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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On Background Checks and Gun Purchases

As expected, in the wake of the Navy Yard shooting we see the media and the liberals begin a new drumbeat for more gun laws.  As expected, also, the media and many of the liberals have the details wrong on the shooting but continue to pound away. See this article for example in which California Senator Feinstein goes on and on about the AR-15 "assault rifle." The fact, of course, that the shooter, Aaron Alexis, did not use an AR-15 is irrelevant to Feinstein and others who seem to have pre-packaged statements and stories ready to go blasting "assault rifles" (whatever that is; the definition is rather flexible). Alexis used, it seems, a shotgun, the weapon Vice President Biden has suggested we all go out and buy.

Before we get to the issue of "background checks" one has to wonder about the security arrangements at the Navy Yard. It seems that Alexis had no difficulty getting a shotgun past security, and the "No Firearms Allowed" signs. Once in the Yard, apparently, he was only the non-security person with a gun, was able to use it rather freely, and managed to acquire other weapons from security personnel. That would seem to point to a major problem at the Navy Yard in the way it plans and executes security, and to call into question the "gun free zone" idea. But that's just me; I am just a blogger not even a real media person.

The calls for new restrictions on guns have focused this time on "background checks." That is the new buzz phrase, "background checks." There seem to be a number of proposals on "background checks" and the media provides little in the way of detail. It is just another of those phrases thrown out as a "panacea" for whatever troubles the liberal mind at the time. How these background checks would be done and by whom are matters that are not clear. How would you get around medical confidentiality, for example? The bottom line is that either the proposals are not serious or that they are part of a very serious plan to deny guns to ordinary Americans.

Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis underwent background check procedures that presumably are much more detailed and intrusive than any gun purchase background check. He had at least two security checks and came up clean: all set to go for a "secret" clearance, and employment at US military facilities. This, as reported by no less than NBC, despite Alexis's troubled background, including run-ins with the law over the misuse of firearms, a history of mental issues, and of generally bizarre behavior and statements. It seems a Major Hasan fiasco all over again: the background check mechanism used by the Feds is seriously overwhelmed and broken, probably by both sloppiness and the demands of political correctness.

The people advocating these background checks, such as Feinstein, presumably know all this. What is really at play is using "background checks" as a way to ensure that almost nobody can get a weapon. If Congress is going to act, I can guarantee you there will be either now, or very soon, increased calls for Federal involvement in background checks. There will be a call for a massive Federal bureaucracy to conduct them, and that bureaucracy will move, either deliberately or just because, at glacial speed in performing these background checks, and, if the IRS is an example, will be tempted to use political criteria in approving a gun sale. That, in effect, will bring gun sales to a halt.

Much as we have seen that Obamacare is really just a stepping stone to a "single payer," i.e., Federal level, medical system, the call for "background checks" is really a call for the Feds to decide who can and cannot own a firearm. If you trust the Feds with that sort of decision-making, then support those calls. Do not let yourself be troubled by what is happening with Obamacare, and with the political uses of the DOJ, IRS, and EPA.


  1. Understand the mind of a totalitarian. “Probe with a bayonet,” Vladimir Lenin famously said. “If you meet steel, stop. If you meet mush, then push.”

  2. I would be more likely to support wide-ranging NSA information gathering if and only if and when the authorities start using the data they already have on looming disasters such as Aaron Alexis, Nidal Hasan, the Tsarnaev brothers and others.

  3. It is not about gun ownership, gold ownership, or rights to privacy any more. These things have become symbolic. They represent symbols of resistance to the government monolith. The logic of the arguments and the details are irrelevant. It is all about the monolith exercising it's authority, and making sure everyone gets the message. We are ruled over, not governed.


  4. Let's take it further. There are two lists. If you are a gun owner, contribute to Tea Party causes, or click on sites like this one, you are on the "bad" list. Medical records, credit card records, Internet history, they are not about finding the bad guys or protecting us against crime. They are about finding leverage against those on the "bad" list. The lists are already filled out and you have your place in them. The gun registry is not useful, it is strictly for intimidation. And that is why these bad guys are not intercepted, because that is not what all this data collection is for. Otherwise much of this stuff would not be going on, where people blow things up and "go off" on masses of people.


  5. Mr. Amselem is spot on with the ultimate intent of the Feds doing deep background check rather than the yes/no check of today. Its obvious if a President Obama had such a system, executive orders would go down the line to match applicants to NSA data to find out who is an Obama supporter and who isn't...just like the IRS used its vast databases to screw Obama opponents. This would be politicized beyond belief.

    The basic truth is that the more the government, at all levels, knows about us and captures data about us, the surer the data will be abused and citizens will be harmed.

    Information is power. Power in the hands of government is always aggrandized. Ultimately unlimited power is also unlimited information.

  6. paul_vincent_zecchinoSeptember 18, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    There was already an attempt to disarm the American people by means of this 'mental health background check' ruse.

    Ca. 2007, Senator John Coburn, R-OK, who is also an M.D., worked tirelessly to stop the usual suspects from passing a bill which empowered 'tribunals' to 'adjudicate mentally ill persons as unfit to own firearms' by means of establishing massive data base.

    Stop me when this sounds familiar.

    Who comprised the 'tribunals'? Judges, you ask, as the term implies three of them? Why no. A 'tribunal' was defined as any ATF agent who happened to be around the office the day your name came up.

    What was their criteria for pronouncing you unfit? Simple. Anyone who ever saw a high-school guidance counselor for job advice was clearly receiving mental health treatment for serious issues and thus was to be adjudicated unfit.

    Anyone whose family physician prescribed them a mild sedative to help sleep subsequent to the loss of a loved one was clearly 'mentally unfit to own firearms'.

