Gun Confiscation is a hot topic. Today’s politics are on the side thinking that taking guns away from law-abiding citizens will solve the problem. Other nations have done this before. Is America on the path to do the same?
We unfortunately live in the days where “active shooter” awareness protocols are prevalent in the world today. School shootings are a common thing as well as preparing for them. ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training is common for schools and offices alike. These training sessions inform their students how to go about handling an active shooter in the office, at school, or at a public place. Things like these are common place to counter something that shouldn’t be happening as frequently as they are.
It is true that America does need to do something to prevent more of these shootings from taking place. There have been gun laws put into play to try and help. That being said, gun violence has been on the decline since the 1990s so America has been doing something right since then.
American gun violence has been on the decline since the 1990s – National Institute of Justice
Confiscating guns at this point seems highly irregular, especially from people who legally obtain them and are responsible with them. It seems like the government wants the guns out of people’s hands for another reason. Having a federal gun confiscation that takes the guns away from law abiding citizens is not just unethical, it’s illegal. Take a look at past gun confiscation efforts.
Gun Confiscation History
Gun confiscation in across the world goes back a good number of years. There is a certain pattern when it comes to gun confiscation – once the government takes the guns away, tyranny is soon to follow. Here are a number of instances where nations have put gun confiscation acts in place:
- 1774-1776: In 1774, The British Empire established an Import Ban on Firearms and Gunpowder. In 1775, British authorities seek to confiscate firearms and gunpowder. 1776 marked war against the rebels on the American lands who seceded British rule.
- 1938-1940: Hitler and the Nazi Party established gun control in Germany just prior to them rounding up Jews and causing mass genocide within the country, then moved on to other countries. World War II was then started.
- 1935, 1958: China instituted a gun control policy in 1935 that insured guns were not in the hands of any civilians. When Chairman Mao Zedong led a campaign to transform the country’s economy and society in 1959, private farmers were not permitted to farm. Wide famine spread due to many unable to defend themselves against Chinese enforcers – The Great Chinese Famine began killing some 20-40 million.
These were just of few instances around the world that prove gun confiscation leads to the government terrorizing its subjects. There are plenty more but the idea is clear – gun confiscation = government tyranny.
Will Additional Background Checks Help?
So you are probably asking yourself, “You don’t have to confiscate guns. Why don’t you just do better background checks?” Fair question. To get a better perspective of how to improve the background checks, we first have to dive into what goes into gun purchasing background checks currently.
Current Background Checks
When a US citizen wants to buy a gun, a couple of things must happen before the gun dealer can decide to sell someone a gun. Someone cannot just walk into a gun store and purchase a gun like they have walked into a convenience store, picked out and buy a candy bar, and walk out. Surprisingly enough, today’s federal background checks are decently thorough.
To do things legally, the gun dealer must first have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Once a buyer has selected a firearm and is ready to purchase, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requires the buyer to fill out their Firearms Transaction Record Form (Form 4473). This is a 6 page background check questionnaire that dives into the buyer’s history by asking personal questions. The questions on the form specify criminal background, mental health, immigration status, and home address. The buyer will also need a form of personal identification to prove who they say they are.
NOTE: Lying on the form is a felony and punishable up to a 10 year prison sentence with a $250,000 fine
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Check System
The gun dealer will submit the form to the National Instant Criminal Check System (NICS). The FBI’s NICS system was established in 1998 to determine whether a gun buyer was eligible to actually purchase a firearm. The NICS E-Check allows almost instant verification on the buyer’s eligibility while providing secure benefits rather than doing it over the phone. This process has about a 2 minute turn around.
From here the gun dealer will usually know whether they will want to sell the gun or not. The report could come back Proceed, Canceled/Denied, or Delayed. Also, the deal has the “final say” whether they are willing to sell the gun. Just like other restaurants and businesses, they have the right to refuse service or sales to anyone.
What could be changed?
There have been a number of people who have issue with the current background check system. Some have said the current background check isn’t enough and some say the whole background check feature is an infringement on people’s second amendment right altogether.
