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The Economist has an article on the whole James Brady thing: ... un-control

The author's slant tends to be anti-gun, but relatively dispassionate, and there's one very interesting quote which I'll bring up:

However, in a sophisticated statistical analysis comparing trends in homicide rates in the 32 states forced to comply with the law with the 18 states that already had background checks, Messrs Cook and Ludwig found "no case for a causal effect of Brady" on homicide rates. That is to say, if Mr Brady is directly responsible for saving lives, it doesn't show up in the numbers. How is this possible?

Messrs Cook and Ludwig point to, "in order of importance, the private sales loophole, the fact that a large share of gun criminals are not disqualified, and the incomplete coverage of the databases utilized in the [National Instant Criminal Background Check System]".
The article goes on to investigate the first item on the list, private sales, and doesn't really investigate the other two. The gun-grabbers will of course take the position that this means that we need to lock down sales, drive them all through federal licensees, require everyone to pinky-swear that they never made a gun shape with their fingers in kindergarten and so on, but I'm bound to observe that if the background checks are themselves greatly flawed, increasing them doesn't really do much for the security of the system, while enabling private citizens to get FBI backgrounds on each other at the drop of a hat, or effectively creating a national weapons database.

I can't really view that as an improvement.
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