A law mandating so-called "universal background checks," the term that proponents clearly hope to be more palatable than the more honest "outright ban of private firearms sales," has been the most aggressively pursued goal of forcible citizen disarmament advocates. Unfortunately for them, recent high-profile shootings have not readily lent themselves to effective exploitation for that agenda. With exploitation of such shootings being the biggest arrow in their quiver, as outlined in their "playbook," this is obviously a problem for them.
So Philly.com Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky finds himself stuck with the unenviable task of trying to concoct an effective argument without the benefit of facts and logic, which stubbornly refuse to cooperate. One of his first "points" (being generous here) is the claim that even NRA members strongly support such a law:
A poll by Frank Luntz, who usually works for Republicans, reported that a majority of current and former NRA members favor background checks. "Majority" understates the case - it was 74 percent.
Yeah--about that poll, and the "usually works for Republicans" Frank Luntz. Blogger Thirdpower got the goods on him when Mayors Against Illegal Guns first commissioned the poll. Luntz's "Word Doctors" proudly advertise their ability to deliver the poll results that the buyer wants, by wording the poll questions in such a way as to lead the respondent in the desired direction:
If you need to create the language to build support for legislation, we’ll find the right words. If you need to kill a bad bill, we’ll show you how.
Either take control of the debate, or the debate will take control of you. It really is that simple. Silence is no longer an option. The news cycle never ends. Either you determine the message or someone else will.
Besides, as the NRA pointed out at the time, their membership list is not made available to any outside entities, so Luntz cannot have known if those polled had really ever been NRA members or not.
Next, Bykofsky claimed to have found an even more telling argument:
The Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, polled licensed dealers who sell more than 50 guns annually. It reported that 55.4 percent of the surveyed gun dealers support background checks.
Why should that surprise anyone? Licensed dealers stand to benefit financially from private sellers losing their advantage of the ability to legally conduct sales without the government's permission or knowledge.
Bykofsky goes on to advocate "one gun a month" Constitutional rights rationing (ostensibly to thwart "straw purchasing," which is a tacit admission that a "universal background check" law is going to be violated). Again (ostensibly) to thwart straw purchasers, he wants a blame-the-victim law "lost or stolen" law, subjecting the victims of gun theft to criminal penalties (a law that would, by virtue of the Fifth Amendment, not apply to criminals). He wants to ban "high capacity" magazines, because, "If you can't hit a target with 15 chances, you shouldn't be packing," evidently ignoring the fact that one might be set upon by multiple assailants, some of whom may not be stopped with one hit.
Oh--and he wants the entertainment industry to stop producing violent movies, music and video games. He says that Hollywood "should" do this, and doesn't mention any plans to compel such measures. That neatly avoids the problem he would otherwise have had with the First Amendment, but begs the question of why he expects the entertainment industry to do what he says they "should." If, after all, it were that easy, why not just say that violent thugs "should" stop shooting people, and cut off "gun violence" at its source?
But that, of course, will never do, because holding the perpetrators of "gun violence" 100 percent responsible for their evil would leave no blame to be transferred to guns, and would thus defeat the argument that you and I should have less access to the palladium of liberty. Perish the thought.