Gun Control?

Is our goal to control guns or people..?  I can only hope the goal is both….

As an American, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear gun control is concern.  As a parent and grandparent I’m obviously concerned about the safety of my children and grandchildren based on the recent events of gun related violence.  As a hunter I’m concerned what this discussion will do to the sport I truly enjoy.

I can cut and paste all the statistics that the television stations show and the newspapers print to prove a point and we can all vividly remember most of the mass killings that have occurred over the past decade and a couple in Minnesota.  No doubt about it, these events are horrible and need to be eliminated.  The ultimate question is how…

Immediately, gun control discussions start and the solutions are across the spectrum.  The recent popularity of the assault rifles have sent this into another level but to be honest, the shotgun is arguably more lethal than an assault rifle.  Gun purchases at gun shows should be eliminated if a background check is not performed.

Our mental health issues in America are now under scrutiny since it appears we have not handled this problem effectively.  When you mention mental health, no one wants to admit their problem or admit anyone in their family has issues so the denial is very prevalent.  We can’t eliminate all the horrible events but if we can eliminate one and build from that, we will be moving in the right direction.

Guns are part of the problem no question but a gun needs a shooter.

When I purchase a gun, my information is sent to the ATF (The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and then cross referenced with the FBI to determine if I can legally purchase the gun.  If everything is verified, I can purchase the gun.  Background checks are the first line of defense when attempting to limit gun purchasing.  If we adopt programs and procedures that would update personal information that is verified and cross referenced when a background check is performed we will have accomplished something.  If any of the information is disputed during the background check the purchase is not permitted.  The prospective buyer would have a delay in their purchase which at worst is an inconvenience.  With increased documentation and awareness, we can hopefully eliminate a purchase, that would prevent a potential catastrophic event.

The ultimate question is what is the standard operating procedure for recording information for a person.  In my opinion the more information the better.  Our attempt is to limit gun purchases based on extraordinary information, nothing else….All the human rights advocates will scream about something but we’ve seen what ignorance produces; victims!

National Instant Check System

  • The National Instant Check System (or NICS), created in 1998, enables gun  dealers and state point-of-contact offices to run background checks on potential  customers to determine if they are allowed to purchase a firearm. This FBI  monitors this system. Most background checks can be completed within minutes  unless further investigation is necessary. Information contained within the  database includes prior criminal records, information from the U.S. Department  of Defense and information from the U.S. State Department. When purchasing  multiple firearms on the same day, only one background check will be conducted.  To purchase firearms on different days, you must undergo multiple background  checks for each firearm.

Contacting NICS

  • Gun dealers contact the NICS database directly and speak with an operator,  who runs the background check. You will be required to fill out Part A of the  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm’s (or BATF) form 4473 so you can be  identified correctly in the database. If you have a common name, you may be  asked to provide your Social Security number for verification. This is  voluntary, but it can help speed up the process. The gun dealer will be given a  verification number once you have been cleared to purchase the firearm. If  additional information needs to be verified, NICS has up three days to complete  the background check. If you have not been cleared to purchase a firearm, the  gun dealer will be told to delay the purchase until a further investigation has  been conducted.