The Math Doesn't Add Up for Gun Control Advocates


President Obama wants us to believe that 90 percent of Americans support background checks – a dubious claim to be sure. But even if true, since when do liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights become subject to a popular vote?

Polls that throw around the 90 percent figure are suspect for many reasons. For starters, they claim that roughly 80 percent of Gun Owners of America and National Rifle Association members support background checks. But after polling our members, we found that fewer than 5 percent support such restrictions -- thus obliterating the credibility of these polls which purport to speak for our supporters.

Not only did a Quinnipiac poll say that, by a margin of 48 to 38 percent, Americans think background checks will lead to confiscation, a recent CBS News poll found that only 47 percent of Americans want stricter gun control. So if that's true, how is it that twice that number supposedly want background checks expanded? The numbers just don't add up.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gun control and gun rights.]

The fact is, background checks are dangerous because:

  • They force law-abiding citizens to prove their innocence to the government before exercising a constitutionally protected right – something that we wouldn't tolerate with the First Amendment;
  • They require the names of gun owners to be sent to the FBI, thus creating the framework for a national registration system – a cause for concern when politicians like Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and others have called for gun confiscation; and
  • They use a database through which government bureaucrats unduly denied more than 150,000 military veterans their constitutional rights, without any due process whatsoever, based on things such as PTSD.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

Proponents claim that background checks prevent thousands of people from buying guns every year. It's a lie. In 2010, only 13 people were incarcerated for illegally trying to purchase a gun – meaning that the thousands of people with initial denials weren't ultimately stopped from buying a gun on the street. It's also a lie that 40 percent of gun purchases are done through private sales; The Washington Post gave Obama "Three Pinocchios" for this claim.

Finally, under Operation Fast & Furious, the Obama administration knowingly approved the sales of thousands of firearms to criminals. It is the height of hypocrisy for Obama to then tell Americans they will be safer with expanded background checks when the chief gun runner in America – Obama himself – was ultimately responsible for the program that directly led to hundreds of Mexican deaths.

Erich Pratt

About Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America

gun control and gun rights

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