In North Missouri, we cherish our 2nd Amendment rights. We value the opportunity to teach our children how to safely hunt or target practice, and we feel far more secure knowing that we can capably defend ourselves if necessary. Unfortunately, our rural values always seem to take a backseat to the latest reactionary ideological crusade to take away our gun rights.
We saw it last week when the House took up measures purporting to expand background checks for gun purchases. I strongly opposed them because what they really did was use anti-gun talking points to once again go after the 2nd Amendment.
Expanded background checks just make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get a gun without increased cost, time and effort. That’s what this legislation did. Furthermore, it would essentially ban anyone under 21 from buying a handgun because they wouldn’t be able to find anyone who could sell one to them.
Another disastrous gun control proposal was also put forward to get rid of the three-day waiting period for background checks, making it easier for the government to delay it for up to 20 days, or even keep law-abiding citizens from getting a gun if the government doesn’t bother to finish the background check. Can you imagine making a victim of domestic violence wait up to 20 days to get a firearm or criminalizing anyone who loans them a gun for protection? The fact is, our rights and our safety shouldn’t wait on the federal government.
Ultimately, background checks already exist; it should come as no surprise though that criminals generally don’t go through a legal process to obtain a firearm. If they are determined to get a gun, or any weapon for that matter, they’ll find a way.
Gun violence is a serious problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Our hearts go out to those affected by violence of any kind. However, good public policy should be rooted in facts; not emotions. The fact is that last week’s sham gun control votes would not have prevented the high-profile shootings that have taken place in recent years; these bills did nothing but further infringe on our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. We should address gun violence like we do every other crime; by enforcing the laws that are already on the books.