Jesse Jackson has an editorial in the Sun Times today, which details what he hopes to gain from his little protests. Taking his talking points apart is going to be like hitting batting practice pitching with an aluminum bat – that means it will be both fun and easy.
1. Enforce the laws we do have; lift the shackles on the ATF to enforce the law. ATF is notoriously underfunded. The Department of Justice estimates it would take 22 years for it to inspect all federally licensed dealers given current manpower. Its enforcement powers have been crippled by limiting its ability to suspend licenses and issue fines to gun dealers that trample the laws.
You know, I actually agree with the first part of that statement, but that’s it. I believe that our existing gun control laws are quite enough, thank you please, and would rather have people punished for committing crimes instead of taking firearms out of the hands of collectors, hunters, and law abiding gun owners everywhere.
I completely disagree with “removing the shackles” on the ATF. People who actually pay attention to what’s going on realize that the ATF pretty much runs around does whatever they damn well please, which includes harassing legitimate dealers for clerical errors (Ask Red’s about that), ignoring rulings from federal judges, and trying to make law by executive fiat.
2. Extend background checks to all gun sales. In the age of al-Qaida, with gun violence growing, let’s make no exceptions. Every sale requires a background check — no check, no sale.
Every. Gun. Sold. By. A. Dealer. Requires. A. Background. Check. I honestly don’t understand how this is so hard for people to get. This means that licensed dealers at gun shows have to run background checks. I fail to see how mandating background checks if Joe Sixpack wants to sell his hunting rifle, or Ruger revolver, or Beretta 92F to his next door neighbor is going to stop a scumbag from getting a gun. I mean, if someone could actually explain how that would work in a way that makes logical sense, that would be really helpful.
3. Ban large-volume sales of guns. Someone coming into a gun show to purchase 10 or 20 weapons at once isn’t going hunting for deer. Some states have limits, but many do not. Limits make the use of straw purchasers more difficult.
How do you know he’s not going hunting? Maybe that person collects Smith & Wesson revolvers, or old military rifles, or Beretta pistols and they found a deal on a bunch of them. They’re not doing anything illegal, and it’s downright insulting to assume that someone buying “a lot” of guns is up to some nefarious purpose. As much as I dislike the guns/cars analogy, assuming that someone buying a lot of guns is doing so with the intent to break the law is like assuming that someone bought a Porsche with the intent to drive drunk at high speed.
There is another bit in the editorial, before the talking points where Jesse mentions how people on the “terrorist watch list” can buy guns. Now, I understand that the concept of that may sound scary, but when you realize that the terrorist watch list is essentially a worthless piece of crap then you’ll understand why I’m not concerned about that. Of course, I don’t like secret government databases.
What’s frustrating about all of this is that these are the same talking points that we’ve heard over and over from the gun banners for ages now. At The Smallest Minority, Kevin has an excellent post up which examines the inherent cognitive dissonance present in the gun control mindset. This quote from him essentially sums up what must go through the minds of the anti-gun movement.
The philosophy cannot be wrong! Do it again only harder!