Offered a chance to let voters know her position on the Second
Amendment in the Las Vegas Review-Journal last October, Democratic
congressional candidate Shelley Berkley wrote: "I'm a strong believer in
the Second Amendment. There's no need for more control, but I favor gun
Last week, asked why she voted against a gun control bill which would
have required "background checks" for any firearm sale between private
parties at a gun show, the liberal New York lawyer now serving as a
freshman Democratic Congresswoman from Nevada replied that -- the amount of
time allowed for the background check having been reduced from three days
to one -- this new assault on the Second Amendment simply didn't go far
"For the greatest deliberative body in the world's history to have done
so little on such an important issue is ridiculous," spake the lady.
They say the way to tell when politicians are lying is to watch for their
lips to move. Rarely has this been more true than in the failed (so far)
attempt to "close the gun-show loophole."
The Democrats (and many Republican enemies of the Bill of Rights) who
finally turned against this bill argued that allowing only one day for the
state police or FBI to run a "background check" on a potential gun buyer
-- after 24 hours the sale could have gone through -- "wasn't long enough."
But under the "Brady Bill" compromise which the NRA foolishly embraced
some years back, the gun-grabbers assured us that by Nov. 1, 1998, there
would be in place a computerized, national INSTANT background check.
If they have failed to keep that promise, then the Brady Law itself is
null and void, and all "background checks" and "waiting periods" must be
done away with immediately.
But come on. This debate had nothing to do with how long it takes to
determine whether someone is a felon -- that's entirely a smokescreen. What
convicted felon is going to fill out his proper name and address on a
government form and expose himself to felony prosecution for trying to buy
a gun through a licensed dealer, when he knows full well how to buy one
from Guido or Kareem out behind the tavern?
The Clinton administration claims "background checks" have stopped
400,000 "felons" from trying to buy guns, but they've never tried to
prosecute more than a handful of these people, knowing full well these were
almost entirely "false negatives" -- decent citizens wrongly denied a
No, the reason for all this misdirection about "how long it takes to run
a background check" is that the real hoplophobe agenda here was to end all
gun shows, which are generally held over two-day weekends.
Let's say the widow of a police officer rents a table at a gun show. She
displays seven or eight of her dead husband's revolvers and hunting rifles,
priced from $250 to $950 -- more than enough to cover her overhead for the
As things are now, I can drive to the show from 100 miles away, negotiate
with her for one of her husband's old police revolvers, pay her $200 cash,
and take the weapon home for my collection. We're both private citizens --
only those who maintain their major business in firearms are required to
hold federal firearms licenses and run background checks -- so this
transaction is perfectly legal, as it should be in any nation where "the
right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
With a required "background check" which can take up to one day, the lady
would have to tell me on Saturday to come back on Sunday. Now I have to
spend $80 on a motel room to stay overnight, as well as $15 for the
background check -- assuming we can find someone at the show who knows how
to do that and who has a phone.
By this time, my vintage $200 "bargain" handgun is no longer quite such a
But if anti-gun government agencies were granted THREE DAYS to conduct
the "background check"? Now the widow would have to tell me to come to her
home the following Tuesday. But she doesn't want total strangers to know
her home address, or that she has valuables stored there. Nor can I afford
another 200-mile round next Tuesday, a work day.
Presto: the "wait-three-days" background check would be the end of the
gun shows -- the real gun-grabber agenda, which our courtesan press was so
careful never to point out during this whole noisy debate.
But wait: We still haven't gotten to the MAIN fraud inherent in this
"three-day background check." The lapdog press obediently makes it sound as
though the whole issue is determining whether the prospective buyer is a
felon. But if that were the goal, why not allow any gun collector, hobby
shooter, or militiaman to get his "background" run once, whereupon he would
be issued a card, good for life, indicating "Not a felon; can buy any gun
he wants" -- a card which he could be forced to hand over if ever convicted
of a serious felony?
(Mind you, even that would be unconstitutional and unnecessary, since the
Constitution does not allow establishment of any second-class citizenship
for felons once they've paid their debt to society. Just as the First
Amendment automatically restores their freedom to attend church or publish
a book the moment they leave prison, so must their guns be handed back to
them as they walk out that door, their full sentences served.)
But to figure out what this is really about, ask yourself one simple
question: Why does the federal "background check" form also include the
weapon's serial number and the buyer's home address?
The answer is that this whole procedure isn't about "checking
backgrounds," at all. It's national gun registration, which has proved to
be a precursor to government CONFISCATION of all handguns and
semi-automatic long guns in such "can't-happen-here" nations as Great
Britain and Australia, in the past decade alone.
Once a government agency knows your name, home address, and the serial
number, make, and model of every weapon you've ever bought, does any
thinking person seriously submit we can trust those bureaucrats to destroy
This is precisely what Bill Clinton and his fellow enemies of freedom
really mean when they speak of closing "the loophole."
The "loophole" has been that, up till now, should an armed government
gang show up at your door with their clipboard and their list, you could
safely lie about the weapons you'd been provident enough to bury out in the
back 40, saying "Oh, I sold THAT one to some guy at a gun show years ago;
never did get the old boy's name. Private sale, you understand -- no
But once they've closed the last "loophole" -- banning private sales
without a "background check" (a federal record being made of each transfer
by serial number) -- the answer to that little white fib will be, "In doing
that, Mr. Jones, you committed a felony, selling a weapon without a
background check. So which is it going to be -- show us where you buried
the gun, or go to jail?"
National registration of all firearms, to be followed by confiscation.
"Oh, it can't happen here," whine the Pollyannas.
But it already is happening here. Last month, California Secretary of
State Bill Lockyer gave California citizens six months to turn in many
previously-legal, 1950s-vintage, SKS semi-automatic rifles purchased from
1992 through 1997. (Which ones will depend on official interpretation of
the phrase "detachable magazines" - see http://www.sksbuyback.org.)
Californians will be paid the current "going rate" of $230 -- no matter
to what value they believe the weapons might have appreciated in the
Get it? Firearms confiscation is already here.
They're just "closing the last loopholes."