense on any level, but the ’68 GCA is not one that will be going away anytime soon, either.

    Research US v Miller and the rulings in that case. Interestingly enough, though Miller lost the case, it wasn’t due to is argument being wrong. And, point of fact, the Supreme Court left wide open the opportunity to argue that, if a weapon is of common use on the field of battle, then the common citizen should be able to own it.

  35. Brady Dean

    January 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Mr Twisted,

    I felt compelled to take a moment and express my appreciation of your intent in this message and the matter-of-fact, objective manner in which you present your argument as well as respond to the occasionally “disorganized” objections to your presentation. It is always enlightening to hear the objections of other to right-infringement that they think won’t directly apply to them.
    I’m going to reference Whitey’s post about his coworker who “has nothing to hide” and try to emphasize the concept that with the current state of affairs and our government’s mentality on over-regulating everything, those of us who truly feel we “have nothing to hide” will come to find that may not a perspective shared by the rest of the world. In the years to come, this coworker may find themselves in a predicament where the DPS says they are unfit to operate a vehicle or buy a firearm due to some government-established standard of mental illness such as ADHD/ADD, for example.
    While we may not feel like the specific controversial issues pertain to us, the affect government has and the regulations to which you eventually may become subject affect us all. Stagnancy or intentional ignorance on these issues is likely to be the most detrimental.

    Thank you all for being so passionate in the defense of your own liberties.

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Brady,

      Thank you for the compliment and also for reading!

    • FLY60S

      January 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Brady,

      “In the years to come, this coworker may find themselves in a predicament where the DPS says they are unfit to operate a vehicle or buy a firearm due to some government-established standard of mental illness such as ADHD/ADD, for example.” This reminds me of a quote attributed to Martin Niemöller (a German pastor during WWII)

      First they came for the communists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
      Then they came for the socialists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
      Then they came for me,
      and there was no one left to speak for me.

      Background checks for me take about 5 mins, but I am a vet and who is to say I don’t wind up on the “bad person” list. I totally agree with Mr. Twisted about getting rid of background checks. And as for keeping them out of the hands of felons, if they are good enough to release from prison then they should receive all the same rights and privileges as anyone else. If they are deemed unfit to the rights I enjoy, then lock them up.

  36. CholeJaneMerlot

    January 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Love the article. Agree with the “right” vs “privilage” point-of-view. Now, unless i’m seriously missing something here, let me point out the obvious:
    If background checks become law – wouldn’t someone with something “not allowed” in their background, simply opt out of going that route to obtain a firearm? Thus only those of us how are completely certain we will “pass” said background check be the ONLY ones going that route?
    Knowing this absolute logic, we arrive at the painfully obvious truth: this isn’t so much about “gun control” this is about “citizen control”… but only of the “good guys” not the criminals – because let me point it out again… they will not subject themselves to it! (if you know your not going to pass the test, don’t take it, find a different method) drug examples – perfect examples.

  37. Sergeant Van

    January 24, 2013 at 7:59 am

    You make a pretty convincing argument, and one to which I have a hard time mustering a response. You’ve actually changed my line of thinking on a few points.

    Would you be okay with background checks on certain types of firearms instead of all firearms in general?

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Sergeant Van,

      The interesting thing about the intent of the Second Amendment is that it was designed with the purpose of average citizens having the right to own a weapon that could be used on the field of battle. If viewed in the context of the modern era, an M4 would be the exact type of weapon that the common man should have the right to own.

      So, with that, if the intent was for us to own a common infantry-style weapon, how could it benefit to put a restriction on another type of firearm? The amendment itself (as well as the right to bear arms-style amendments in most state constitutions) does not have provisions for “types” of arms because, philosophically speaking, the intent was for a commoner to have access to what would work in an infantry setting.

      A lot of the comments below my article show a significant lack of understanding regarding what the Bill of Rights as a whole was intended to do. Too many people still believe that the government hands out rights — they don’t. They exist only for the purpose of making sure we don’t take them from one another and that another, foreign power doesn’t attempt to do the same. They exist because we allow them to, not because they have authority over us in an over-arching sense.

  38. Ken

    January 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Eh, the article is okay but I think the author misses the biggest point which is simply this…

    If we allow background checks, they will start out seeming very reasonable and responsible. Only those with violent felony or habitual drug crimes will be denied the use of arms.

    But with time, the question will arise, “Every had a DUI?”
    After that, “Ever had a restraining order filed against you?” And every man who has gone through a bitter divorce will be debarred the use of arms.

