I read an article in The Washington Post today that explains the differences in the gun bill yet to be resolved by the Chuck Schumer, representing the Democrats, and Tom Coburn, representing the Republicans. It all gets down to the issue of keeping records of background checks. Without a requirement to keep the background checks on file, how would we know that anyone actually complied with the law? How would law enforcement be able to track guns used in crimes?
Fear mongerers like Wayne LaPierre say that if people keep records, then the government will collect all the records and eventually send armed government agents to the homes of gun owners and confiscate all their guns. No rational person actually believes that – not in this gun-culture country.
To me the recordkeeping requirement is no different than the law that says when I go to a pharmacy to buy cold pills like Sudafed that contain ingredients criminals can extract to make meth, I have to show my ID, provide my address, and sign a purchase log at the pharmacy. The government doesn’t collect information about every transaction. If there is a crime and the police need to investigate the distribution of pills used to make meth, then they go to pharmacies and look at records. Same thing is true if I purchase a keg of beer. I have to provide the same information, but the police don’t bother with collecting the data from stores unless they bust a party where the beer in the keg I bought was served to minors. Then they want to know who bought the keg.
The Democrats believe that background checks must be done for all gun sales, and records of the checks and sales must be kept on file. Otherwise the law is absurd and useless.
So let your senators know that no matter what the NRA or Ted Nugent says, you think background checks must be required for all gun sales.
If you aren’t sure what to write on their contact pages, well here’s what I wrote, and you are free to use it and edit it to fit your own personal style.
Senator [insert name here],
I read today how Senator Schumer and Senator Coburn are at an impasse in moving a gun-control bill forward because many Republicans have the completely irrational idea that a law requiring the keeping of records of background checks for gun purchases would enable the government to collect all the data and send armed government agents to the homes of law-abiding citizens to confiscate their lawfully procured firearms. Really that’s what they think because that’s what Wayne LaPierre tells them to think. Well they are so wrong it’s not even worth discussing but, being a US Senator, I guess you have to. So please speak clearly, often, and loudly about how background checks would be used to keep firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, and that law-abiding citizens are in no danger of having their guns confiscated by government agents no matter what Wayne LaPierre or Ted Nugent says.
It is of utmost importance that our country adopts reasonable, rational laws to try and prevent as many people who should not have firearms because of criminal records or known mental problems from obtaining them.
And yes I know that banning assault weapons again is just crazy, because everybody should be allowed to own whatever kind of gun they want. That’s the American way! Right? No it’s not. You know it and I know it, and we both know that a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammo clips that are designed to kill the most people in the most efficient way won’t get through the current congress.
So let’s start with background checks and let’s stand OUR ground.
[Your Name here]