As Dave Workman reports in the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner, November 23 (“Black Friday”) may very well have shattered the single day record for gun purchases. Mr. Workman quotes Larry Keane, vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, who confidently expects that to be the case:
We are not surprised and fully expect that today [November 23] will shatter all prior records and will be the single highest one day NICS total in history. We expect November will come in as the highest month for NSSF-adjusted NICS.
NICS, readers will remember, stands for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, administered by the FBI, which prospective gun buyers must pass before a gun purchase from a licensed dealer may proceed. The number of NICS checks run thus provides a useful indicator of the amount of gun commerce conducted during any given period.
Anecdotal evidence indicates, however, that in many cases, this was almost “too much of a good thing,” as the NICS system became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of checks requested, and bogged down, forcing purchasers and dealers to wait for the supposedly “instant” check. Some in the gun rights advocacy community are not so trusting as to pass this off as mere system overload. These folks speculate that an administration hostile to private gun ownership has quite a built-in motive to throw a monkey wrench into the background check system, thus slowing gun commerce down to a crawl, with the ready-made excuse in hand that the problem was volume, rather than a nefarious attempt to effect the “government monopoly on force” so beloved of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Why spend the political capital to try to pass more oppressive gun laws, after all, or even impose more draconian “gun control” by decree, when much the same thing can be accomplished in a way that does not implicate any elected official?
This column argues that the question of whether Friday’s problems were the result of system overload, or deliberate gun commerce suppression by the government, misses the point. The point is that if NICS can be overwhelmed by any conceivable sales volume, it needs to be either fixed so that it cannot be, or abolished.
This column has made no secret that of those two options, the one preferred here is abolition, of not only the background check system, but of the entire concept of “prohibited purchasers.” As National Gun Rights Examiner Dan frequently observes, “Anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun cannot be trusted without a custodian.”
Realistically, of course, the political will to dismantle the background check system will not exist any time in the foreseeable future. That takes us back to the other option–“fixing” NICS to make it robust enough to handle any conceivable volume of sales. That will no doubt require money–not a pleasing prospect in these times of soaring national debt and out of control government spending.
Still, what price can be put on freedom? No cost is too high to protect Americans from any further hardship in arming themselves to protect their homes, lives, families and liberty. A free people cannot afford not to keep access to the tools of life and liberty preservation (and genocide prevention) as easy as possible.
Update: Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman has more, in “Did NICS crash on ‘Black Friday’ show way to suspend 2nd Amendment?”
- Does denying guns to ‘prohibited persons’ ensure public safety?
- CSGV thinks it ‘scary’ that not enough Americans are ‘prohibited persons’
- Post-election guns and ammo panic buying spree has begun: There is a better way
- ‘Black Friday’ looked pretty green for gun sales
- Did NICS crash on ‘Black Friday’ show way to suspend 2nd Amendment?