Suicide by Cooperation

I give credit to the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) for developing a successful alternative strategy to political lobbying. But every time its founder opens his mouth about background checks I cringe:

“The gun rights lobby has to wake up and realize we need to lead, not follow,” the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and the the chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms told in an interview at the at the NRA’s 143rd Annual Meetings and Exhibits in downtown Indianapolis last weekend.

Gottlieb’s desire to strike a deal on an enhanced background check measure that would cover private sales made over the Internet and at gun shows is based on the premise that fighting UBCs is a losing battle over the long run.

Do you know what a great way to commit suicide is? Cooperating with your enemies. Trust me, they will find a convenient way for you to die if your work with them. Gottlieb obviously has some powerful gray matter in his brainpan as his organization has lead several successful lawsuits that ended in favor of gun owners. But his belief that the gun rights movement needs to strike a deal on background checks is, to put it nicely, really fucking stupid.

Fighting universal background checks isn’t a losing battle. Private sales remain legal in many states (Minnesota being one of them). It also looks like most of those states will continue to allow private sales without mandating they go through a federally licensed dealer. There is also the fact that firearms are simple mechanical devices that can be built by small groups of people. Distributing the knowledge on home gun manufacturing would render universal background checks of any sort impotent.

The history of gun control in this country is proof that cooperating with anti-gunners is a losing strategy. First they said they only desired to control machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, and a few other odds and ends. Then they wanted the purchase of machine guns by non-state entities to be entirely verboten (and only settled on newly manufactured machine guns being verboten). After that they wanted aesthetically offensive rifles, which they erroneously called “assault” rifles, prohibited and all magazines to only be legally allowed to hold 10 rounds. Every time the gun control advocates got what they wanted they demanded more and the same will happen with universal background checks. If gun rights activists cooperate with gun control advocates on universal background checks the initial bill may not be as bad as it would otherwise be. But then the anti-gunners will demand more. And they will likely get it because the precedence was set by the law gun rights activists initially helped pass.