Support VSSA Advertisers

Monday, July 13, 2015

Washington Post Says FBI Background Check Failure Provides Good Argument for Expanding Background Checks

The Washington Post web site carried this editorial last night around 6:00 stating that the FBI's admission it failed to stop the Charleston church shooter from getting a gun provides an argument for "tightened" background checks.
Mr. Comey’s admission should also drive home what should be an obvious point: A tightened, functional background-check system and other simple measures would erect real and practical barriers to people attempting to buy guns for nefarious purposes. If the system had worked correctly in this case, Mr. Roof would have been turned away at the gun store counter. If Congress had tightened up the system’s rules years ago, he would have had a harder time looking elsewhere, such as at gun shows. If federal and state lawmakers weren’t so in thrall to the pro-gun fringe, friends, family members and other potential sources would have faced clear and high penalties for giving Mr. Roof a weapon without taking him to a gun store to get checked out first.

It’s entirely appropriate to talk about imposing basic gun laws in the wake of any mass shooting. All of them underline the fact that guns are shockingly efficient killing machines that no responsible government would ignore. Even if better gun laws wouldn’t prevent every rampage or end street crime, they would certainly cut down on gun deaths from all sorts of causes by making it tougher to obtain and use firearms illegally.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has been urging congress to "Fix NICS" for years.
And the U.S. Department of Justice offered grants to states since 2013 so that they can get their records on prohibited persons more up-to-date.  And yet the FBI still can't get it right.  So, it is a little hard to follow the Post's logic on how this paperwork failure is proof that running more background checks through the system will stop incidents like the one in Charleston from occurring.

Dr. John Lott noted on the Daily Caller on Friday that even if the shooter had failed the background check, due to the fact that he had been planning the attack for six months, he would likely have done what most other criminals do, get a firearm through an illegal source.  Lott also noted that the larger problem is the fact that like any database involving names, there will always be incorrect information:
This is the same problem experienced with the “No Fly” list. Remember the five times that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was “initially denied” flights because his name was on the anti-terror “no fly” list? His name was just too similar to someone that we really did want to keep from flying. By Obama’s method of counting, that means the “no fly” list stopped five flights by terrorists.

For gun purchases, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives dropped over 94 percent of “initial denials” after just the first preliminary review. The annual National Instant Criminal Background Check System report explains that these cases were dropped either because the additional information showed that the wrong people had been stopped or because the covered offenses were so many decades old that the government decided not to prosecute. At least a fifth of the remaining 6 percent were still false positives.
If anything, the FBI's failure in this case is proof why so-called "universal background" checks won't do anything to deter crime.  The only thing it will do is make people who want to sell a firearm from their personal collection a criminal if they don't abide by this registration scheme.

1 comment:

WillVMI68 said...

The WP's logic is remarkably flawed here. "IF NICS has paperwork "glitches" that allowed a prohibited person to receive a gun in error, THEN give NICS more paperwork."

Here's a suggestion that should be tried first. PROSECUTE THE 1000's OF INDIVIDUALS NICS PROPERLY DENIES WHEN THEY LIE ON THE FORM.

That just might deter the felons and mentally ill from trying that route to acquire a weapon, and just might save some lives.