The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Opinion

February 4, 2013

What’s wrong with background checks?

ROCKY MOUNT — I don’t understand why Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. continues to oppose background checks for all gun purchases.

His position becomes stranger still when you see polls indicating most members of the NRA disagree with his stance.

I’m not a gun person, but wouldn’t mind submitting to a background check if I wanted to buy a gun.

I don’t see it as an invasion of my privacy or my 2nd Amendment rights.

I do understand where those who oppose it are coming from, however.

A discussion at our Rotary table last Thursday touched on that, as a member pointed out that any time one country overtakes another, the first thing they do is work to round up all the weapons.

If there are no background checks, there is then no master list to be used.

Am I fearful something like that could happen in America?

Fearful is not the word, but aware of the possibilities would be a fair description.

Gun confiscation is one of the concerns voiced by critics, who say such a registry could also lead to taxes on guns.

After the December massacre of 20 children and six teachers in Newtown, Conn., some are calling for a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons and on high-capacity ammunition magazines, but it is a call for expanding background checks appear to have gained the most bipartisan support.

LaPierre said that requiring checks for all gun purchases would be a bureaucratic nightmare.

“It’s going to affect only the law-abiding people,” he said. “Criminals could care less.”

And he’s probably close to 100 percent correct. Those who break the law and plan to break the law don’t care about the law.

And there is something to that bumper sticker that reads, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

•     •     •

I’m not a gun person. I’ve owned five guns in my entire life — my Daisy Red Ryder, a 10-gauge shotgun given to me by an elderly man who worked for Daddy, a J.C. Higgins single-shot .22 rifle, a Belgian Model 1889 “Mauser” and uncle brought home from World War II and the .45 calibre pistol that Mom and Dad, who lived on a country road, had for protection.

I’ve been hunting twice in my life — didn’t get anything on a dove hunt in 1970 and killed the most beautiful pheasant near Muleshoe, Texas in 1979 — and think we should do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and protect our citizens.

We must also do everything we can to protect the rights of our citizens.

(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner. He can be reached at editor@dailysoutherner or 823-3106.)

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