In the light of the most recent horrible incidents, of which Sandy Hook is the current focus, momentum has been increasing in regards to more gun legislation, especially in regards to more background checks.
This has some groups calling foul as it (further) restricts our Second Amendment rights. Let’s review that wording:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
(via http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html ).
What people keep drawing attention to is the second half of that sentence. It’s the first half that we also need to look at: A well regulated Militia. Various SCOTUS rulings have worked to define what that means. Key thing here is that it’s not open-ended and needs some regulation.
I think we would most agree that we shouldn’t let people that need not possess a gun be blocked from doing so. The question is how. Unless gun sellers are also psychics, there has to be some way of having some level of vetting to make sure that it’s not super easy for guns to fall into the hands of those that shouldn’t have them.
That’s where background checks come into play. There’s got to be some way of having some front-line way that we can at least make it harder for those who shouldn’t be getting them.
I would find it hard to beleive that someone is touting this as anywhere close to fool-proof, especially if the Spring 2013 proposed legislation doesn’t include person-to-person. However, this would at least cover more scenarios. Just like if someone really wanted a prescription medicine that didn’t have a prescription could still get it if they really tried: The prescription check adds a layer of protection.
But the question is then how much of an undue burden this puts on a buyer having to go through that background check. As a recent video has shown, this may not take more than a few minutes: faster than it would take to get a prescription filled.
So, what I’m really scratching my head over is why is the NRA and others up in arms about this? No one is saying “no guns”. Just no guns for those that shouldn’t get them. I wouldn’t even call this a “slippery slope” (I’m so tired of that phrase) as it took decades to get to even this point. It’s anything but a slope, it’s been an uphill climb the whole way.