It is evident that the Federal Government has not only the Right but the
duty to perform 'Background' checks on prospective purchasers of
Firearms. It is quite apparent that our Founders desired that Firearms
be in "safe and sane" hands. That the Federal Government assures that a
citizen is indeed capable of possessing a firearm is a matter of
Ensuring Domestic Tranquility.
such thing is "evident". First, the federal government does not
have rights; it has powers, granted to it by the Constitution.
Second, "ensuring domestic tranquility", despite the appearance of
those words within that document, is not a grant of power. It's a
statement of purpose, similar to "promote the general welfare", to
which those specifically granted powers should be applied.
(Unless you want to contend that drugging the water supply with valium
The present prohibition on felons possessing firearms is doubly
offensive to the Constitution; it is an infringement of the right to
keep and bear arms, and it lacks any Constitutionally-enumerated power
from which its authority is derived. While removing or
overturning it is both unlikely and probably unwise, only the naive
proponents of gun control imagine (usually only for brief moments of
supreme concentration, accompanied by a supportive chorus) that it
actually prevents criminals from getting their hands on a gun if they
A Constitutional government would lock its criminals up without their
guns, preferably for long enough to ensure that they would trod the
straight and narrow in the future, and restore them their arms upon
release. Those criminals who repeatedly committed violent crimes
would find Darwin close upon their heels before long.
While it may be politically expedient to publically voice support for
background checks, it is neither effective in reducing crime nor is it
sound in principle. Even if prohibitting felons from firearms
possession is considered a wise and successful policy, background
checks on ordinary citizens represent a prior restraint upon a
protected right. We must always remember that it represents a
compromise, not a victory.