    Then it’ll go on. Ever had to take anger management training? Ever been accused of sexual harassment? Late on your child support at all? Problems with your tax return? Poor credit rating? Etc, etc, etc…

    And eventually, the list of disqualifying infractions will become so long and complex, you will have effectively banned the ownership of firearms by all but the select few who can afford the lawyers to whitewash their records for them.

    In short, the rich will remain well armed and the rest of us will simply be suspected criminals, convicted without trial and condemned to living life without the means to defend yourself from aggression or resist tyranny.

  39. GI Josephine

    January 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

    WOW! You made me look at this issue completely different and that never happens, so thank you for your intelligent, well-written article. I for one am afraid they will start adding “Have you ever served in combat?” or “Have you been diagnosed with PTSD?” to the fucking ATF questionnaire. Once they do that, they make me and a lot of my friends into criminals and I don’t have as much as a parking ticket in the last 10 years.

  40. Brian G

    January 29, 2013 at 10:14 am

    This is the single greatest article I have ever read on the topic. outstanding!

  41. Adam

    January 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I liked this article quite a bit. What I did not like was some of the comments. It amazes me how popular the term common sense has become. It has, quite literally, transformed from a way of thinking with “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” or in other terms, a way of thinking that is so pervasive that the vast majority will have the same level of reasoning, into a catch all term that is a way to bludgeon others arguements with. What, you dont support xyz? well you are not using common sense!

    Or to give a better example, punishing murderers is common sense, murder to the majority of people is bad. That is common sense. Suggesting a ban on a specific type of weapon, one which is used in less than 1% of gun crime is not common sense. It, quite frankly, is not sense at all.

    A right is not a privelidge and while I will submit that the author is correct, that this is a very convoluted issue and one that does not have an easy answer. I am not ready to crucify the author, even if I may have a different opinion. His answer is no less valid than any other…

    The fact remains, background checks do not “stop” crime. What we have to weigh is wether we believe that by continuing to burden law abiding citizens we are doing good or that we are exercising a feel good measure that is easy and allows us to feel as though we are making a difference regardless of the outcomes.

  42. Anthony

    January 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    You know what we should get ride of BAC limits because you know drunk drivers are going to drink and drive no matter what. You know those speed limit signs, yeah we all know speeders never follow those so they don’t work and should go too. Drug laws never stopped drug users from buying and using illegal drugs so we need to get rid of those while we are at it. Shall I keep going on why the reason to prevent felons from having guns when they get them anyways?

    Don’t blame “government” for deciding what’s good and bad. We the PEOPLE elect our “government”. Our “government” represents the MAJORITY of American Public. And when the MAJORITY of the public wants to do something WRONG we have the U.S. Supreme Court to correct these “illegal” laws. Our government with checks and balances combined with democratically elected government is what prevents tyranny from taking root, no not Joe Blow and his stock pile of guns in his home.

    Background checks are a BARRIER to prevent those who are a danger to society from possessing them. No one complains about having to show ID stating you are authorized to buy alcohol (21 years or older) so why bitch about background check to confirm you are authorized. If you want to do something proactive then make background checks more proficient at what they are suppose to do and less of a hassle to those who are authorized to buy and posses guns. Online database or government issued cards that have an expiration.

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Anthony,

      Incoherent rants are not made more powerful by using “CAPS LOCK” for words upon which you want to imply emphasis.

  43. Mindless zombie

    January 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    1. Cars are very seldom used as an instrument of murder. Saying that 30,000 people died in cars without qualifying how they died and whether the death was intentional or intentionally caused, then comparing that number to the number of people killed by guns is asinine. The ratio of intentional gun deaths to unintentional gun deaths would probably tell a very different story if compared to intentional car deaths and unintentional car deaths. At any rate, the cars vs guns argument is ridiculous. You’re better than that.

    2. Background checks don’t ask you to prove that you AREN’T a criminal. They don’t presume anybody guilty. They are simply a name check against criminal databases and a few questions to a couple of your friends about whether you’re a danger to society. Jesus, you have to have a more extensive check to coach little league or lead boy scouts or (gasp) get a job.

    3. Jobs aren’t a constitutional right. Coaching or being a scout leader or volunteer isn’t a constitutional right. I get it. Second amendment…penned in 1791 when the most devastating hand held firearm in the nation took A MINUTE to reload. It’s also one sentence for every gun nut in the nation to hide behind.

    4. In typical, paranoid fashion, you’ve stood up and written an article about why gun control is bad. Why don’t you now write an article that will provide a viable solution for the problem of mass shootings and mass murder in the country?

