Are you sure that the NRA is the problem?Oh, I know that the media and the talking heads are all making them out to be some 500 lb gorilla and the reason psychos shoot up school yards, but have you ever bothered to look into the matter beyond the headlines?I’ll give you an example. In 2017, the push was for a “Universal Background Check”. The idea was to be sure that people buying guns were not criminals. Believe it or not, the NRA wholly supports this and in fact was involved with creating the current NICS (National Instant Check System) that is used.But the bill that was proposed was not what you heard in the media. First, it would not plug any “Gunshow Loophole” because there is no such thing. The only sales at a gun show that the bill covered was private sales. Of course, private sales can occur anywhere, not just gun shows.But the bill didn’t make the NICS easier for private sales. They just required all private sales to be conducted through a licensed dealer. Had this actually passed, a gun show would be an ideal location for such sales as there would be access to many dealer. In effect, you would greatly increase the number of private sales at a gun show by this law.So, what is involved with a sale through a dealer? Well, the dealer would have to do the following:1) Record the transfer in their bound book. This is a book where all the transactions of a firearm is recorded via that dealer. The book is auditable by the BATF and many dealers have faced fines for poorly kept records, so many dealers go to great pains to keep their book neat and accurate.2) Fill out the federal form 4473. This is required by all dealer sales of both new and used guns. It asks for the buyer’s name, address, the make and model of the gun, serial number, and then asks a bunch of questions. The dealer can get fined if the person fills out the form wrong. For example, answering a question with “Y” or “N” instead of “Yes” or “No” is a BATF violation. So the dealer has to carefully examine the form for errors and have the person fill out another if errors are found.3) The dealer then calls into the NICS. NICS can come back with a “Proceed”, “Denied” or “Delay”. A delay can take up to 3 days. Typically this is a name that appears similar to a Prohibited Person and requires some research. If this happens, the transfer is on hold. The dealer has no idea when the result of the research is likely to finish. If you are at a gun show, the show could be over before the approval is made.4) All this paperwork, verification, etc takes time. Time is money. So dealers charge for this service. It is typical for a dealer to charge $25-$40 per gun, but sometimes multiple guns get a discount because the dealer can process up to 4 on a single form, but when more than one gun is transferred, the dealer has to fill out Form 3310 which is supposed to help with gun trafficking.All of this is well and good if you are buying a gun from someone you don’t know and many people will require sales be conducted at a dealer for the piece of mind such protections provide. But friends and family typically do not bother with the hassle and expense.One thing you need to realize is that to get a gun dealer license is not an easy process. Since the federal government cracked down on so called “kitchen table” dealers back in the 1980’s, you now must show a commercially zoned storefront with posted business hours to qualify. Many communities don’t want gun shops, and use zoning laws to make them difficult or unattractive. For example the city of Boston does not have any dealers. In fact, the nearest dealer is 3 towns away. Many rural areas don’t have the traffic to keep a dealer in business and you’ll find they are typically only open in the evening or on a Saturday as they work another full time job. Keep this in mind as we get into the next issue.But the bill didn’t stop at sales. It stated that ALL transfers had to be done in this manner. No exceptions. So, two friends out on a hunt would need to go through the whole process listed above just to swap guns for the afternoon. Oh, and they would have to do it all again to give the gun back. It is very common on a range to try out other people’s guns - such a thing would also require the full transfer and back process. Demo guns at a national event by manufacturers? Same thing.Basically any time a gun were to swap hands, the law would apply. There are private shooting clubs where guns are treated like library books and members take whatever they want. Families regularly swap guns. Heck, some shooting courses provide guns for students to use. All of these events would have been impacted by these new transfer requirements.The NRA balked at this. Essentially the rule would curtail many of the traditions and practices that are very common and virtually never result in any kind of criminal activity. In essence it would criminalize things that simply are not crimes.Not only would it create criminals where no criminal intent existed, but the cost to manage the volume of temporary transfers, the staffing needed to take the calls and do the checks would have cost millions each year. All money that would not go toward actually dealing with criminals.When the issue was brought up, many members of Congress agreed the requirements were too restrictive and the whole bill failed to pass. The supporters of the bill did not even attempt to listen to the complaints and work out a manageable fix.Did you hear any of that in the media?But what about catching criminals?Well, the bill didn’t change anything in regards to enforcing the rules to make sure the people who should not own guns were properly entered into NICS. In fact, other than maybe getting fired, there is NO PENALTY for failing to report a person. We have laws that will jail a teacher or coach that fail to report bullies. We have laws that put priests in prison who fail to report potential inappropriate behaviors in other clergy. But we do not have any laws that punish law enforcement agents that fail to do their job and make sure that dangerous people are reported to the background system. And this bill made no effort to change that.NICS is not open to anyone but federally licensed gun dealers. The left are so worried that the system might be used to check people for things other than guns that they refuse to create a means to allow people to verify someone they are selling a gun to. It would be easy to create an app that takes a photo of the buyer and seller’s ID (or just their faces and type in some data) and then return a simple “Proceed” or “Deny” with no other details. You’d have plenty of information to audit for illegal use. And if someone didn’t have an ID, they could then use a dealer. Heck, you can’t file taxes on-line without submitting some kind of ID, so this isn’t anything unique.And yet, the bill did nothing to address the issue of accessing the NICS for easier private sales.Here is the thing. We have 20,000 gun laws in this country. On the federal side, a prohibited person touching a gun could see them in prison for a minimum of 5 years. And yet, we still see cities with high violent crime rates that have virtually no federal cases. Why isn’t law enforcement using those stiff federal laws to get the violent people off the streets? Such a program called “Project Exile” worked wonders in Richmond, VA to reduce violent crime dramatically.OK, back to the “Universal Background Check” bill.I spent a lot of words above explaining what the bill would have required of people and why the situation would have been a nightmare. You never saw any of this in the news and the media pretty much ignored the issue.When the bill was defeated, it was never reported that a “terrible bill that would have cost millions and made criminals out of the innocent was defeated”, instead, all you ever heard was“The NRA used its influence to defeat the Universal Background Check bill that would have closed the gunshow loophole”Almost everything about that statement is false.So, be careful what you want to “Fight Against”. I suspect that most of what you think about the NRA is highly biased due to the way the organization is treated in the media. When you look at the actual facts, many times their concerns are quite valid. And, they have a lot of rank and file law enforcement on their side which helps them represent real world situations. I’ve found their positions in many cases very well presented. Most of the arguments you get on TV news are highly edited and taken out of context to promote an agenda, not facilitate a debate.Make sure you know what you are fighting for. You might be surprised.