Gun safety is not the issue when it comes to psychopaths, gang shootings, jealousy, greed and any of the other hordes of reasons why people shoot each other. It might be oversimplistic to say, but people shoot each other because they can. In November, the Brady law will come up for revision and a newer version will address issues that were ignored when the law first went into effect in 1994. The new revision includes “Instant Check,” eliminating the current five-day waiting period, but allowing three days to sort through any confusion. This wait period is not much to ask for, and any bill that helps prevent gun violence and allows for easier tracking of weapons is basically a good bill.
Primarily, the law prohibits convicted felons and other types from buying guns. The 1968 Gun Control Act was a precursor to the Brady law, prohibiting the purchase of weapons by fugitives, drug addicts, illegal aliens, mentally incompetent, stalkers and those convicted of domestic violence. Currently, background checks apply only to sales that take place through federally licensed gun dealers. An estimated 40 percent of gun sales take place outside this category, such as gun shows, fela markets, advertisements and person to person. There is almost no regulation in these areas. Local governments are not required to check criminal records.
The new system, or database, is linked to the National Crime Information Center, a database currently used to track fugitives, stolen property, dishonorable discharges and more. Another database, the Interstate Identification Index, is a federally managed database maintained separately by each state. Currently, not all information is available, like domestic violence misdemeanors, records of mental health or use of illegal drugs. In some states this information is sealed under state law. Arrest records might not include convictions or acquittals. Confusion will result in name matches since a social security number is not required for data input. Still, this kind of a database will allow for a more thorough background check, greatly help trace the sale of guns and provide a better record keeping system.
The waiting period is supposed to help prevent impulse buying in cases of suicides and crimes of passion, which account for a large portion of firearm deaths and injuries. Since the Brady law took effect, an estimated 242,000 people with criminal records or mental instability histories were prevented from buying guns, according to White House reports.
When America’s forefathers instituted the Second Amendment, they did not envision children killing children, nor did they have gangs in mind when making references to an armed militia. The fairest assessment is that anything that will help stop gun violence is worth the effort. One dead is one too many. No one needs to buy a gun in less than three days and the bill is not an infringement of Second Amendment rights. Gun control laws won’t take the violence out of people. What they do is prevent how people kill each other. Shooting is easy. It is extremely difficult for a bank robber to rob a bank with just a knife.