    Bush was reportedly all set to go with this stalinistic scheme. Only the efforts of Senator Coburn, like minded senators, pro-gun groups and citizens who use the Net to bypass media propaganda and as well to learn the truth the media conceals stopped this.

    So there's precedent and anyone who falls for this 'mentally ill' ruse deserves all they'll get, good and hard as Mencken would say.

    States which studied this and demurred said that another destructive consequence is that people, once they learn of this, will not seek any kind of help for fear of winding up on yet another 'no rights' database, while of course criminals and the real triple-A sickolas will have all the firearms they desire.

  7. I haven't been able to find a demographic breakdown as to age, gender or race of victims at the Navy Yard. Do we know if the shooter knew any of his victims? One fellow described seeing the guy next to him shot, yet seemed to think he 'randomly' was spared. Since the shooter worked there, I wonder??

    Also, have you seen the info re Libya not letting us in to look for bad guys??


    Purportedly the refusal comes because those in charge say things are too turbulent (can't remember the wording)...

    1. Dymphna, there was a victim breakdown on the BBC's website that I saw and the majority of the victims were 50+ which makes the killer even more of a coward in my view.

  8. oh my. Karmic word selection by the robot:

    hitdept??? Well, at least the numbers weren't 666

  9. When the FBI does a background check on someone for another federal government agency, they do not come back with a pass/fail, they come back with a report. It is up to the requesting agency to decide whether what is reported is sufficient to deny a clearance. If they are concerned with "affirmative action" and "affirmative retention", or politics like with Muslim Brotherhood Huma, they can let a lot go.

  10. paul_vincent_zecchinoSeptember 18, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    The Left has long and consistently stated that its goal is to use all necessary means to eliminate private gun ownership on part of law abiding citizens. Criminals and the politicians who find them to be so useful shall be exempted, or course.

    All else they say and do is a cheape carny-shill, a shell game street hustle designed to fool people into searching for the pea, as the bedrock of liberty is whipped out from beneath them.

    Good rule of thumb re 'mentally ill' w/respect to firearms ownership: everyone who does not climb aboard the chicongo communist MOB's bandwagon is 'mentally ill'.

    In soviet union, anyone who questioned the miraculous paradise of the workers was, as clearly you can appreciate, 'crazy'.

    Thus shall it be here if these termites can cheat their way to gun confiscation by all necessary means.

  11. And then, there is the small matter of release of "clearance" information.

    Last time I looked, people in "the biz" only had some inkling of their "grade" by the classification of documents they saw. For instance, you may "technically" be cleared to "Secret" but all you may ever see in your daily work are "restricted" or, say, "medical, in confidence".

    Who, if anybody, publicly released the "factoid" that this loony had a "Secret" grading? Whoever it was SHOULD be hammered HARD, whether it was true or not.

  12. About a year ago, when my husband was readying to retire a second time, a friend called to tell him that he ought to file for PTSD from Vietnam and add to his disability payments.
    Son was home visiting at the time and I saw the look that passed between the two.
    It wasn't until weeks later when I asked my husband what all had transpired in that look and whether he was filing, as his friend had suggested.
    The end result was my husband saying, "Are you nuts? This is being hyped because the pretext is to say you will receive more disability, but the end result will be you won't be able to own a gun!"
    I was stunned by his conclusion and he added, "And those poor fellas that fall for this will never see one penny of disability because the VA is backed up until the second coming of Christ!"

    He was right. It is clear even the VA questions retirees and those on disability about their "feelings" in such a way designed to log on paper their instability.

    Welcome to OBama's brave new world....ETR

  13. In the financial world, the depth of criminal background checks depend on where you’re working. Small financial firms can be more subjective .

  14. In some ways, we are "protected" by the stupidity of this administration and the usual bureaucratic foulups, compounded this time around. The old term SNAFU comes to mind.
    These people know everything about spying and nothing about security.
    Not a one seems to know how to keep normal Americans safe.

  15. Ask anyone who deals with the homeless or who works in the prison system. We have a huge problem in this nation with people who are mentally ill that no one is willing to address. It is easier for all sides to demagogue the issue than is is to propose solutions.

  16. As here in the UK the question of 'checks' and 'clearances' depends mostly on how many 'victim points' you can muster.

    So if you are non-white, non-Christian, non-indigent, gay, disabled woman you can write your own ticket.

    Does it strike anyone as predictable that yet again the assailant is from a protected 'minority' who couldn't be turned down for the multiple questionable causes because ..,. racist.

  17. All of this gun control rhetoric seems more than a little silly because they aren't addressing the real problem: There are batshit crazy Obama supporters walking around among us, and there's no place for them to go. We're using prison and jails as insane asylums of last resort.

    Anybody with a moderately-equipped machine shop can build weapons. Anybody with a 3D printer can "print" weapons (albeit single use). And they're all untraceable. Oh snap.

  18. Oh Dear.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A little more than 24 hours after an IT contractor gunned down a dozen workers at the Washington Navy Yard, the CEO of the company he worked for sent an email to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus saying he has the experience to help the military improve its security.

    ...In the email, which was obtained by The Associated Press, Hoshko said he was "dramatically" affected by the incident and "my heart and prayers go out to the families and friends of those innocent victims." But the email quickly moves on, as Hoshko lays out his work experience and offers his services, saying he is "confident that I can provide valuable input and solutions to the process that will provide better security for the military, contractors and civilians."



  19. Interestingly, probably the ONLY person killed with an AR15/M16 would be Aaron Alexis himself.

    It will be interesting to see the results of the various investigations by bloggers etc. in the weeks and months to come.

    Phil B