    Oh…and before you start with “you’ve never served” stuff, I have for 9 years as an engineer. And I am still serving as an agent of the government. I’m just tired of this “cold dead hands” shit. I’d like to hear solutions proposed instead of whining about background checks and government tyranny.

    • Mr. Twisted

      January 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      MZ,

      1. You missed the point on the inclusion of cars into the argument and why it was placed there.

      2. I will state this again: if I am asking government for permission to do something, then it is no longer a right. It really is that simple. If you want to argue against the Second Amendment being valid, go for it. I would respect that more than saying it is simultaneously a right and a privilege.

      3. You’re arguing from a point of view that technology somehow changes an inherent right. Again, you’d be better off arguing that it shouldn’t be a right at all — that would make more sense logically than the approach you’re taking here.

      4. Please explain the following: A) what, exactly, is “paranoid” about what is written above, B) why you’re not writing that article and instead asking me to write it for you, and finally C) why you believe there is a “problem of mass shootings and mass murder” in a country where a child is more statistically likely to die in a swimming pool than from a “mass shooting.”

      What does serving have to do with these points? You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between rights and privileges. It doesn’t matter whether you are a 20-year, top-secret, Delta-SEAL-Ninja warrior or whether you are an 18-old high school grad–wrong is wrong.

      Ultimately, you want to live in a society where people solve all the problems and government is there to take care of all of its serfs. I don’t.

      • Mindless zombie

        January 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm

        I got your cars argument loud and clear. I think the cars vs guns argument is dumb. I guess I’d like to hear a better argument than that.

        The only argument that anybody can or maybe should make against the 2nd amendment is that as much as we’d like to believe that it is an “inalienable right endowed by our creator” the truth is that the constitution was conceived and written by men over 300 years ago. And while many of the ideas are timeless and valid, some of them are simply outdated. If it had been written a hundred years earlier it might be an inalienable right to burn witches at the stake that we’re talking about. If it had been written a hundred years later we might not be having this conversation at all. I’m pretty sure that Thomas Jefferson wrote that the constitution and all laws should be reviewed every 19 years because the nation belongs to the current generation.

        And technology absolutely affects an inherent right. Otherwise we’d be struggling to maintain our 2A right to own NBC weapons. The government has them, how can we rise up and hold the government accountable when we don’t? That was the point of 2A.

        I mis-spoke when I said “paranoid”. What I should have said is “in typical, paranoia perpetuating fashion”. People are afraid of the government. Particularly they are afraid of the government knowing that they have guns. They are afraid of being rendered defenseless. They are afraid of government control. And there are tons of people who thrive on that fear and perpetuate it. They want to tell you that criminals will get guns no matter what. They want to tell you that the government will turn tyrannical and persecute you for gun ownership, the way that the nazi’s did. They want to tell you that once we allow them to address 2A we open the door for all sorts of oppression. It’s all notional. It’s all perceived but not necessarily real.

        Listen, fella, you’re the blogger. I’m a mindless zombie who is just interested in what you have to say and why you’re saying it. I’m not the blogger. You are. I’ll tell you what my solution is in a bit, since you asked and all.

        I want to respond to your question about a “problem with mass shootings” comment, but I don’t want to be a huge penis about it. Something like 210 people have been killed in mass shootings in the last 10 years. That’s 210 in a country of 330 million? It’s an infinitesimally small percentage. Twenty of them were kids at 6 or 7 years old. Smaller percentage. If 20 American kids were executed by someone in a foreign country, we”d go to war. Or we’d want to anyway. At the very least we’d implement a massive embargo and sanctions. But I digress. Never mind that 900 more Americans were killed in gun violence in the month since that last mass shooting, denying the problem robs you of credibility. If your “normal” includes senseless preventable mass murder, then this conversation should be over. It’s easy to say stuff like “it’s only 210 people killed” when you didn’t know any of them or you weren’t related to one of them. But I think that if you were, and you weren’t part of the 0.45%, you’d be standing there looking at your dead loved one and asking why the government is doing nothing to prevent such things.

        I apologize for jumping on the defense about serving. I had a similar discussion about this issue on another website and was immediately jumped upon by guys saying “I laid down my life and lost buddies defending this constitution…who the fuck are you to say we should change it…”

        Obviously the problem (yes, I consider it a problem) of mass shootings and gun violence is a complex one. A solution isn’t easy. But I think it should look a little like this:

        1. Background checks – past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. I don’t think it needs to go back more than 10 years to be effective, and I think that you it should be limited to criminal records only. It should include local, state and federal police records. If there’s something like this guy below, who got denied because he was sent to rehab at 14, there should be a recourse in which references like spouses, ex-spouses and employers should be contacted to determine the relevance of the record. There also needs to be some recourse which will allow a person who is denied to answer to the issues which prevented him/her from passing the check. Statistics must be kept so that the effectiveness of this part alone can be evaluated.

