The Senate, in predictable fashion, stopped every one of the President's new gun policy provisions. Every single one failed to receive the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. This is really maddening, especially for those who are family members of victims of gun violence. Not even universal background checks withstood the Senate. That's apalling to me.
The President, as you can imagine, was pretty pissed. And why shouldn't he be? He was, after all, trying to save lives by putting common-sense protections in place around guns. I get that some people think an assault rifle with a 30-round clip is nice to have because you can. I get that some people live in dangerous areas and need firearms for their own protection. I get the recreational use of firearms for hunting and marksmanship competitions. What I don't understand is how asking people to go through a background check limits people's freedoms to own a gun. If they have nothing in their record that would prevent them from having a gun, then the background check won't stop the purchase. If they do have something in their record that would prevent them from owning a gun, then they shouldn't have one. Simple.
Another thing. I've heard a lot of people say that background checks will lead to a database of gun owners. But that's erroneous as well, since background checks are all done on paper, at every level, and it's against the law to computerize any of it. You can't plug in people's names on the computer, you can't document anything in a spreadsheet, nothing. Everything is handled via paper forms and physical filing. It makes for a convoluted, disorganized system, but that's what is expected so that we don't get a national database of gun owners.