11/04/2016

Piece in the Reno Gazette-Journal: "Mistakes, consequences if Question 1 passes"





With the latest polls showing Bloomberg's initiative on gun control a much closer race, 49% for Bloomberg initiative and 45% against (from CBS Channel 8 in Las Vegas), this piece will help voters make a better informed decision.  From today's Reno Gazette-Journal:
Let’s say a stalker is threatening a female friend of yours. She asks you if she can borrow your handgun. She is trained and has no criminal record. Should you loan her your gun? 
If you live in Nevada, loaning her your gun may soon land you in prison. Exception is made only for cases of “imminent” danger — where her stalker is literally right in front of her at that very moment. 
And forget about Boy Scout shooting trips, where adults lend troops shotguns and rifles so the scouts can earn their firearm merit badges. Stick with this annual ritual and those adult leaders may soon find themselves in prison.
Those are just a couple of the hidden consequences if Nevada voters pass Question 1 on Tuesday, Nov. 8th. 
Everyone wants to keep criminals from getting guns. But the current background check system is a mess. It primarily disarms our most vulnerable citizens, particularly law-abiding minorities. Virtually every time the government stops someone from buying a gun, it is done mistakenly. We're not talking here about preventing guns from falling into the wrong hands — these are people who are legally eligible to buy a gun. 
Gun control advocates constantly claim nationwide background checks have stopped 2.4 million prohibited people from buying a gun. But what they should really say is there were 2.4 million "initial denials." And over 96 percent of "initial denials" are errors that are dropped during just the first two stages of review. More cases are dropped later. 
It is one thing to stop a felon from buying a gun. It is quite another to stop a law-abiding citizen from buying a gun simply because his name is similar to that of a felon. 
That massive error rate occurs because government background checks focus only on two pieces of information: names and birth dates, ignoring social security numbers and addresses. The government looks for phonetically similar names (e.g., “Smith” and “Smythe” are assumed to be the same) and even ignores different middle names. 
These mistakes affect certain racial groups more than others. Hispanics are more likely to share names with other Hispanics; the same is true of blacks. Because 30 percent of black males are forbidden from buying guns because of their criminal records, law-abiding African-American men more often have their names confused with those of prohibited people. . . .

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