My stance on background checks and waiting periods for guns (I'm agin' 'em) gets thrown up in my face fairly often. "You're in favor of convicted rapists owning guns?"
"You want lunatics to be able to buy firearms?"
"You want to give guns to criminals?" (Honey, I don't want to give anything to anybody; I'm a capitalist pig.)
I'd attempt to dive to philosophical bedrock to rebut them, but I may as well be trying to explain particle physics to Papuan tribesmen, so let's bring it back to the stuff likely to sway the unwashed; let's drag it back to tendentious pragmatism. The point I'll attempt to make is this: If somebody is too dangerous to trust with a gun, then they're too dangerous to trust with a book of matches. These people belong in an asylum, in a cell, or under a tombstone, not walking the street.
Has the Brady Law, with its mandatory background checks, done anything to help reduce crime? A Justice Department study said no.
Prior to 1994, you could buy guns without a background check.
Were there more or less office and school shootings back then?
Have tedious forms, whose completion is necessary to take home the most plebeian single-shot .22, made us feel more secure?
Prior to 1968 you could buy a gun with no paperwork whatsoever in this country. You could mail-order a semiautomatic rifle. Your thirteen-year-old cousin could plunk down money at Ace Hardware and walk out with a shotgun. Were the streets safer or more dangerous in those olden days? Did more people feel safe leaving their doors unlocked at night then or now?
The argument in favor of these controls is flawed at its base. They do nothing to keep guns from criminals, and merely serve to annoy and inconvenience peaceable citizens.
The denizens of Chicago or DC live with gun control laws that are absolutely byzantine and draconian compared to those of the state I live in, yet the rate (not just the absolute number) of violent crimes using guns is higher on their doorstep than it is on mine despite those laws. Tell me again, how does having our rights infringed make us safer from those who, by definition, ignore the law?