Up early again; I have another early flight back to Boston. Ugh. I have this trip and possibly one more, then it’s off to whatever project comes next. This is the life of the self-employed, True Believers; surviving on my wits, my abilities, my work ethic and my willingness to go damn near anywhere anyone has a job that needs done.
But that’s neither here nor there. Moving right along, a Nevada professor is saying that the research on the effectiveness of background checks is “muddy.” No shit. Excerpt:
William Sousa, professor and director of the Center for Crime and Justice Policy at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, presented his findings during the public meeting about the state’s background check voter referendum, Question 1, where he said the data can be used “to support both sides of the argument.”
“I suppose if I was obligated to say … the research leans towards the benefits of it, but there’s a lot of limitations,” he said.
Nevada’s ballot measure, if approved, would extend federal background check requirements to include most private sales and transfers, such as those at gun shows and others arranged through websites like ArmsList. Violators would face a gross misdemeanor charge and a potential penalty of one year in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.
Sousa, the self-declared “neutral” voice on the panel, sat sandwiched between high-profile voices on both sides of the debate: Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros S. Anthony and National Rifle Association legislative liaison Dan Reid, critics of the ballot measure, and Nevadans for Background Checks spokeswoman Jennifer Crowe and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, two of the state’s most visible proponents supporting Question 1.
Here’s the real money quote:
“If you look at people who are violent criminals … they don’t go through a background check to get their gun,” (Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros S.) Anthony said during Thursday’s town hall. “They are going to steal the gun. They are going to borrow it from a friend. They were doing that 30 years ago. They are doing it today. They are going to do it 30 years from now. It’s not realistic to tell law-abiding citizens that they are going to have to do background checks on each other because it’s going to reduce crime. It’s just not going to happen.”
Anthony, a 29-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, argues two-thirds of the state’s gun owners will ignore the law — either by choice or unawareness — and face a punishment that far outweighs the crime.
“So what are we going to do here? Are we going to round these folks up and arrest them? Are we going to throw them in jail for a year? All of a sudden, you’re creating criminals out of them … for absolutely doing nothing to increase violence with a firearm out there,” he said.
That’s what most gun control laws do – restrict (at best) or make criminals (at worst) out of law-abiding citizens, while having little or no impact on crime. Criminals don’t obey laws; they won’t submit themselves to background checks.
And that’s not even the worst of it. The more government tries to restrict a product or commodity that the public wants, the greater the black market will be in that product or commodity. The Imperial government didn’t learn that with Prohibition, they haven’t learned it in the War on Drugs, and they won’t learn it by ever-tightening gun laws.
But then, ignorance and recalcitrance in the Imperial City is hardly a new thing.