The cold hard fact is that background checks already work. The problem is not that the guns fall into the wrong hands legally; the problem is guns fall into the wrong hands illegally.

To propose that “stronger” background checks would make this fact any different would be misinformed at best, perverse at worst.

The sensationalized accounts of violence in the media do nothing to help the public truly understand the nature of this problem and may be the catalyst for this baseless backlash on firearm ownership.

A quick look at the real numbers paints the true picture. Per the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (1999), 93 percent of guns used in crimes are obtained illegally.

Per the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (2011), 94 percent of persons who committed gun related murders were already disqualified from gun ownership, e.g., felons.

Indeed, the majority of those who commit murder have a criminal record with multiple felonies, and a felon cannot legally purchase a firearm from anywhere or anyone; it is illegal for a felon to even possess a firearm. It is self-evident more laws will not dissuade criminals who already break laws.

Some attempt to criticize those who support gun rights include invoking the nonrigidity of the Constitution, opinion polls and how much “sense” it makes to bar those on the no-fly list from obtaining firearms. To start, the no-fly list is the product of a nonelected, secretive bureaucracy.

It entails no due process, contains tens of thousands of names and often contains the names of people who have no ties to terrorism. Names such as Sen. Ted Kennedy, veterans returning from the Middle East, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton, children and even Cat Stevens have appeared on the list.

Of course, opinion polls show support for gun control. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would not donate over a billion dollars to Johns Hopkins if it did not produce research that supports his agenda.

And the Second Amendment is not without limitations; the pages of the National Firearms Act’s rules and regulations are testament to that.

But the message it is meant to convey is absolute and timeless. There is a reason it is second only to free speech, as Thomas Jefferson reminded us when he stated, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

If you truly want to solve a problem, go after the criminals who already purchase guns illegally, not the 100 million gun owners who abide by the law.

James Bellon

student, LSU

Baton Rouge