This is a comment I left on a Huffington Post article called “I Have A Mental Illness And A Gun License. Here’s What I Think Of Gun Reform.” by Thom Dunn. I may write a response to this article at a later time, or at least the points where I have disagreement.
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The biggest thing hampering any conversation on firearms and reforms is the complete ignorance of those who want the reforms. Not just of firearms and terminology, but the current laws and regulations. Until they overcome that ignorance, and stop taking a “worst first” mentality on everything related to firearms, we’ll continue to be at a stalemate.
Gun rights advocates won’t give ground because they know many at the upper-echelons of the gun control groups want a full-out ban and are willing to work slowly to get it. Even on the one area where we do need reform: the NICS background check system.
A lot of gun control advocates act like background checks will catch everyone — I see that implication A LOT — while not understanding the two primary limitations of the system: 1. it’s only as good as the information available to it, and 2. only persons who’ve been through due process can be listed there (see the Due Process Clause). On point 1 we absolutely can improve. And should.
But we still need to be realistic in its limitations. Would that better information have stopped the LV shooter? No. Would it have stopped the mass shooters in recent years? Maybe the Charleston shooter, but that’s it.
In an open letter regarding their lawsuit against Lucky Gunner, the family who sued them said that Lucky Gunner had a responsibility to make sure the people they were selling to weren’t dangerous killers. This implies they expect gun and ammo sellers and the background check system to be psychic or precognant in nature. No system can be, yet that appears to be what’s demanded.
Again, we need to be realistic about the limitations. We can not stop all mass killings — even Australia shows this — just as law enforcement can’t solve all crimes and catch all perpetrators. But, again, that seems to be what’s expected and demanded.