Democrats Want Background Checks… Except When They Don’t

One of the main discussions in this ginned up, fact-free anti-gun debate coming from the Democrats and their fellow extreme leftists is that they want “universal background checks” for gun purchases. So, “background checks” are a good idea to left-wingers… but in all cases? As it happens, NO is the answer to that. Democrats don’t want universal background checks in all cases.

Jams Bovard shows us this fact quite clearly in his recent Wall Street Journal piece headlined, “Perform Criminal Background Checks at Your Peril.”

Now, Bovard isn’t talking about the gun debate with his piece. In fact, he never mentions guns even one time. Bovard, you see, is talking about background checks as a condition for employment.

As it happens, Democrats and the Obama administration are attempting to eliminate background checks for prospective employees claiming it is a “civil rights” issue.

The specific case concerns a man of Mexican origin who was denied employment as a truck driver because he had a criminal record. The record was discovered via a routine background check. Obama and his department of injustice claimed that the trucking company had no right to deny employment to the criminal saying it violated his “civil rights.”

Worse, the Obama administration essentially announced through the release of a set of new “guidelines” that the federal government will try to prosecute employers even if they are following state laws.

As far as Obama is concerned, no matter what the people want through laws written by their duly elected state officials, no background checks will be allowed.

So, what does this have to do with background checks for gun purchases?

Simply this: it is hypocritical for Obama and his extremist, left-wing comrades to claim that background checks on potential employees assumes a criminal past of these potential employees and should not, therefore, be allowed yet support background checks for potential gun buyers based on the same, exact principle.

If background checks violate a person’s civil liberties in order to gain employment, then background checks also violate a person’s civil liberties in order to enjoy their Constitutional rights.

After all, the right to a job is not in the Constitution, but the right to a firearm is.

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  • fustian24

    Apparently, you can get elected President without undergoing even a rudimentary background check.

    At least if you’re a democrat.

    • TomInCali

      Yeah, because no one did any kind of looking into Obama’s background.

      • herddog505

        Let me know what kind of grades he got in college. Or high school. Or law school. How about his medical records? We know all about Mitt Romney’s dog and his alleged bullying of a possibly gay classmate in high school, but Barry… not so much.

        Even his supporters in MiniTru realized that they don’t know much about him.

    • TomInCali

      Yeah, because no one did any kind of looking into Obama’s background.

  • jim_m

    Selective enforcement of the law, That is what the left wants. It’s just totalitarianism dressed up to look nice.

  • retired.military

    The right to a job is a constitutional right. Many leftists have said so.
    It is right next to the right to abortion on demand and the right to welfare on demand and the part about the 2nd admendment only being for hunting with muzzle loaders (on the third Tuesday of each month, between the 12th and the 13th of them month, no more than 9 balls allowed per person, between the hours of 2 and 4 am, after sunrise).

  • stan25

    Was that trucking company union or non-union? That would be the first thing that be on the list that would be checked.

  • Brucehenry

    The article cites a 1989 case and then skips to this new “Guidance.” What has the EEOC been doing in this regard in the intervening 24 years?

    • herddog505

      Probably trying to deal with the conumdrum of background checks being a damned good idea (which is why many companies use them) yet being a civil rights violation.

    • JWH

      I suspect that, as the op-ed implies, the EEOC has done its best to set up cumbersome processes around background checks.

      In my not so humble opinion, the EEOC is treading on some shaky ground here. Suing somebody over disparate-impact discrimination is already a dicey matter, and this just muddies the legal terrain unnecessarily.

      Background checks are just due diligence for any business. And unless it can be shown that a business is using background checks as a proxy for some other form of discrimination, the EEOC ought to keep its beak out.

  • jim_m

    I needed a background check in my last job because I had (extremely limited) access to radioactive isotopes that could theoretically be used to create a dirty bomb. FBI background check, fingerprinting, the whole nine yards. Are we going to claim that DHS regulations are now unconstitutional?

    Just more selective law enforcement from the left.

  • jim_m

    I needed a background check in my last job because I had (extremely limited) access to radioactive isotopes that could theoretically be used to create a dirty bomb. FBI background check, fingerprinting, the whole nine yards. Are we going to claim that DHS regulations are now unconstitutional?

    Just more selective law enforcement from the left.

  • 914

    Whatever King Marx needs to stay on the throne and enjoy perpetual golf shall continue. Unless lightning should strike him down! Jinx!

  • UOG

    ***Thread Hijack*** sorry, Warner –

    I’m about to deactivate the UOG account on Discus. Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been posting much lately, I don’t have time anymore. Every year the Upset Old Gal and I comment on how increasing scarce spare and personal time is becoming. But I didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye, thanking you all for your engagement and wishing youl well. I’ll miss you.


