The truth about background checks

After returning from an extended trip I was catching up on my dated Bladen Journals and just read the Jan. 12 “Our View” entitled “Right to bear arms forever a hot topic.”

I have previously written on the Second amendment issue and strongly support gun rights, and I am a member of the often-berated NRA. In spite of those facts, I am in complete agreement with the article and even the president’s call for improved practices for screening gun purchases.

Mr. Obama rightly called for improved reporting on those who are mentally ill or who have criminal records. These are the same pleas that the NRA has been making for 20 years! These pleas have fallen on deaf ears in Congress and the president while always willing to issues questionable executive orders has not shown the determination (hard work) required to gain Congressional action.

Those who are quick to berate the NRA should go to the NRA web page and view the video on background checks on the home page. No one wants guns in the hands of dangerous criminals or the mentally ill. In fact it was the NRA that pushed legislation to implement instant background checks.

There is no argument that the killers that have slaughtered so many innocent citizens were mentally ill, but reality is that every one of them could have or did obtain weapons legally due to the flawed system that has existed for decades. States are not even adequately reporting criminal convictions with at least 36 states reporting less than 80 percent of felony convictions. The reporting of mental illness is far worse.

It is time we all call our representatives in Washington and demand this change. Until you do, you have no right to complain.

Charles Massey

Bay Tree Lakes