Jordan Candler / November 4, 2015

Background Checks Are on a Historic Streak

Prospective gun owners show no signs of standing down.

So far this year the Federal Bureau of Investigation has processed 17,584,346 background checks through the National Instant Background Check System. Last month alone firearm merchants requested 1,976,759 background checks — beating by 289,000 the previous October record set in 2013. The Washington Free Beacon notes that last month’s figure “makes October the sixth consecutive month to see a record number of checks.” And with November and December still remaining — historically the time of year when monthly background checks peak — 2015 has a good shot at breaking the record total for any year (21,09,273 in 2013). The rise in background checks is unquestionably linked to renewed calls by Democrats for stricter gun laws. Clearly, the message being sent by prospective gun buyers isn’t getting through.

A new campaign ad by Hillary Clinton stresses the “need to close the loopholes and support universal background checks.” But as statistics show, millions of Americans recognize that background checks aren’t the issue. Rather, demagogues are unsuccessfully rehashing a politically expedient talking point to demonize gun ownership, which they wrongly blame on criminals’ nefarious behavior. That rhetoric in turn drives up gun sales among law-abiding Americans. Talk about a venture backfiring. As the five University of California, Merced, students recently attacked by a knife-wielding man can attest, lawbreakers will use any instrument they can get their hands on to inflict harm. Perhaps the Left would like to explain how background checks on knives could have prevented that situation?

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