        2. Upgrade the mental health system – this is a very difficult part of the issue to address. We need to determine what criteria would preclude gun ownership and that in and of itself is a daunting task. Start with major mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and depression and work your way down the spectrum. The problem is figuring out where to draw the line. Addiction is a mental illness, so if you’re a sex addict in treatment should that render your 2A rights void? What about head injuries? What about ADD and ADHD? At the same time that you determine the criteria, you’d have to figure out a way to mitigate the effect of the stigma of mental illness, encourage people to seek treatment and provide them with a means to someday reclaim their 2A rights. Otherwise, nobody will seek treatment for fear of ending up on a lifelong no-guns list. You also have to provide some sort of financial assistance to help the mentally ill pay for treatment because they are often the most marginalized and poor.

        3. Parenting – we need to raise our kids with some sense of decency and humility. We need to step away from the confrontational mindset and look at a moving toward a cooperational mindset. We need to recognize problems and address them before our kids feel that violence is their only option.

        The solution does not include:
        1. Banning or blaming the weapon. It’s easy to blame the AR15 rather than blame the parents or the person. The problem is that in most cases, the shooter kills himself and doesn’t give us an opportunity to blame him or study him. Banning the platform, while quick and easy and maybe even effective in the short term, doesn’t address the issue and further punishes the law abiding citizen who might enjoy it lawfully.

        2. Limiting magazine capacity: this is a knee jerk. “If the guy has to reload, we have a chance to take him out” is what they say, but rather than wait for him to reload, why not just try to prevent him from getting the gun in the first place.

        3. Massive constitutional change.

        I’m not a gun control nut. I’m a gun owner myself. I’m not opposed to background checks because I know I can pass one. I believe that if a horrific crime like the one in Aurora could be prevented with a few computer database checks, it’s worth the cost and inconvenience and the minimal imposition on my 2A rights. There’s a line that needs to be drawn, we just need to draw it somewhere somehow so that we are protecting our rights and our children at the same time. We need to be reasonable and we need to be willing to compromise to accomplish that.

        There…I guess I blogged on your blog.

        I’ll leave you with this: what if the men who wrote 2A just misspelled “bear” and meant “bare” giving every American the inalienable right to wear short sleeves, which shall not be infringed upon?

        • Mr. Twisted

          January 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm

          “…the truth is that the constitution was conceived and written by men over 300 years ago.”

          I hope you’re not either a math or a history major.

          “People are afraid of the government.”

          A small percentage of educated people — yes. The majority — no.

          “Never mind that 900 more Americans were killed in gun violence in the month since that last mass shooting, denying the problem robs you of credibility.”

          I don’t deny that children being murdered is a bad thing. It most certainly is. I also think people who beat their children so bad that they have brain damage is awful and despicable. Guess what happens more often? But I don’t see people championing legislation that would enact background checks before people procreate. My point is this; if you (or anyone else) is so worried about “the children,” then why not start at the top? Pick the biggest dangers to children and go after those, rather than the ones way down on the list, simply because those sound much scarier.

          1. Great; you’re in favor of background checks. Then repeal the Second Amendment and start over. At least that would be honest.
          2. Be prepared to follow that to its inevitable conclusion — the total revamping of HIPPA laws as we know them. Doctor/patient privilege will be completely undone with “mental health checks” as they are being proposed. No one stops to consider the fact that, in order for a government agency to know these things, they have to be told about them. How are they told? By citizens volunteering the information? That won’t happen and it would make the program pointless. The only other option is by physicians themselves. Which, in essence, ruins doctor/patient privacy.
          3. Great idea that would have a more profound affect than anything else. But guess what? It can’t (and shouldn’t) be legislated.

          “I’m a gun owner myself. I’m not opposed to background checks because I know I can pass one.” Apply that to every other amendment in the Bill of Rights and I’ll take it seriously as a point. Until then, that is an absolutely disastrous way to look at liberty.

          “I believe that if a horrific crime like the one in Aurora could be prevented with a few computer database checks, it’s worth the cost and inconvenience and the minimal imposition on my 2A rights.”

