Universal background checks make sense

Columnist and Columnist

No one actually wants to take your guns away. Similarly, no one actually wants individual citizens to own bazookas and drive tanks to work.

Sure, Pierce Morgan [a host on CNN] may want to take away all guns, and Ted Nugent [a board member for the NRA] thinks he should have the right to own a tank; however, these types of people are on the fringe of society.

The fact is, most people fall between these two groups and must work together to solve a very serious problem in this country.

The instances in Newtown and Aurora are examples that we must act to preserve a society which we would like our children to inherit.

Many people will use faulty evidence to suggest that gun control facilitates violence. Please, dear reader, do not take this evidence blindly.

For instance, an example of this rests in the tragedy of Chicago. While the city does have strict gun laws, the area around it does not. Weapons are easily purchased outside the city, transported within city limits and distributed on the black market at a premium.

Similarly, those who suggest that firearms are not dangerous are ignorant to history. Take for instance the AR15— the gun used in the Aurora theater massacre.

It has been suggested this weapon is not dangerous; however, this gun was specifically designed for, and saw service in, the Vietnam War. The gun’s purpose was to spray as many bullets in to the general direction of the combatant almost as though hoping for a “lucky shot.”

In the hands of a citizen, this weapon is most serviceable in an offensive scenario in which the aggressor wishes to fire as many rounds in as short a time as possible.

Now, having given a few of the reasons for regulation, it is important to have a plan which any law abiding citizen can get behind.

It seems perfectly reasonable to enact universal background checks. Without these background checks, it is possible for anyone with a driver license to walk into a gun show and purchase any firearm. There is no legal requirement to ensure this person is not a known felon, a convicted murderer, or even a wanted fugitive.

How do we expect law and order to prevail when we promote a system which makes no attempt to keep weaponry out of the hands of those who intend to use them for evil?

If we can agree to pass this regulation [and it seems reasonable to do so], there is still the question of how to enforce this.

Fortunately, we have the technology to do so.

All we must do is, from now on, require that all firearms, produced and sold, must be registered and identified with a microchip. What this will do is very simple. When a weapon is used in any criminal activity, we will have the ability to trace that weapon back to the most recent legal owner of the gun. That person would then be responsible to explain how the weapon came to not be in their possession any longer.

This program would give the seller an incentive to perform a background check.

Once this is done, either the transaction would be completed and the firearm would be transferred in to the lawful possession of the buyer; or the seller would discover the buyer has violent tendencies and the transaction would be cancelled.

It may take 10, 20 even 50 years for this system to fully come to fruition, however, we would ensure that the America we leave for our children is a safer nation and is not restrictive of what law abiding citizens can own.

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