Background checks make sense

Those of us who support I-594 (background checks for most gun sales) realize that it is not a cure-all for our country’s gun problem. It is better than doing nothing, however. As mentioned in your June 27 article (“Jews and guns: What’s our responsibility?”), when Missouri rescinded its background check law, gun violence increased dramatically.
In your article, you had an interview with Jeffrey Slotnick of a security company. He believes most law enforcement officials are opposed to background checks. Mr. Slotnick is probably thinking of the survey, which shows to be totally misleading.
In contrast, it appears to me that many law officials support background checks.
Last year, many law enforcement officials met with President Obama and urged him to support background checks. At a Senate hearing in 2013, the police chief of Milwaukee embarrassed
Senator Lindsay Graham by calling for background checks. The International Association of Chiefs of Police supports background checks.
Mr. Tobias mentions that guns are often used to stop crimes. He doesn’t mention how many times a person’s gun is used against them or a family member or friend by accident. He doesn’t mention how many times guns are used in crimes.
And lastly, the big argument that if many people had concealed guns, some of the past massacres wouldn’t have been as severe. Maybe so; but what else might happen? Let’s say that schoolteachers carry guns. A seriously mentally ill person walks into the room and shoots the teacher! Then what? On the other hand, let’s say a teacher carries a gun. One day a
student grabs it and then…?
Yes, we know that criminals will still be able to get guns, but I-594 is a simple way to reduce those numbers. The majority of people in the United States, over 79 percent, support
background checks. Many of these are guns owners.
Anti-gun control people say they don’t want their Second Amendment rights taken away. I would ask them: How would I-594 keep them from owning a gun?

Ted Coskey


One Comment

  1. Michael Tobias
    Aug 31, 2014 @ 17:06:06

    I would like to respond to Mr. Coskey’s letter for what will now be the third time. My previous two were removed by persons unknown. I believe the good people at JTNews when they say it wasn’t anyone of theirs who did it. Who, then, is getting into their system?

    The lie most frequently repeated by the gun control movement today is that “90% of Americans support background checks,” a concept sold on the fiction that background checks aren’t conducted at gun shows.

    But a funny thing happens when citizens are told the truth that background checks are conducted by gun dealers no matter where they operate according to new data released from the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

    Only four out of ten Americans support so-called “universal background checks” at gun shows after being informed that the vast majority of firearms sales at these shows are transacted by licensed retailers that already conduct such checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as required by federal law. The poll results stand in contrast to the vague claim often reported in the media and attributed to gun control proponents without important contextual detail that 90 percent of Americans surveyed support “universal background checks.”

    These findings were the among the results of a national scientific poll of more than 1,200 Americans conducted in November by McKeon & Associates and released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. The McKeon poll found that only 40 percent of respondents said that extension of “universal background checks” to private transactions at gun shows are necessary, while 53 percent said they are not necessary and 7% said they did not know.

    This is in stark contrast to claims made by the media, gun control groups, and “progressive” politicians that pushed for citizen disarmament, and yet failed in the national level despite claiming (a blatantly false) 90% level of support. We have to speculate that Republicans and Democrats in the Senate most have conducted polling of citizens using similar methodologies and found similar answers before voting down a series of gun control proposals mid-year.

    Respondents were also against mandatory background checks of friends and family for firearms transfers (54%), and 70% were against mandating “smart gun” technologies that have consistently been technological failures.

    Other results of the scientific polling conducted by McKeon & Associates reveals that Americans want state-level authorities to do a much better job submitting information to the FBI-run National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (NICS) database.
    “We commissioned this poll to help determine where Americans stood on the various aspects of how the NICS system actually works today,” said Larry G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “When properly informed of relevant details, it turns out that only four out of ten, not nine out of ten Americans support so-called ‘universal background checks’ at gun shows or for firearms transfers. The poll also found that Americans want a National Instant Criminal Background Check System with a dependable and accurate database, which supports the goal of the FixNICS initiative we launched in 2013 and will continue in 2014.”

    Also, as a result of an in-depth debate between the National Rifle Association and the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS) has joined the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA) in opposing the 18-page gun control measure, Initiative 594, on the Washington ballot this fall.

    This is a serious blow to the anti-gun activists and the billionaires behind this effort who are trying to push their handgun registration scheme disguised as a “universal background check” measure. Initiative 594 is sponsored and heavily funded to the tune of $2.5 million by wealthy elitists who have created the front group WAGR to push their deceptive and misguided proposal to uninformed voters.

    In addition to greatly expanding the government registration database of all law-abiding handgun owners in Washington, I-594 will specifically regulate transfers, not just sales, of ALL firearms. This means that in virtually all cases, a person merely handing his or her firearm to a family member or a friend cannot do so without brokering the transfer through a gun dealer with the accompanying fees, paperwork, use taxes, and in the case of handguns, state registration. I-594 also doubles the state waiting period on handgun sales from five to ten days and extends it to every private transfer of a handgun!

    If the two largest law enforcement organizations in the state are against it, why should we think I-594 is a good idea?