Arguments Against Expanded Background Checks

Here’s Mike Lee (R-Utah) speaking last week on the floor of the Senate about the provisions of the expanded background check legislation that was defeated yesterday.  His comments are a useful tool to help understand why the Senate rejected a measure that was supported by such a large majority of the American people.  Your thoughts?

10 responses to “Arguments Against Expanded Background Checks”

  1. roryblock1 says :

    I think that, especially after all of the awful massacres that have happened in the past few years, the government needs to do something regarding guns. Background checks aren’t too outrageous considering lives are at stake. The right to bear arms is not being infringed on with background checks; they are simply a measure to ensure that mentally ill or criminals cant just walk into a store and buy a gun and then go shoot random people. Despite Senator Lee’s arguments I think precautions must always be taken when lives are at stake. The legislation should have been passed.

  2. Naiyah1 says :

    Senator Lee argues that the Constitution was not meant to help the convenience of thegovernment, but rather to protect the liberities of the people. Implementing background checks would not strip these liberties, but rather it would make the sale of guns safer not only for users but not users. Furthermore, he says that his constituents in Utah are “worried.” I am not sure why a citizen would be worried about a background check if they had nothing to hide. Background checks would only do two things: 1. allow gun owners with no criminal or mental illness background to keep their guns and 2. prevent guns from falling in the hands of dangerous or mentally ill people. Lee calls this convenience, but I think the majority of Americans would call this smart and safe.

  3. Liz7 says :

    I think the issue of gun control, similar to issues such as abortion or same-sex marriage, is such a polarizing subject that any attempt at compromise or change of the status quo sends the gun owners of the nation running to the nearest rifle store to start hoarding bullets before Obama comes to rip away their guns. And on the other end of the spectrum, the idea that somehow all firearms can be eliminated from the United States by citing massacres such as Sandy Hook or Columbine is overly simplistic, and often creates a call for more arms in an attempt to protect the young people supposedly at risk. No matter which side a Senator stands on, he or she knows this will be a huge point of contention for his constituents, and something they will remember come election time. Even though things like the budget or a Senator’s views on health care may be more important for the nation, the media attention and strong opinions on gun control will prohibit any change – in either direction – from occurring for a long time. Quite simply, stricter or looser gun control laws will never pass in Congress unless America as a whole calms down on the issue and puts it into perspective. Only then will rational legislature be produced, and maybe pass the 60 vote margin in the Senate.

  4. Adam7 says :

    I’m really glad that you posted this, Mr. Sanderson. It’s easy to forget, living in this part of the country, that there are principled, logical arguments against gun control. When we lose sight of that, we become just as much a part of the problem as the Tea Partiers and ignoramuses that we love to rag on.

    That said, his slippery slope argument (invoking the government tracking what you eat for breakfast) was simplistic and demonstrated little concept of the idea of clashing rights.

  5. megweck1 says :

    Lee says that he is helping to protect us from a “bare majority” “jeopardizing” our rights, when in fact an OVERWHELMING majority supported this bill. I agree with Lizzie in that people need to put this issue into perspective, because it is indeed easy to become emotional about an issue and spring to either side of the spectrum after a tragedy. But putting that aside, this is also about the process of American politics. The entire point of having representatives in Congress is so that they can vote on behalf of the American people. I will, as President Obama said in his speech on this issue, speak plainly and say that in my opinion, Congress members who voted no on this issue are selfish and sickening. I understand that these politicians are aiming to be reelected. But if they are not doing the basic job of voting for what they believe in and what the majority of their constituents believe in, then I don’t know what they want to get reelected for in the first place.

  6. 4thomas says :

    I am firm believer that less guns means less gun violence. Our nation has more guns per square mile than any other nation in the world. We also have more school shootings in history than any other. Regulating gun ownership is an essential next step for America, and although I think this argument has some legitimacy, it fails to recognize that people will still have privacy in their lives. The speaker tries to suggest that people will be monitored 24/7 and the government will know their every step as if the bill would turn our nation into a Big Brother 1984 dystopian-like world, while truly it just wants to make sure criminals, mentally insane, and other dangerous people don’t get guns in their hands.

  7. Crawford4 says :

    This argument is very interesting and like adam said brings to light an argument that most of us don’t even think about. The most influence point he made, in my mind, was the the constitution was not made to maximize the convenience of what the government thinks it should do. Maybe the government thinks it should do something and in this case so do the people but the rights spelled out in the constitution prohibit that action. The opinion of the majority do not over take the rights of the minority i think that is his main point. Unfortunately back ground checks are something I fully support, but a line has to be drawn i just think it should be drawn behind guns.

  8. Ryan4 says :

    Personally, I could care less if there were enhanced restrictions. Senator Lee talks about how the governmnet doesn’t keep watch over citizens daily activities, such as attending church. In those instances, such claims for privacy are reasonable. But guns and church are two different issues. A firearm capable of a certain degrees of destruction should be closely monitored to avoid exactly what the United States has gone through in the past weeks. That being said, I don’t think those who have rights to their guns should be hindered, and the process should be easy to implement and catch those who are potentially mentally unstable without harassing those who just want their guns.

  9. Nyle4 says :

    Background checks making sure a future gun owner is not a criminal or mentally handicapped person is a perfectly reasonable goal for the American people. Unfortunately, due to incredibly partisan politics, Sen. Lee is not addressing the bill itself but exploiting a paranoia of their constituents by talking about what bills might be passed in the future as a result of the passage of this one. It is dirty politics at its best.

  10. sarahb7 says :

    Although I agree with Adam and Ford, that it was useful to hear a logical argument made by another side, I still find myself in favor of background checks for gun owners. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to require them when somebody wants to purchase something as potentially dangerous as a gun. I honestly believe that the federal government is just looking for serious blemishes on someone’s past that should bar them from owning a gun, and I think that background checks would help make this country a lot safer from the random acts of gun violence that we hear about every day.

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