The quick NICS turn around is a great feature but makes me wonder how the NICS system gets such a quick turn around. What exactly goes into getting a determining factor whether a buyer is eligible to buy a gun or not. The questions on the 4473 form are pretty straight forward and simple. Maybe a little too simple.
To me, what is stated on the 4473 Form isn’t enough. Maybe some psychological questions or additional questions on medication are needed. This would be similar to what the laws New York have if mental health professionals have said something about the buyer being a danger. This might violate current HIPAA laws though. Also, I had an idea for good gun references like interviewing for a job. This way the dealer gets a better sense of the person the dealer is dealing with from the people who the buyer associates with. This might hinder some privacy laws though.
These are my “two cents.” Hopefully someone comes up with something better.
Red Flag Laws
Red Flag laws might be the new standard for gun control in America. Here is the definition of a Red Flag Law if you are unfamiliar to them:
a Red flag law is a gun control law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary confiscation of firearms from a person who allegedly presents a danger to others or themselves
Red flag laws in general are a cheap cop-out to gun control and a way of putting responsibility on the citizens to “see something, say something.” The whole idea of this on paper is sound. The problem with this method is that it can be more of a “guilty before proven innocent” kind of deal.
It’s been noted that some red flag laws, like the “Extreme Risk Protection Order” in Oregon, where authorities have the right to deny the accused targets of the red flag law any due process by not giving the accused the chance to be heard. This in itself is a HUGE red flag. This means that anyone can accuse anyone they want of being a danger to themselves or to others and have their guns taken from them whether they are a danger or not.
If more red flag laws come into play, I can see this ending up being like the #metoo movement. Sure, there will be some who are accused who ARE dangers to society. There will also be those who will be falsely accused just because the accuser feels like accusing a gun owner for reasons other than what the law is for. This will seem like more problems than these new laws would be worth.
What will a mandatory gun buyback do?
A government buyback program is, to put it bluntly, a slap in the face to the citizens. If the government is going to do an official buyback program, don’t expect to get anything significant on your turned in weapon. Most buyback programs offer a very small percentage of money back from the how much you actually paid for the gun.
A gun buyback program was established in Detroit, Michigan where Detroit Police setup a “no questions asked” gun buyback. Detroit police totaled 365 guns from the program. The total paid out to people was a staggeringly low amount of $16,820.
That is just over $46 paid for each gun on average.
The gun buyback in Detroit was voluntary. If this buyback is mandatory, the amount paid out would be even worse. A buyback doesn’t seem worth it for anyone but the government.
Are we past the point of tyrannical governments?
The second amendment was always about keeping the government at bay and keeping your rights. People have seem to have forgotten this. Some think it is more about keeping your gun
The right to keep and bear arms is not about anyone’s “hunting rifle”; the right to keep and bear arms is about the right of the people to defend themselves against anyone who would attempt the taking of their rights. – Lynn Stuter newswithviews.com
So, if the government establishes a gun buyback or a gun ban altogether, would citizens be safe if the government ever became a tyrannical force? The history of governments turning on their subjects has already been stated here. You can see the concern of the people who want to keep guns and see the importance of the second amendment.
If you think that times are different – you are wrong. The government combined with today’s technology which includes weapons, are more advanced than ever before. This is one of the reasons why gun enthusiasts are keen on keeping long rifles which include AR-15 and AK-47 style rifles. With the government knowing its citizens have access to similar weapons that their armed forces have, it keeps all forms of government within the country in check.
To sum up the points here, gun confiscation generally leads to tyranny and genocide. The current American gun laws currently require a background check to purchase a firearm. Maybe background check reform is necessary to block mentally unfit people from getting their hands on firearms. Red flag laws could lead to many false allegations if not handled correctly. A gun buyback is pointless and insulting to the American public. Military grade weapons are necessary to keep the government in check.
Gun confiscation is definitely NOT good for America. Heck, it’s good for any country. Switzerland has similar laws but very limited gun violence. In can be done. Let’s get there without infringing the second amendment.
Get your guns, get shooting. Remember, Practice Makes Proficient.