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Opinion: American public should ignore NRA’s fear-mongering rhetoric

Kent Vashaw

Kent VashawAlthough many aspects of the current gun control debate are very controversial and deserve a full discussion, the idea of universal background checks is unobjectionable and should be implemented as soon as possible.

A current Senate bill would require background checks on every gun purchase, and critically closes the “gun-show loophole” that allows people to purchase guns at gun shows with no background check. This bill comes in the wake of mass murder tragedies such as Sandy Hook.

A 1997 study conducted by the United States Department of Justice showed that approximately 90 percent of guns used in illegal activities were purchased in the secondary gun market. This secondary market consists of private gun sales with no documentation whatsoever. Universal background checks could help prevent this.

Background checks don’t infringe on anyone’s rights. Some people cannot and should not own weapons and law-abiding, mentally healthy Americans should not fear a universal background check amendment.

Most people understand this. A poll by Quinnipiac University has shown that 90 percent of Americans support mandatory background checks. With this support how could the bill not pass?

Because of irrational fear mongering.

“This legislation isn’t about making Americans safer; it’s about forwarding an anti-gun agenda that seeks to restrict firearm ownership in America – as much as they can, however they can and as soon as they can,” claimed an article posted by the NRA-ILA, the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association.

Much of this fear involves “mandatory gun registration” that would put “freedoms… on the chopping block.”

 A universal background check law does not create a national gun registry.

The Firearm Owners Protection Act prevents the federal government from creating such a registry. And nobody is arguing for gun confiscation.

The slippery slope that the NRA warns us of is non-existent. Universal background checks are an easy solution to help curb gun violence that does not harm law-abiding citizens.

Vashaw, a sophomore mathematics major from Apex, is an opinion writer.

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