Gun Appreciation Day was celebrated by taking my youngest son to a gun show. He’s 13 years old; and his possessions include four firearms, a variety of knives, and some useless electronic devices. It is one of the larger shows that occur in my neck of the woods, and it is for a good cause: a fundraiser for the high school hockey team. The high school where it was held was packed shoulder to shoulder by the time we arrived. I didn’t really anticipate making a large purchase but stopped by the bank for some cash just in case I saw something that I couldn’t live without. We spent several hours perusing the tables, talking to vendors, seeing some old friends, and participating in a culture that progressives don’t believe in and liberals vilify.
I consider myself a novice collector of material possessions with varied interests. I am the constant deal seeker. I thought just maybe, I might find a 1911 to add to my collection. A knife with a double-edged blade and leather-bound handle caught my interest. I pulled it from its sheath and noticed a maker’s mark from England. It was about 16” in overall length and reminded me of something a British soldier used in a movie I saw once. It was WWII era, but not military, probably a personal weapon sold to a British soldier to augment their issued equipment. The knife had but one purpose: slide the flat blade between two ribs to the vital organs. It definitely met the cool, unique, and historical factor; but it was more than I wanted to spend, so I moved on. I was also looking for ammunition, as my supplies are dwindling; and I was planning on stocking up a bit. I didn’t make a purchase, unless you count the butterfly knife my son added to his personal collection. In all, it was a good show for a good cause.
I heard lots of people asking vendors about background checks and what information they reported back to the government on firearms sales. It got me thinking about a new term that is being used to describe a solution to the gun show loophole.
What does the phrase “universal background check” mean, and will it really close the gun show loophole? First, you have to believe that a loophole actually exists. I will speak to that in a minute. When a government official uses the term “universal background check”, they mean that prior to the transfer of personal property from one private individual to another, a background check would be required; or the act of such a transfer would be illegal. The only legal method to complete the transfer of ownership would be to visit a federal firearms dealer or to complete ATF Form 4473. The use of this form would associate a person with a firearm and store the transaction in a database, which is a whole different subject.
When I contemplated the possible abuses, my memory reverted to Randy Weaver, the abuses of the government, the resulting death of a federal agent and Randy’s son Sam, the standoff known as Ruby Ridge where the Weavers lived, the subsequent government-authorized murder of Randy’s wife Vickie, and then the ensuing trials. Would enforcement of Universal Background Checks include federal agents visiting yard sales, posing as upstanding private citizens with the intent of capturing private party gun sellers? Would history repeat itself with illegal warrants, standoffs, and death?
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