TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

The gun show 'loophole': A numbers game

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Some ado is being made over the National Rifle Association's decision to change its position on background checks for private gun show purchases. But the NRA's switch is as prudent as the so-called “gun show loophole” is regularly misrepresented by anti-gun zealots and the media alike.

Gun show purchases from licensed dealers always have required background checks. Sales between private individuals, typically hobbyists and collectors, have not. And while the Obama administration and others have implied that such sales are responsible for up to 40 percent of show transactions, the real number is far less. Try 4 percent.

“The ‘gun-show loophole' is an exaggeration designed to foster the false impression that this is how the bad guys acquire firearms,” reminds Washington Times gun scribe Emily Miller. Furthermore, a mere 0.7 percent of those “bad guys” (state and federal prison inmates) purchased their guns in such a manner, Ms. Miller adds, citing Justice Department statistics.

The NRA once favored universal background checks. Now it does not. But it makes perfect sense for the NRA to reverse course, given the statistics. And as NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre notes, such checks would be ineffective at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

“It's time to do something,” President Obama implored Monday in Minneapolis, pushing for stricter gun laws. Enforcing the plethora of laws already on the books, regularly unprosecuted, would be the better tack.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Myopic automakers should embrace today’s high-tech gearheads, not attempt to stifle their innovations
  2. Sunday pops
  3. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  4. Saturday essay: Cruel civilities
  5. The Box
  6. Obama’s problem: He denies reality
  7. ‘Canary in a coal mine’: The SSDI dilemma
  8. The gathering storm: An IRS defeat
  9. Auberle continues to heal
  10. Not even a ‘trickle’ of sound economics
  11. Armstrong County Laurels & Lances