Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Virginia Irritating Criminal Background Check System

I already know the problem here: I'm not a criminal, so I must not qualify for the "instant" part.

in·stant 
[in-stuhnt]
noun
1. an infinitesimal or very short space of time; a moment: They arrived not an instant too soon.
2. the point of time now present or present with reference to some action or event.

Considering that the word doesn't match reality in regards to the situation here, I have substituted a more descriptive word for the system. If you still don't see why people like myself bitch about these background checks, let me just direct you to the information page for Virginia's VCHECK system:

This program became operational on November 1, 1989, and provides for a timely, point-of-sale, approval or disapproval decision regarding the sale or transfer of all firearms (except antiques) based upon the results of a criminal history record information (CHRI) check concerning the prospective purchaser pursuant to§18.2-308.2:2 of the Code of Virginia.

Emphasis mine. The VSP cannot now say that their background check system is timely, because my transaction last night was not approved before the store closed, thus violating the point-of-sale stipulation. Furthermore, if there isn't an approval or disapproval decision, the system has failed to work as required.

I heard from the dealer that ran the background check for my HK P30 last night that delays in the state were so bad, gun shows were reporting a 50% loss on sales. The VCDL is reporting significant hangups as well. I guess Tim Kaine got what he wanted after all, as I now have a gun that's paid for but not in my hands because of bureaucratic red tape. Way to go. But if it catches one violent criminal, it's all worth it, right? (That's a joke)

Can anyone in the class explain to me how a vague, half-assed system intended to catch a criminal for a crime they may or may not commit is not as destructive as inhibiting lawful commerce and transfer of property? Anyone?

"Oh, but CTone, what if some badguy was trying to buy a handgun to go on a murder spree; wouldn't you want them to be delayed or denied?" I'll answer that right after you answer this: what if a soccer mom was trying to buy a handgun to protect herself from her already armed ex-spouse who has intent to do her serious bodily harm or kill her? Is it fine and dandy for her to be delayed to? Which scenario do you think happens more often? The "what if" game cuts both ways, and I highly doubt these background check systems actually help convict criminals. Fortunately, there's a push to rid Virginia of their redundant, needless, and ineffective system, and I can only hope that with time, the nation will shed this ludicrous idea of pre-criminalizing persons for crimes they haven't committed.
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