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Media Matters GRPC report ignores anti-gun background check deception

No brawls broke out, despite what Media Matters would have you believe.
No brawls broke out, despite what Media Matters would have you believe.
Second Amendment Foundation

“Activists brawl over background checks,” Media Matters whooped in the subhead to its Friday “report” on last week’s Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago. The “progressive” propaganda smear machine is elated that “hog-tied” gun owners are in disagreement over the way to respond to background check bills being introduced in several states and kicked into high gear by a handful of billionaires.

As with “gun control” backers Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, both of whom employ the finest around-the-clock security money can buy, Media Matters founder David Brock, a former “conservative” described as “viciously mean” in his treatment of employees, was reportedly accompanied by an illegally-armed personal assistant in Washington, D.C.

Media Matters has also been at the center of dispensing disinformation on Operation Fast and Furious, and dismissing investigations into it as “baseless conspiracy theory.” Conspirators would know, as those who collaborated with Eric Holder’s Justice Department to spin that narrative most certainly do. As a side note, the DOJ employee doing much of the communication with Media Matters was Tracy Schmaler, the same department attack flack who dismissed the D.C. bar complaint against her boss as “specious... frivolous [and] desperate.”

With that as background, deconstructing the “report” on the GRPC can now be viewed in the proper contact of separating the emotional spin it tries to convey from actual conference dialog. True, Chris [not Jeff] Knox of The Firearms Coalition did disagree with Second Amendment Foundation head Alan Gottlieb, and while the two maintain irreconcilable views, Knox began by qualifying that he “respectfully disagreed.” The back-and-forth, which at times reflected inner passion, never devolved into a “brawl” in any sense of the term, literally or even as a valid metaphor.

This much Media Matters got right: Gottlieb believes background check bills are inevitable. He supports his position with polling data and information he has managed to obtain that bolster his assessment. He therefore advocates that it’s in the interests of gun rights advocates to steer and shape legislation to mitigate damage and obtain concessions, and even roll-backs. For his part, Knox refuses to cede an inch. He advocates dealing with the political and other consequences of laws he knows will prove to be failures.

As an aside, Media Matters totally mischaracterized Stephen Halbrook’s presentation. The author, scholar and lawyer has never advanced “the discredited theory that gun confiscation was responsible for Hitler's rise to power.” What he has done is shown what the Nazis were able to do to Jews and other disfavored groups after they had assumed power and began to ruthlessly suppress their ownership of firearms. That included using registration lists to arrest them, as in the case of Alfred Flatow.

Another non-brawl Media Matters did not report on, either because their “reporter” had left by Sunday’s conference session or because it was not in their interests to do so, was a second passionate discussion that happened at the end of the last day. A microphone had been set up to take questions from attendees, and I approached GunLaws author Alan Korwin to express concern that, in the back-and-forth between compromise legislation or dealing with consequences, an alternative, one that would expose the “background check” terminology as a diversionary false front for registration, was being wholly ignored: The Blind Identification System, or BIDS:

The heart of BIDS is an encrypted database of all persons who are prohibited from owning, using, or purchasing firearms. Only prohibited persons are in the database - no information on other citizens is in the database, ever. The BIDS database would be supplied to all licensed firearm dealers, who would store it in a dedicated BIDS computer or computers. Firearm dealers would verify the prospective gun buyer's driver's license or state-issued ID and enter name, date of birth, and state ID number into their BIDS computer. The computer would then search the encrypted database for a match. If there were a match, the computer would display that name and associated information, and the prospective buyer would be prohibited from making the purchase. If there were no match, the computer would display a message stating that fact, and the sale could proceed. No computer report or record is made of the name being searched for, so BIDS never informs the government as to who is attempting to buy a gun or who actually buys a gun.

Korwin took to the microphone with me standing behind him. While we were told the questioning was over, he persisted, and a back-and-forth with Gottlieb, every bit as dynamic as the one with Knox, ensued. While no resolution was expected, as the subject was not raised until the conference was over, and as the I-591/594 contest makes it unlikely that a message can be spread in time to make a difference in that race, BIDS nonetheless contains the potential to expose the fraud being committed by those who say all they want are background checks on gun purchases.

It’s important to state, as a personal position, I would not endorse BIDS legislation, either as a way to validate private sales or to “improve” existing transfers through dealers. Even though it’s “better,” it’s still an infringement, and if millions more gun owners took that position and then got effectively involved, we wouldn't need to argue with each other over compromises in the first place.

That said, here’s where BIDS could prove a very useful tool to expose the antis for what they’re really after: If the “gun safety groups” truly only want background checks, why would they not promote a system like BIDS, which creates none of the potential registration dangers that could be abused to jeopardize gun owners’ freedom?

That’s not an exaggeration. The Hartford Courant recently called on the State of Connecticut to enforce its “assault weapons” law by using the “background check database” to identify who has not obeyed it, and to urge authorities to then go out and arrest them. How that would work (and the extent of likely push-back) may be unclear, but gun-grabber intent is not.

So the question for anti-gun groups pushing “background check” edicts is “Why not BIDS?”

That would not only provide an opportunity to expose them for the liars who are really after registration that they are, it would give gun owners doing so the opportunity to educate more of our countrymen on the dangers such schemes pose to freedom.

Just ask Alfred Flatow.


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My latest GUNS Magazine “Rights Watch” column, “Garden State Gun Criminal,” examines the outrageous persecution of single mother Shaneen Allen, who tried to do the right thing and cooperate with police, but is nonetheless having her life destroyed over a technicality. Funny, how no “progressive” black or women’s groups have demanded justice for her.


My latest JPFO Alert, “The Hill departs from objectivity on restaurant ‘gun ban’ story,” notes words have meaning, something "journalists" know better than most.

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