Despite the wide range of opinions regarding Gun Control in the United States, the one thing almost everyone agrees is: We need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unfit. Those people with known mental health issues or with domestic violence convictions in their past should not be allowed to build personal armories. So it’s simple, we just need to find a way to stop people from owing a gun who should not be allowed to have a gun.
The problem is it means there are times when someone must be told “We’re very sorry but we cannot sell you this gun.” Even though this technically violates the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution, the majority of Americans seem willing to allow this flexibility in order to ensure the public good. So we still agree, no guns for the mentally ill.
Gun Control for the Mentally Ill
Now we just need a guaranteed way to identify those people with mental illness in their background. Unfortunately there is no Federally certified tattoo or marking placed on their foreheads, so the only other way is to dig into their background. The common term for this is a “Background Check.” Now remember, we still want to make sure that guns don’t fall into the hands of those that will use them to hurt and kill others, and we’re also still agreed that’s primarily those with mental illness histories, so we also still agree that we need some form of background check … right?
All or Nothing
Not to ride on Donald Trump’s coattails, but he is very adamant that the wall between the USA and Mexico must cover the entire border. That’s because he knows that a partial wall won’t work; people will just walk around the ends. Well the same is true for Background Checks. If you have giant holes in the law then people will just walk around the ends and through the holes. So, we still agree, background checks are necessary and they are necessary every time a gun is sold to someone unknown to the seller.
Unknown to the Seller
That’s a particular and important factor. When Uncle Bob sells Cousin Dave the old 30-06, there’s no need for a background check. Uncle Bob knows who he is selling his gun to. But if Uncle Bob doesn’t know the person buying his gun, he best be sure that person is allowed to have one.
“I Sold My Gun To …”
So maybe a good way to plug the background check hole is to require the “Seller” to submit a single online form. The form has two choices: a) I personally know the person who received the gun, or b) I did a background check and got an approval code. Of course that means the “Seller” (the person who is selling or giving their gun to the recipient) must be able to run an instant background check. If you’ve ever applied for a bank loan, you know the technology is available to make that happen. We just need to find a way to make it profitable.
Oh .. wait .. we’re saving lives. Maybe that ought to be enough profit.