Having been to a few of these myself, I always meant to tackle this one...but fortunately, The Washington Time's Emily Miller saved me the trouble, and did it superbly. Here's a slice:
Currently, a gun owner who goes to a retail shop to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer is subject to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The system, run by the FBI reviews criminal history, mental health and restraining-order records to weed out those who are legally barred from gun ownership.
The gun grabbers’ real goal has always been universal registration, and tracking every gun owner in the country would be a big step in that direction.
“The law already requires licensed gun dealers to run background checks, and over the last 14 years that’s kept 1.5 million of the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun,” said Mr. Obama, when he announced his gun-violence task force results on Jan. 16. “But it’s hard to enforce that law when as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check.”
The 40 percent figure that Mr. Obama and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, cite so frequently comes from a 1997 Justice Department survey. A closer look at that 40 percent number reveals it includes 29 percent of gun owners who said they got their guns from family members or friends and acquaintances.
That leaves 11 percent of firearms obtained through unfamiliar people. Of these, 3 percent reported they got their firearms “through the mail,” a process that requires a background check from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Four percent said “other,” and 4 percent made their purchase at a gun show.
The “gun-show loophole” is an exaggeration designed to foster the false impression that this is how the bad guys acquire firearms. A 2001 Justice Department survey found 0.7 percent of state and federal prison inmates bought their weapons at a gun show.
Seven tenths of one percent. That's a pretty fair distance away from forty per cent.
As Ms. Miller writes, gun shows are mostly populated by fully licensed dealers who are required to comply with the law and must run the background check at the time of sale. Anybody who's been to one can tell you that. The miniscule percentage of illegal sales are between people who aren't going to pay attention to any new laws anyway.Those people will always be able to obtain a firearm, even if they have to open a criminally negligent newspaper like New York's Star-Ledger to find out who owns them and plan a break in.
The idea here is to set things up for eventual confiscation, and to ban any private transactions, gifts or bequests of an individual's private property.
This is simply making law abiding citizens defenseless and penalizing them for what criminals do. The Feinstein Bill makes as much sense as banning the ownership of private cars because some people drive drunk, negligently or stoned and kill far more people than firearms do.