From Rocky Mountain Gun Owners' email alert:
Today's (6/10/07) Washington Post has reported that the NRA has, once again, cut a "deal" with the anti-gunners in Congress over your gun rights.
According to the Post, "Senior Democrats have reached agreement with the National Rifle Association on what could be the first federal gun-control legislation since 1994, a measure to significantly strengthen the national system that checks the backgrounds of gun buyers."
As many Oregon residents have learned, the background check system, a prior restraint on your rights, is a failure.
This system, which assumes you are guilty and requires you to prove your innocence before exercising a God-given, Constitutional right, has delayed and denied countless Coloradans attempting to make legal firearms purchases.
If Congress and the NRA have their way, things are about to get a whole lot worse. In a deal the Post calls "a marriage of convenience for both sides," and NRA lobbyist Chris Cox calls "good politics," the failed National Instant Check system is poised to be expanded even further. Furthermore, the proposed legislation will punish states that do not supply all the private mental health records the Feds will be demanding.
Cox reportedly said "if the legislation becomes a 'gun-control wish list' as it moves through Congress, the NRA will withdraw its support and work against the bill." But this is the same line they used on their second attempt to pass liability protection for gun dealers and manufacturers. That bill became a "gun control wish list" and the NRA not only supported it, but demanded that it pass with all the gun control that was tacked on to it.
What do gun owners get in return for this vastly expanded intrusion into their privacy? According to the Washington Post "Individuals with minor infractions in their pasts could petition their states to have their names removed from the federal database, and about 83,000 military veterans, put into the system by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2000 for alleged mental health reasons, would have a chance to clean their records. "
Individuals with minor infractions, and military veterans don't get their names removed from government "no-buy" lists, they get the "chance" to "petition" to have their names removed.
We are quite confident predicting that process will be a nightmare if it can be done at all. The recent implosion of the passport issuing system is a perfect example of the kind of morass that all government databases become.
According to the Washington Post "Under the bill, states voluntarily participating in the system would have to file an audit with the U.S. attorney general of all the criminal cases, mental health adjudications and court-ordered drug treatments that had not been filed with the instant-check system".
If that does not terrify you it should. The current background check system is an intrusive, error-riddled mess. Now NRA and the anti-gunners in Congress want to expand a system that can't keep criminal records straight, and add vast new amounts of data about people's "mental health" records. The abuse and misuse of people's private information is nothing new and it's a very short trip from "court-ordered drug treatments" to "has attended an AA meeting."
No one supports arming people who are a danger to themselves or others, but adjudicating someone's mental health is an inexact science at best. And there is no reason to believe that this latest attack on your right is going keep dangerous people from getting guns.
One of the legislators responsible for this "deal," anti-gun Congressman John Dingell (who has voted with his anti-gun colleagues 96.8% of the time), said "No law will prevent evildoers from doing evil acts, but this law will help ensure that those deemed dangerous by the courts will not be able to purchase a weapon." But of course, that's preposterous. All this law will bring us is more invasions of our privacy, more government databases, and more denied purchases.