Background checks do nothing to stop gun violence

  • 16 October 2017
  • NormanL
Background checks do nothing to stop gun violence

Democrats and the anti-gun left are pushing very hard for a variety of new gun control measures in the wake of the shootings in Las Vegas. A perennial issue of the anti-gun forces is universal background checks. The more, the better, and the safer we all will be. Or so their thinking goes. The reality, and the research, suggests such checks do nothing to prevent gun violence:

In Colorado and Washington state, advocates spent millions of dollars, and two Colorado Democrats lost their seats, in the effort to pass laws requiring criminal background checks on every single gun sale.

More than three years later, researchers have concluded that the new laws had little measurable effect, probably because citizens simply decided not to comply and there was a lack of enforcement by authorities.

The results of the new study, conducted by some of America’s most well-respected gun violence researchers, is a setback for a growing gun control movement that has centered its national strategy on precisely the kind of state laws passed in Colorado and Washington. A third, smaller state, Delaware, passed a background check law around the same time and did see increases in the number of background checks conducted, the study found. But a similar background-check law in Nevada passed in 2016 has also run into political hurdles and has never been enforced.

As National Review's Charles Cooke notes:

For a long while now, gun-control advocates have sold background checks as a panacea of sorts, and implied that any skepticism toward them must be motivated less by earnest disagreement and more by greed or obstinacy. That a writer in the Guardian is citing “some of America’s most well-respected gun violence researchers” concluding that such “laws had little measurable effect” should damage that presumption considerably.

It should, but it very likely won't. Evidence that more laws -- which diminish the rights of the law abiding, but do nothing to thwart criminals -- simply means there need to be more laws. Or at least that's the thinking of those who view firearms as the nation's original sin.