Congress’ failed attempt to pass the universal background check bill earlier this month was a surprise to few. However, there are plans for initiatives for universal background checks in many states, including our own. I support such initiatives and would gladly add my signature among the 300,000 needed.
This a matter of responsibility.
Compare this with a landlord running a credit check on a prospective tenant. The landlord would want to make sure the tenant is a responsible member of society with a steady job to pay the rent. If he isn’t, then the landlord is going to decline or end up paying the consequences of a stiffed rent check.
If a responsible gun owner is selling an MP5, a submachine gun, to a stranger, wouldn’t it be responsible to make sure that they are not violently mentally disturbed or have a criminal record? You can take their word for it, or you can have a background check run on the potential buyer.
An apartment applicant’s word is not enough for the landlord. The risk for the landlord is loss of few month’s rent income and perhaps some legal bills to evict. The risk for the responsible gun owner may be someone else’s life.
Universal background checks will not prevent all gun violence, just as a credit check does not prevent all late rent checks. Universal background checks are just a small step toward reducing gun violence at the small cost of a tiny hassle to a responsible member of society.