On Background Checks and Databases

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by Paul R. Hollrah, ©2013               

What is the Obama White House planning to do to limit lawful firearms purchases to Americans?

(Jan. 25, 2013) — On January 16, 2013, Barack Obama stepped before the TV cameras in the auditorium of the Old Executive Office Building to outline his proposals for new gun control measures.  And while he brought four children and their parents with him as political props for what he was about to say, not a single proposal he made would have prevented the atrocity at Newtown, Connecticut.

But the NRA was quick to unmask Obama’s hypocrisy.  In an ad prepared and released before Obama went on the air, the NRA referred to the fact that Obama’s own children attend the Sidwell Friends School in Washington… a school that employs full time armed security.  The ad asked, “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?  Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?”  The NRA ad concluded by saying, “Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”

Clearly, that ad stung a bit at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Proving once again that the Obama White House is totally devoid of conscience, White House press secretary Jay Carney whined, “Children should not be used as pawns in a political fight.”

Apparently the children that Carney referred to were not the same children that Barack Obama had just finished using as pawns in a political fight.  What is clear is that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are attempting to use the political tactic made famous by Adolph Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels, and Obama’s own former Propaganda Minister, Rahm Emanuel… a political tactic which says, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Obama understands, as we all do, that no amount of gun regulation will ever prevent atrocities such as those at Newtown, Connecticut; Virginia Tech; and Columbine High School.  All of these mass shootings, as well as many other shootings of less lethality, have been carried out by deeply disturbed individuals, almost all of whom were under the influence of psychotropic drugs administered by parents, teachers, school nurses, and child psychologists.

So the question arises, if it is not possible to take all mentally disturbed people off the streets… which it is not… then is it possible to insure that such people are never able to get their hands on a firearm?  Again, the answer is no.  It is not possible.

Gun control advocates would have us believe that so-called “assault weapons” have been used in an increasing number of crimes since the early 1990s.  However, the facts prove otherwise.  According to a recent FBI Uniform Crime Report, the incidence of violent crime in 1992 was 752 per 100,000 population and 9.3 murders per 100,000.  The federal assault weapons ban went into effect in 1994 and expired on September 13, 2004.  Between 2004 and 2011 it was possible to once again purchase so-called “assault rifles,” but by 2011 the violent crime rate had dropped from 752 per 100,000 to 386, and the murder rate from 9.3 per 100,000 to 4.7.  This decline of nearly 50% occurred during a period of time when the number of firearms in private hands increased dramatically… including the sale of more than six million “assault weapons.”

Clearly, the faux concern among Obama and other liberals is not with preventing mass killings with firearms.  Rather, their goal is to disarm law-abiding citizens, leaving guns only in the hands of criminals and violent street gangs who, interestingly enough, are nearly all Obama supporters.

One of the most effective measures for getting guns off the streets of our major cities would be a universal “stop and frisk” law, similar to that implemented by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in New York.  Under that program, a police officer who had a reasonable suspicion that a person had either committed, was committing, or was about to commit a felony or a misdemeanor crime, was allowed to stop and question that person.  And if the officer had reason to suspect that he or she was in danger of physical harm, that individual could be frisked for weapons.

Admittedly, only one in five stops resulted in an arrest or detention, but the program was so successful at taking guns off the streets that New York quickly became known as the “safest city in America.”

So where is the real danger to the American people?  If right-thinking people can agree that one low-information (Obama) voter armed with a voter registration card is far more dangerous than a hundred law-abiding citizens armed with handguns and concealed-carry permits, that one liberal Democrat with a vote in Congress is far more dangerous than a million patriotic Americans armed with assault rifles, and that one ineligible pretender sitting in the Oval Office is far more dangerous to America than a hundred million supporters of the 2nd Amendment, then it’s time we took steps to deal with the real dangers to our republic.

The National Rifle Association has said repeatedly that they have no objection to expanded background checks on gun purchasers, so long as the background checks do not in any way infringe on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.  So let’s talk about developing a national database and background check system capable of solving a number of problems.

The database currently used in firearms background checks is the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  A by-product of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (firearms dealers) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms or explosives.

If Republicans in Congress are even a little bit creative, (yes, I know, that’s asking a lot) they will introduce legislation providing for a comprehensive national database and background check system that goes far beyond NICS and which would help to resolve a multitude of problems.  For example, the database could be used to compile voter registration data, listing registered voters by state, county, and voting district.  It could be designed to automatically cancel registrations when a voter dies, is convicted of a felony crime, or moves from one voting district to another or from one state to another.

A 2000 study by the New York Daily News found that more than 46,000 New York residents, mostly Democrats, were registered to vote both in New York and in Florida.  The New York City Board of Elections found evidence that, in the 2000 General Election, 858 New York residents voted in two or more states, 402 of them voting in both New York and in Florida.  How many Gore-Lieberman votes in Florida were the result of double voting by Democrats residing in the other 49 states is not known.  The Bush-Cheney ticket won Florida by only 537 votes.

In September 2005, New Jersey Republicans announced the results of a voter registration study in their state.  They found that 55,000 New Jersey residents were registered in more than one voting district, that 5,950 people voted more than once in the last previous election, that 5,000 registered voters were no longer alive, that 170,000 people were registered in more than one state, and that 6,500 of them voted in two or more states.  A national voter registration database would allow those individuals to be easily identified, prosecuted, and sent to prison.

Another database in current use is the CODIS DNA Database.  In the event of a sexual assault, a DNA profile of the suspected perpetrator is developed with the aid of a swab kit.  The DNA profile of the suspected perpetrator is then compared with DNA profiles contained in state databases of convicted offenders.  If there is a potential match the DNA laboratory then performs additional tests to confirm the match.

The national database could also be used to compile the vital statistics of every candidate for public office, including name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, party affiliation, previous offices held, proof of citizenship, and certified copies of birth certificates.  The law could be grandfathered to apply to all individuals currently holding public office.

In a recent broadcast, Rush Limbaugh asked, “If we’re going to have universal background checks on virtually everybody who buys a gun, you think maybe it’s time to require a background check on anybody wanting to be president?  I would submit to you we still have not had a background check on Barack Obama.”

What Republican leaders in Congress appear incapable of understanding is that Democrats are not about good government, patriotism, and love of country.  They never have been.  They are about one thing and one thing alone: winning elections and holding power.  For them, winning is the only thing, no matter what they must do to win: legal or illegal, ethical or unethical, violent or non-violent.  For them, politics is all gamesmanship.  It produces winners and losers and losing is not an option.

So, if that’s their game, let’s give them a bit of gamesmanship.  If Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are really serious about the value of national databases and background checks, let’s test their resolve.  I strongly suspect that, if confronted with the creation of an all-inclusive  database such as I have described, our merry little band of evildoers would quickly develop a strong aversion to databases and background checks.

So let’s go Republicans.  Develop a little backbone.  If you can’t beat them playing our game, then let’s beat them at theirs.  While we’re cooperating with liberals and Democrats on expanded background checks for gun purchasers, let’s expand the effort to fix a few other major problems.

The Omnibus database is a good idea and Republicans should get the bill into the hopper without delay.  Let’s shove it down their throats… or wherever.  Let’s not let a good crisis go to waste.


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