Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 | 2:03 a.m.
I’m writing in response to Gigi Fried’s letter of Aug. 16 advocating universal background checks, specifically citing Internet purchases.
I used to support background checks, as did the NRA.
The problem is the nonenforcement of existing laws for those who fail the current background check system.
When you legally purchase a firearm, you must fill out ATF Form 4473. Any deception, false statements or perjury is punishable under Title 18 of the U.S. Code (stated on the form).
The problem is, those who fail the check are not prosecuted under existing laws.
These criminals are free to go on to steal, burgle or put up a relative to make the purchase.
When police round up these criminals, a large number of gun owners will favor universal checks.
At least Ms. Fried didn’t repeat the “90 percent in favor” myth. If that were true, universal checks would have passed.
The exploitation of the Newtown tragedy and the threat to our Second Amendment has made me redouble my efforts. I’ve gifted three friends with NRA Life memberships.
Overall, I’m proud of our restraint and responsibility as a country.
Over half our 30,000 gun deaths are suicides (Japan, which has long banned guns, and with less than half our population, has 30,000 suicides a year).
If you factor out police-on-criminal and gang shootings, our abuse of firearms is infinitesimal in relation to our population of 320 million.
The crime that gun ownership deters far outweighs the negatives.