    • jim_m

      We will miss you too. Go enjoy yourself.

    • Brucehenry

      Well, just stop in every once in a while. Why make everything so final?

      This blog will be diminished by your absence, UOG. I mean that.

    • 914

      Take care!

    • herddog505

      I’m sorry to hear it. Take care, and good luck.

  • GarandFan

    Guess those libs have never heard of “bonding companies”. In many cases, a criminal past will preclude them from even touching you.

    Who’d have thought that engaging in criminal acts might have CONSEQUENCES in the future?

    • jim_m

      A central tenet of liberalism is that one should never be held responsible for one’s actions. Consequences? Those are only for your political opponents.

  • herddog505

    Our legal system is increasingly a parody of itself.

  • JWH

    Actually, there’s an interesting argument to be had here, but Warner blows right over it in his eagerness to bash Democrats. The interesting argument is not “background checks” per se, but an argument regarding disparate-impact discrimination. According to the article the EEOC went after the business in 1989 claiming that the background checks constituted disparate-impact discrimination. Is this something that the EEOC should be going after?

    • You should get your own blog and write that article.

      No need to share the link, thanks.

      • JWH

        Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed today.

    • herddog505

      My opinion: no. My understanding it that, by definition, disparate impact is UNintentional “discrimination”. EEOC and the entire structure of US discrimination law was (I thought!) intended to combat willful discrimination: “I won’t hire / promote you because you’re [insert race / color / creed / origin / sexual orientation here].”

      The problem with going after disparate impact cases is that the “discrimination” is really in the eye of the beholder and is “proved” by rather esoteric statistical tests. Need it be said that a case to prove / disprove such a hazy charge is expensive to everybody concerned?

      As I understand it, one result of Uncle Sugar pursuing such cases was the mortgage meltdown due to aggressive (and, I believe, politically motivated) harrassment of banks over “red lining”: because some minority groups apparently weren’t getting loans at the same rate as their white counterparts, this was taken as prima facie evidence of discrimination. The result was that the banks, to avoid expensive legal harrassment from Uncle Sugar, reduced the requirements such that any Tom, Dick or Harry could get a home loan whether he had the means or (judging by his credit history) the intent to pay it back.

      Wiki gives another good example:

      For example, a fire department requiring applicants to carry a 100 lb (50 kg) pack up three flights of stairs. The upper-body strength required typically has an adverse impact on women. The fire department would have to show that this requirement is job-related for the position. This typically requires employers to conduct validation studies that address both the Uniform Guidelines and professional standards.*

      In other words, to avoid EEOC harrassment, employers have to go into exhaustive detail with job descriptions. It seems to me that this STILL leaves them vulnerable to charges of discrimination (“you wrote that just so you could exclude [insert group here]!”), and may actually present a legal / moral hazard if they misjudge the requirements.

      With regards to the specific case of background checks, it seems obvious to me that EEOC, unless it can be demonstrated that an organization is not conducting them in a uniform manner (e.g. only black applicants are subjected to them), should NOT in any way disuade organizations from using them. Do we REALLY want to potentially allow convicted drug abusers to work in an FDA drug lab or convicted child molesters to work in day care centers?



      • JWH

        I am not fond of disparate-impact, either, unless it can be shown that the item causing the disparate impact is being used as a proxy for illegal discrimination.

      • JWH

        A further thought. In the background-check scenario, employers are generally not going to run them just on members of one race. They’re going to run them across the board. But what happens if an African-American is rejected from a job after his background check, but he learns that a Caucasian friend from prison got a similar job with the company? You’re more likely to see that sort of scenario …

        • herddog505

          Your example would certainly cause me to raise an eyebrow, but I’d want to see a pattern before I went to court over it. Let’s assume that the white guy did six months for possession, while the black guy did ten years for attempted murder. I would think that such would make a difference.

          This is the broader problem with EEOC and similar laws / agencies: they treat people as groups and not as individuals.

          • JWH

            Your modification (possession vs. attempted murder) would make a difference, though I would caution you as to this first:

            I’d want to see a pattern before I went to court over it.

            It’s worth noting that you typically don’t find a pattern of discrimination until after investigating one man’s complaint … and that from the individual’s perspective, discriminating against him, personally, is just as bad as discriminating against his entire race.

          • herddog505

            I see your point. It’s a tough issue: on the one hand, people ought to enjoy equal protection under the law, which should interest itself in even the smallest infractions (a sort-of “broken window” policy). On the other hand, businesses oughtn’t have to go to extreme lengths to protect themselves from racehustlers and grievance-mongers.

