Is The NRA Really Alone In Their Opposition To Universal Background Checks?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 2 months ago

The issue of universal background checks never goes away, and the collectivists never give up.

AS I WRITE this, there hasn’t been a mass shooting in weeks.

I’ll use the lull to shoot off my mouth about guns, divorced from the debate that usually follows a massacre in which both sides dance on victims’ graves for PR gain.

When President Obama tried early this year to get gun restrictions passed – including background checks identical to Pennsylvania’s current system – the vast majority of Americans wanted what he wanted. His most important goal was broadened criminal-background checks at the point of sale for guns. Despite overwhelming public approval, Congress chickened out, mainly because of opposition from the National Rifle Association that purports to represent gun owners (like me), gun sellers and gun manufacturers.

I am not a member – the NRA doesn’t represent me or most of my pistol-packing pals. Some of my NRA friends say it doesn’t represent them, either, on background checks.

A poll by Frank Luntz, who usually works for Republicans, reported that a majority of current and former NRA members favor background checks. “Majority” understates the case – it was 74 percent.

That’s an amazing statistic, but I have one (allow me to invent a word) that’s amazinger.

The Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, polled licensed dealers who sell more than 50 guns annually. It reported that 55.4 percent of the surveyed gun dealers support background checks.

I never believed those polls that say Americans want to go down to their local FFL and have to go through a background check to gift a 10/22 to their grandson under the Christmas tree.  And I don’t believe them now.  And of course FFLs favor more control – it increases their revenue by another transfer fee every time somebody comes in to transfer a weapon.  What’s hard to understand about that?

Let me turn my attention to the issue of debates and disagreements over the interwebz among gun bloggers that occur from time to time.  I don’t do that scene.  To me it comes off like church members who agree that they must all agree on paragraph 5.3.6(c), subpart of Section 86 of the book of church order blah blah blah, or else they must separate and cause schism.  Again, I don’t do that scene.  I don’t have to agree with everyone all of the time.

But on this issue I’ve made up my mind.  Universal background checks would do nothing for crime fighting, but everything for the totalitarians.  Universal background checks aren’t about crime.  They’re about state control, and the state does indeed want to control you – every aspect of your life.

So let’s put this in context.  Let’s say that gun rights writer, advocate and reliable journalist and friend David Codrea wrote me and said, “I’ve decided that I am going to support universal background checks, and I think I can talk everyone else of our ilk into the same idea.”

Well, David would still be my buddy, but I would speed up my loosely planned meetup at his place for liquor and cigars over a fire pit, where I would get him loosened up and then say, “So brother David, what gives, and can I persuade you to see it otherwise?  Let’s talk.”

My belief system is what the philosophers call “incorrigible.”  I cannot be changed.  That means that I won’t ever change my mind.  And that, dear reader, means that the NRA will never, never be alone in advocating for freedom and against tyranny, even if I’m the last one on earth who opposes universal background checks.

The commentator is wrong, and one of their favorite tactics is to make you think that, “Hey, everyone else thinks I’m an unsophisticated redneck, so maybe I am.  Maybe I should reevaluate my positions.”  They think that will suffice to persuade you to change your mind.  Everyone else is doing it, so it must be okay.

I repeat.  If I am the last person on earth to oppose universal background checks, I will never, ever, ever change my mind.  To my liberty loving readers: you are not alone.

UPDATE: It looks like Kurt and I were thinking along the same lines last night (Although sometimes I have to wonder about Kurt and if he’s just doing all of this for the largesse – David has written before about the huge money and free beer that Kurt gets for writing for Examiner.  Must have been a note, since I cannot find it in David’s posts).


  1. On October 8, 2013 at 8:04 am, Paul B said:

    It is like the cake analogy. They are never happy till they have the whole cake.

    No back ground checks.

    No concealed weapons permits.

    No limit on automatic firearms.

    But to make that happen we need a sea change. Something along the line of firing every school teacher that got their teaching permit in the last 30 years.

  2. On October 8, 2013 at 9:18 am, Richard Medicus said:

    ANY law, rule or regulation that puts a limit on the individuals right to own the most efficient means of self defense is a law, rule or regulation against humanity.

  3. On October 8, 2013 at 10:17 am, GunRights4US said:

    From the first line of my blog profile:

    “I absolutely and unashamedly believe that every single gun law is unconstitutional.”

    They can legislate, vote on, and pass any damn thing they want to. They can even repeal the 2A and import 10 million UN blue hats. Whatever they want to do – they can do. But this ole boy will remain armed, or dead.

  4. On October 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm, JackP said:

    It’s not just about background checks – and you are not alone.

    I *am* an NRA member – even though the NRA does not always represent me.

    We’re in the fight of our lives here in the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia. The Governor is sitting on a slew of gun-grabbing bills including one that will declare just about any rifle including a 10/22 into an Assault Weapon! Gov. Brown is debating signing the bills or wimping out and letting them pass into law in the middle of the night without his signature.

