If I were running a high school newspaper, I would have sent this article back for rewriting. But this is what passes for journalism today, apparently, at least for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. This is perhaps one of the most juvenile editorials I’ve seen on the topic of private sales of guns, regarding a proposed bill in Ohio that would ban private sales, and direct everything through dealers for a ten dollar fee, fixed by the state.
This big problem routing everything through dealers is that it’s just a matter of who’s ox gets gored. If you let them charge market prices, you’re going to be paying anywhere from 30 dollars to 50 dollars for each firearm transferred. If you limit the fee to 10 dollars, you’re screwing the dealer out of his right to make a livlihood.
It’s amazing how many of these folks, who consider this whole background check thing an essential public service, don’t want the public to pay for it. As a matter of law, can anyone think of another instance where the government can force someone to provide a service for a fee set by the government? The only cases I can think of are being conscripted into military service, and being called for jury duty, both of which have deep roots in common law. Are there any other examples?