          It can’t be. More importantly, in the future, they won’t be — even with “universal, extensive background checks.” Face the fact that we live in a sinful world where bad things happen. The only answer to violent action is to meet it with swift and overwhelming counter-action. Not legislation.

          Again, all of your arguments stem from a gross misunderstanding of what “liberty” is. What I find most interesting about everyone who takes the stance that you do is that there is literally no way in hell you would be willing to apply these restrictions on any of your other freedoms or things that you hold dear. Your technology argument from earlier can just as easily be applied to other amendments in the Constitution, but I guarantee people would lose their minds if even half the gun laws were applied to the 1st, 3rd, 4th (and so on) Amendments. As I pointed to in the comments earlier, I would love to see the public reaction to these same legislative restrictions being placed on alcohol. How well do you think that would go over?

          As soon as you start arguing that we should have restrictions on all liberties, then I will at least appreciate your stance as intellectually consistent (and before you go down the “there’s restriction on freedom of speech! You can’t yell fire in a theater!” line of thinking, please re-read through the comment section).

          I do realize that, in this day and age, we are a long way from what I would consider “perfect” gun laws, and that we won’t be getting back there anytime soon. However, what I am increasingly frustrated by is the lack of understanding of why we had these freedoms to begin with and what the context was for their inclusion into the Constitution. We have come to a point in our country where the majority of the people truly do believe that “laws” are “what the government lets you do.” Which is, ultimately, very sad indeed.

          • Mindless zombie

            January 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

            Touche on the math thing…

            Apparently I have no concept of liberty.

            I understand what you’re saying about applying similar restrictions on other rights and liberties. It is a valid argument. I guess the difference, as I see it, is that people kill people with guns and then hide behind other amendments. It’s always 2A.

            Believe me, if I could unilaterally repeal 2A and update it, I’d do it in a second. We both know that won’t and can’t happen. You’re obviously very educated in this issue. So please, tell me what the solution would be?

            You’re right about the doctor/patient stuff, too. 100% right in fact. And it’s those issues and the ones that I’ve identified as well that make that part of the problem so difficult and time consuming to address. It’s the main reason that the gun control argument is more attractive: it is an answer that can be implemented to some positive effect immediately.

            It boils down to having different priorities, I suppose. I’ll sacrifice some of my liberty (even though I have no concept of it) so that my kid grows up never experiencing gun violence. You would keep your liberty (because you understand it) and attempt to protect your family yourself. It’s these opposing views that make the country great.

            Anyway… I’m off to freedom class (and hopefully math class as well). Maybe we’ll talk more later.

  44. JerseyJay

    January 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I live in NJ, we have a retarded background check process. I applied and was denied and then took it to appeals and I the prosecutor treated it like the O.J. Trial. I was 34 when I applied for the Firearms Purchaser Card (can’t even buy ammo or a long barrel with out it here in NJ), the reason I was denied, my parents sent me to rehab when I was 14 years old. So that is what background checks do.. they dig all the way back to your childhood and find a reason not to issue. I have 2 masters degrees, a business, a mortgage and a family.. obviously I’m the same person I was when I was a 14 year old kid in boarding school.
    I agree with this article 100%.
    Criminals get weapons on the “black market”, they don’t go through the permit process.

  45. Hand

    March 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you for writing this article Mr Twisted. You make very logical, well reasoned, original points. I appreciate that you went against the grain of thought that permeates concerned, socially responsible citizens.

    Since all this unmitigated hysteria began, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I have purchased numerous firearms as an adult over the years, and have had to submit to a background check each time. When I was a teenager, I purchased numerous firearms on the street, as long as I had the cash, it was easy to get a gun. As an adult, I always felt anxiety during the wait. What if something I’m not aware of comes up and I not only get rejected, but get arrested? I have no record, Ive done nothing illegal. Yet, as you stated, there I was at the counter, asking a government agency to validate somehow that I was allowed to purchase a firearm. Why? Who is stamping my application? What criteria are they judging me on? What prevents them from making impromptu or biased decisions based on name/age/gender/ethnicity? Who is watching the watchers?

    As someone who has seen both sides of the fence (legal procurement vs black market/street procurement), background checks and bans really do nothing but expose legal citizens to fear and inconvenience. Any one can get any gun on the street at any time. The transaction doesn’t even have to happen in a dark smelly ally, believe me. There are plenty of people who live in nice suburban houses with manicured lawns and church memberships who make a little money on the side selling throw aways.

  46. Reesie

    August 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Excellent article! I fear that many just do not understand the value of the Constitution and never will. It certainly is not taught in the schools any longer.

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