    Here’s the onslaught from the collectivists and totalitarians:

    AB-48 (Skinner): Bans magazine rebuild kits (including individual parts).
    AB-169 (Dickinson): Bans transfer of handguns not on the “not unsafe handgun” roster.
    AB-170 (Bradford): Redefines “person” for Assault Weapons permits.
    AB-180 (Bonta): Additional firearms restrictions in Oakland.
    AB-231 (Ting): Criminal liability when child accesses firearm in your home without permission, or a prohibited person accesses firearm in your home.
    AB-500 (Ammianno): Extends time period for background checks, secure storage requirements when living with prohibited person.
    AB-711 (Rendon): Lead ammo ban.
    SB-299 (DeSaulnier): Mandatory loss reporting of firearms within 7 days.
    SB-363 (Wright): Criminalizes storage of a handgun where the owner should have known a prohibited person would access it. Exempts Federal Law Enforcement Officers from the “not unsafe handgun” roster restrictions.
    SB-374 (Steinberg): Bans all semiautomatic rifles that does not have a fixed magazine, forced registration of rifles already owned.
    SB-475 (Leno): Eliminates gun shows at Cow Palace.
    SB-567 (Jackson): Expands definition of shotgun to include rifled barrels and those not designed to be fired from the shoulder.
    SB-683 (Block): Requires firearms safety certificate for purchasing any firearm.
    SB-755 (Wolk) Expands definition of prohibited persons.

    This doesn’t count the myriad of local laws, regulations, and taxes. Nor does it count the ongoing fight to prevent the state from stealing gun registration fees for the general budget.

    The NRA is the only group with both the will and the muscle to fight this very very important fight to prevent the erosion of our liberty.

  5. On October 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm, Mike William said:

    The liberal polls are faked. The america people don’t want more gun control.

    They want mental health issues in this country fixed and they want the existing guns laws enforced.

    Everything else is lies.

  6. On October 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm, MamaLiberty said:

    Well, sure enough…. everybody wants more government control of their lives.

    That’s why gun and ammo sales continue to be red hot, and why training classes have long waiting lists.

    Yep… we’re all just dying to be controlled. Not.

    The NRA doesn’t speak for me politically. Just wish there were half a dozen or more other organizations that offered the training platform they do… We’d all be better off. And it is up to us to do that job, not wait around for “George” to do it.

    I’m teaching as many people as I can manage about firearms and self defense. I’m the ONLY active NRA certified instructor in this whole area. Pretty pathetic.

  7. On October 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm, Chuck said:

    “…and they want the existing guns laws REPEALED.”

    Fixed it for you. I, for one, do NOT want existing gun laws enforced because most of them are just plain BAD laws.

  8. On October 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm, Mark said:

    How did the NRA poll come to be when it was a phone poll where anyone could say they belong or not, to the NRA? The NRA claims that they never gave out a members contact list. -?-

    Background checks are supported by the majority because when asked the tailored, unspecific question, most all of them think of the background check laws we already have on the books.

    Lastly, I’ve never in my 37 years been invited to answer questions in a poll about anything. Nor have any of my friends for that matter, after asking around. However, if at time point in time, I would not even admit my possession of anything much less a firearm.

  9. On October 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Great points Mark. Those are all reasons I don’t trust most of the polls. For instance, they may be asking people (to bias the answers) “Do you prefer to see new laws or regulations that make it more difficult for criminals to buy a gun?”

    Most people answer yes. I would answer no. But I’m not most people. Change the question to, “Would you like to see new laws that make it to where Papa cannot gift his 10/22 to his grandson under the Christmas tree?,” most people would say no.

    What the question is, how it is asked, and in what order in the questionaire are all important facets to the horrible “science” of polling. It isn’t science, and I don’t trust it.

  10. On October 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm, Texas TopCat said:

    In favor of background checks is like asking if you support “mother and apple pie”, however, what I would consider a reasonable background check and what “government” considers reasonable are VERY different things. First, if you want support from gun people in general, any background check has to be implemented as a free service with a solid implementation that can not be used to build a gun registry. Such as maybe a code on your state id or drivers license that everyone has that can be decoded as “yes” or “no”. No 4473 forms or the like. The seller should have minimal record keeping requirement, maybe 90 days. It should override any existing system and allow purchases across state lines.
    One other issue is that if the ATF put any belief in the BC they would actually enforce the law against giving false information and clean up their records. It has been stated that they admit that over half of the denials are false positives. So, how can we the believe people that BC is so important when their actions show it is not important for anything but “proxy registration”.

  11. On October 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm, Steve said:

    I’ve heard that Gun Owners of America is also in opposition to Universal Background Checks.

  12. On October 8, 2013 at 10:34 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Of course they are.

  13. On October 9, 2013 at 6:52 am, DAN III said:

    “A poll by Frank Luntz, who usually works for Republicans, reported that a majority of current and former NRA members favor background checks. “Majority” understates the case – it was 74 percent.”

    I’m an NRA lifer (should have spent my money elsewhere, but that’s another story). Luntz’ poll is suspect to me as are all polls. How many did he poll ? Where did he poll them ? Did he verify their NRA membership ? Did he verify their “former” membership ? As NRA issues membership cards that verification should have been a given. No membership card, no member present or former.

    I do NOT favor background checks. Never did. Never will. It is more .gov intrusion into one’s life. Why is it I never get polled by these assholes ?

    Luntz is no prize. What he says or writes means absolutely nothing to me. So, he can take his poll and shove it.

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You are currently reading "Is The NRA Really Alone In Their Opposition To Universal Background Checks?", entry #11355 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control and was published October 7th, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

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