Updated: Jul 27
In my last post, I vented (ok, I mostly ranted) about two of the most idiotic arguments that the anti-gun establishment likes to roll out. They do so either because they like to get under our skin (which is probably true) or they are just looking for confirmation bias (via "we have bigger dicks than they do"). Both arguments are weak, and do nothing to attenuate the potential of an evil dick weevil from getting their hands on weapons. So, as promised, I'm going to offer a potential solution that we could easily take to help mitigate this (and ensure EVERYONE gets a background check to boot- even in private person to person sales). First though, I want to cover the "Red Flag Law" nonsense being trotted out, and why it sucks (and use that as a springboard as to why my idea is better).
Put simply, the "Red Flag Laws" that have been proposed would grant anyone the ability to report anyone else as a potential threat, getting that previous anyone's weapons confiscated. Moving right past the whole concept of "innocent until proven guilty" let's think about this from a "people are assholes" perspective. If we assume that everyone is honest and just, than maybe this idea has merit, but we live in hyper-political times right now, and to be fair, anti-gun people don't really like us pro-gun people. It's not unlikely that an anti-gun person may use the "Red Flag Law" as a weapon to silence any opposition to their ideology. If all they have to do is report a gun owner as a "potential" threat to the local P.D. to get "those evil guns off the streets" it's not a long shot to think that some will actually do just that, regardless of the actual intentions of the gun owner in question.
This idea also puts the onus on the gun owner to prove they weren't a problem to start with, which is ass backwards when we think of proper judicial proceedings. Even a murderer caught in the act is to be tried as if they are innocent, with the prosecution needing to prove their guilt to a jury of the murderers peers. By enforcing the confiscation of private property (in this case, arms) without proper judicial review, the person who's arms are confiscated has to prove their own innocence. And even if they do, it's not a guarantee that doing so will get their arms back. If there are no protections to the owners of arms in these idiotic laws from false flags, then the anti-gunners get exactly what they want. A law abiding gun owner being stripped of their rights with courts costs to pay, and new arms to procure- potentially thousands of dollars in losses to the gun owner for no risk to the reporting person.
That's totally fucked.
So how do we attenuate this issue while respecting and protecting the rights of gun owners everywhere? Simple. Government Issued Identification (G.I.D.). I can't claim credit for this idea, it's actually the idea of a friend of mine, and I see no reason why this wouldn't be a good one. Lemme explain some why this idea has merit, then explain how we could implement it.
If you go to a store, and try to buy a pack of cigarettes or a six pack of Bud Light, the person processing the transaction is required by law (at least in my state of Minnesota) to ask for ID if you appear under the age of 40. If you can't produce an ID, then you can't procure said goods. Simple. I worked overnights at a gas station shortly after graduating college and had to ask for ID literally thousands of times. Even people I knew who came in every night showed me their ID. It didn't matter how rich or poor, young or old, they had to show it for me to process the transaction. And no one- not one- ever failed to provide that ID. There were people who complained, but everyone showed their ID. Some were simple IDs, others were drivers licenses. Interestingly, every time I have purchased a firearm, I too have had to show my G.I.D.
Odd... I thought guns were as easy to purchase as coffee... Oh well, moving on.
My friends idea is this- every time a person gets a G.I.D., have a background check run. Make it a deep dive. Look for anything that would preclude a person from owning a firearm (or prevent them from voting), and then when the G.I.D. is made, simply include that information on the ID so that anyone can simply look at it and see if they can or not. Have a provision for those who wish not to have the background check run (for whatever reason) and simply mark on the G.I.D. accordingly. Provide this service every time an ID is renewed at no cost to the person getting the G.I.D., and mandate that G.I.D.'s be renewed annually. This would ensure that everyone gets a back ground check every year, and allow people conducting private person to person sales to check their customers. It would also allow everyone to be carded when they exercise their right to vote.
Then, allow anyone with a valid ID to buy whatever they want, whenever they want. Do away with the "machine gun" laws and silly stuff like "SBR" and "Silencer" laws, and allow law abiding people to exercise their rights as intended. Should a person commit a felony (or other crime which would preclude them owning arms) and are convicted by a jury of their peers, then they get a new G.I.D. that states that fact, "Felon, May not vote or own arms."
But what about counterfeit ID's? What about poor people getting this wondrous ID when they can't scrape the time to go to the DMV?
On the first note, counter-fitting an ID is a crime- make it a felony with a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison given what a fake ID can allow. Tack on 25 years minimum for purchasing or attempting to purchase arms with said ID (for those that suck at math, that would be a minimum sentence of 35 years for illegally purchasing a firearm). For the seller, if they KNOWINGLY (are convicted in a court before a jury of their peers as our law dictates) sell to someone who cannot own arms, then they too get a lengthy sentence behind bars (35 years sounds nice), but if they unknowingly do so (IE the fake ID fools them) Misdemeanor with a small fine at most. We can't truly punish the victim of a crime, yet we do want to ensure that honest people are staying honest.
As to the second point. there are a few options. The easiest would be allowing people to apply for their ID either online or by mail. Another option would be passing a law that mandates that employers have to allow their employee one paid day each year to go get their ID (not a vacation day either). Perhaps even have employers help their employees get their ID's by providing the necessary time in the work day itself to fill out and mail the necessary paperwork. Perhaps have the forms (free of charge) at the Post Office with postage paid envelopes for the purpose of mailing them in. Then you could spread the coverage of potential places to go to apply for your G.I.D. over a larger area, making it more accessible to everyone.
I'm sure there are other hurdles that would need to be cleared to make this a workable solution, but I really believe it could work. What are your thoughts? Do you think this is a good idea? If you do, share this post to start a conversation about the issue. Comment below with your thoughts.