Universal background checks cannot function without universal registration.
Well that’s not true at all. “Universal background checks” just means that peer to peer sales run a background check. All you need is some kind of citizen NICS portal. Like, I could go to NICS, print my own background check, take it to a peer to peer seller, show him the paper, and he snaps a photo of it from his phone and sells me the gun. No registry is necessary at all.
I think the people you’re referencing in your response were saying that a registry is necessary because they really want a registry.
Malicious abuse of red flag laws has already led to the death at police hands of a man in Maryland. The failure to vet a report properly led to an honorably retired Massachusetts police officer being stripped of his guns and permits and losing his job as a school crossing guard.
I’m aware of these, but I don’t think Siegel was. I didn’t want to push him too hard on them, but did feel like planting the seed in his mind to study bad results of Red Flag Laws was an important thing to do without alienating him on the subject.
Public health experts need to understand a very salient fact: Gun owners are concerned about people coming to take their guns for the very simple reason that they have been told that, if they can get away with it, people really do want to take away their guns.
I think Siegel is very aware of this, and I think it comes through in the interview. I think he’s starting to realize what an uphill battle he has on his own side of the fence, but I’m not sure he fully realizes the power of the Culture War. That’s why I asked him whether he thought he could get the politicians and media on that side to fall in line behind him, and he is far too optimistic on this point I think. It will be interesting to ask him about it again in a year.