Laws Would Help
An open letter to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.:
First, thank you for your reply to my letter on subject. There are hundreds of millions of firearms in the U.S., with most owners unknown, so the owners' criminal or mental records are unknown. I'm not sure it's worth the concern if a few million additional unknowns are added over several years. From what I've heard and read, compliance on background checks for current law is very low. Plus they are not even required for firearms show sales.
A few months ago there was a nationwide run to purchase firearms of all types, emptying store shelves across the country. With millions of firearms sold in a very short period of time, I doubt many buyers were subject to BCs: sellers usually want their money right now! Many buyers seemed to think Congress was going to make firearms illegal! If that's the mentality of many firearms owners, the U.S. has a much greater problem than BCs.
You're supporting legislation to improve BCs. In addition to other things, it would exclude BCs for sales to a relative or loans to a neighbor. That implies if someone has no criminal or mental records and passes BC, then 100 percent of their relatives and neighbors have no criminal or mental records. Turned around, it means those with criminal or mental records have neither relatives nor neighbors! You also feel denying ownership of assault weapons would be unconstitutional. Apparently they must be similar to rifles used in 1791 when Second Amendment was passed. What would assault weapons be used for? Shooting rabbits? Shooting squirrels? Shooting up customers in a movie theater?
Interpretation of the Second Amendment by many U.S. citizens has gotten so warped, twisted, bent, expanded, and misinterpreted, the Amendment ought to be repealed. Simply allow anyone age 16 or over, ownership of any firearm using gunpowder and a projectile. Then the U.S. would be accepting, admitting and recognizing, the reality of the firearms situation.
Second Amendment authors had absolutely no concept of possible firearms technology 150-250 years in future. They should have been intelligent enough to recognize their shortcomings, and not word the Second Amendment as they did. How can we solve this situation? We'll fix the massively improved firearms technology problem and Second Amendment problem, by creating more technology and more laws.
More technology will be developed by the government, and its use will be mandatory at time of a firearms sale. It will provide immediate BCs with no wait time. The government will establish a National Data Base containing appropriate information on appropriate individuals, to enable firearms sales BCs (most of this information already exists on assorted government computers). Firearms sellers must obtain a suitable hardware capability for making inquiries to the data base for BCs. The rules to allow a sale should be so cut and dried that the information system could respond with BC results: automatically applying same set of rules to all individuals, resulting in no judgmental or fraudulent approvals. No pass, no sale.
I feel your proposed National Commission on Mass Violence may be putting priority in wrong area. Mass violence is not the major problem in U.S. regarding firearms. Annually, the number of people murdered as individual victims is about 150 times the number murdered in mass violence situations. One-on-one violence is by far the major problem in area of firearms. Increased erroneous priorities for mass violence are developed and promoted by media coverage.