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Political Talk
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
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Mandatory Background Checks

Mandatory background checks are a terrible idea. They burden law-abiding citizens and don’t catch criminals. The databases they rely on are riddled with errors. We don’t even prosecute people who flunk the checks. That’s why Republicans are against imposing such checks on gun buyers.

On the other hand, if you want to catch illegal immigrants, forget everything I just said. Running everybody through a database is a terrific idea. Republicans are all for it.
What's the deal?

On ABC’s This Week, he [Rubio] was asked why anyone buying a firearm online or at a gun show shouldn’t have to go through a criminal background check. He replied:

“Do you want the background check? Because the background check system right now does not work, because it's not being enforced. Number two is, criminals don't care about the laws that we pass with regards to guns. They never follow the law. … [A]ll these laws that people are discussing will not effectively deal with that problem but will infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

You could say the same about E-Verify. It blocks the transaction in question—hiring—but isn’t designed to launch prosecutions. It targets people who have broken the law and are accustomed to navigating black markets. It yields a high rate of false positives, burdening the law-abiding majority. Yet when Rubio was asked in the same interview about immigration, he brushed aside such skepticism. “We are going to get the toughest enforcement measures in the history of this country,” he assured viewers. “We are going to have E-Verify, universally, which means that you will not be able to find a job in the United States if you're not legally here.”
Interesting. At least our resident libertarians will be consistent on this, right?
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:01 AM   #2
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Don't forget that some 90% of Americans are for mandatory background checks, even majorities of Republicans, veterans and active duty military. Not even 90% of Americans love their own mothers, this is about as close to a concensus as you're ever going to get in America.

So who's interests then are those against background checks representing, certainly not the vast majority of Americans?
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #3
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First of all, there is a big difference between establishing rules that impinge upon and limit an existing constitutional right (gun ownership) and establishing rules that affect a non-citizen's ability to enter and live in this country. For that reason, we should not expect everyone's position on the two topics to be the same. They are very different issues by their very nature.

That being said, I personally don't have a problem with universal background checks for gun purchases, although (1) I don't think they will be effective against the problem every one is using to push this agenda (gun violence) and (2) I would still remain nervous about the federal government's ability to misuse the background check process.

If I don't think they will be effective, why would I go along with them? Simple - we (those of us opposed) simply cannot win that argument in a low-information world. It is too easy for the proponents to claim any opposition is baseless, even though their argument is lazy. There are simply too many people in this country who insist on doing something, anything, without regard for efficacy. I sum this up as one of the key differences between liberals and conservatives: Liberals will do something just to absolve themselves of further worry about the problem, regardless of efficacy, whereas conservatives more often insist on results. These are generalizations, of course, but more accurate than not in my opinion.

Lastly, in my opinion concern (2) is only slightly higher under liberal government leadership that under conservative government leadership. I don't pretend that having Republicans leading both elected government branches would avoid the misuse problem.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:32 AM   #5
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Just a side note, there are already background checks for buying a firearm online. I can't go to, purchase a firearm and have it shipped to my door. If I purchase it from an individual on they have to then go to a local FFL (Federal Firearms Licensed) dealer, fill out a form to ship it to MY local FFL. When it arrives, I then have to fill out a form.

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Old 04-16-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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I'm against background checks in general. It's an undue burden placed on individuals and employers who just want to conduct their business without getting harassed by the government. Now, if they want to conduct it voluntarily, it's their right to do so.
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