Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Background check or blacklist?

The gun control folks are calling for yet more background checks.  Like background checks for sales between family members, friends, and private individuals.  So someone picks up the phone, calls a magic phone number and asks if it is OK to sell a gun to so and so.  At the far end of the phone, some bureaucrat checks the name against a list.  If the name isn't on the list he says "OK sell it to him". 
  In short we have the government running a blacklist.  Once your name goes on the list, you cannot purchase firearms.  Since this list is so damaging, ethical doctors are reluctant to mess up their patient's lives by calling the government and saying " I was just treating so an so and I think he is a danger to society and you ought to put him on the gun blacklist." 
   If the government is going to run a gun blacklist, there ought to be clear rules about how much evidence is needed to blacklist a citizen, rules for getting off the black list, and strict rules keeping the black list secret.  Amid all the happy talk about more background checks I haven't heard any talk about fair and just procedures for operating the black list. 

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