            On a related note, are you familiar with this:

            An African-American nurse who is suing a Flint hospital because she said it agreed to a man’s request that no African-American nurses care for his newborn recalled Monday that she was stunned by her employer’s actions.

            “I didn’t even know how to react,” said Tonya Battle, 49, a veteran of the neonatal intensive care unit and a nearly 25-year employee of the Hurley Medical Center.

            Battle’s lawsuit states a note was posted on the assignment clipboard reading “No African American nurse to take care of baby,” according to the eight-page complaint against the medical center.


            My wife (one of you people) told me about this. I was flabbergasted. What burns me up is that the real villain here – the (allegedly) swastika-wearing father – isn’t the target of legal action.

            There’s no question but that the hospital handled this very badly, however: the only answer that the hospital administration ought to have given was a respectful but very firm, “We do not judge the competence of our staff by the color of their skin. Be assured that your child will get the best of care by ANY of our nurses. Good day to you, sir. Now, get out of my sight sharpish, before I get my M-1 out of the closet and put it back to the use that God and John Garand intended for it, you nazi c*cks*cker.”

            OK, perhaps the last might be a touch unprofessional, but I think that it’s generally helpful to use the sort of language that people understand best.

          • JWH

            As a practical matter, you can’t really sue the man who made the request; an individual has the right to be racist, even if an employer doesn’t have the same right to be racist in practice.

            I have enough of a heartless streak in me that I would say that the hospital should go “Ok, sir, no African-American nurses shall handle your baby. Incidentally, if your baby starts coughing in the middle of the night, and our fine African-American nurses are the only ones on duty, we will let nature take its course.”

            I’m kind of a heartless bastard these days. I think I’ve joined the Lord Vetinari school of governance. People have the freedom to make choices … but those choices should carry consequences.

          • JWH

            As an aside, I know I sound awful and uncharitable when I say things like this. But I’ve reached a point where, intellectually at least, I am tired of people making piss-poor decisions, then turning around and playing on others’ compassion to spare them the consequences of those decisions.

          • herddog505

            JWHI think I’ve joined the Lord Vetinari school of governance. People have the freedom to make choices … but those choices should carry consequences.

            nazis… bottomless pit… I LIKE IT!

          • JWH

            I’ll admit I’ve turned to it mostly as a platonic ideal; the idea of letting some baby die because his dad’s a racist repulses me. But at the same time, I’ve grown frustrated with some folks’ cavalier decisions to assign the costs of their politics to others.

  • Wild_Willie

    You have to have background checks in healthcare. You don’t want to hire an addict and have him around all the controlled substances. That’s nuts. Oh, wait! The democrats want to do this. Makes sense to them. ww

    • jim_m

      No more background checks!! Let’s let child molesters work as elementary school teachers. Better yet, let’s let convicted murders work as Secret Service Agents protecting the President..

  • TomInCali

    What an incredibly ridiculous post this is. You clearly don’t understand even the definition of the word “hypocrisy”. Advocating for different things in different situations is not hypocrisy.

    Hey, Republicans are for giving out things in school, but only when those things are pencils and not condoms. Hypocrisy! They’re for inspections, but only when inspecting food and not greeting cards. Hypocrisy! They’re for using forks, but only on steak and not soup. Hypocrisy!

    That’s the level of stupid that you convey with this post.

    • herddog505

      You’re quite right: it isn’t hypocrisy, it’s a double standard. Or, if you prefer, rank discrimination against gun owners and would-be gun owners.

      Apparently, in Leftyworld, it’s an outrage – an OUTRAGE, I say – that a daycare center might try to determine if a potential employee has a record for child molestation (this being a violation of the pedophile’s sacred rights)*, but perfectly acceptable to put would-be gun owners under the microscope and even allow John Law to enter their houses for “inspections” without a warrant.**

      Lessee… How many obvious violations of the Bill of Rights do the two cases present?


      (*) Out of curiosity, let’s assume that XYZ Co. unwittingly hires a convicted rapist who decides to get back into practice with one of the employees on night shift. Who’s responsible for that?

      What makes it even more revolting is that democrats in CO don’t think that rape is a big enough deal that women should be able to defend themselves:

      “It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.”

      Remember: in Leftyworld, a woman is supposed to stick her finger down her throat and vomit on a rapist in the hopes that, disgusted, he’ll go away… and find another woman to attack.

      (**) “In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall … safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”

      In other words, come into homes without a warrant to poke around. Failure to comply could get you up to a year in jail.

      Apparently, “warrantless” searches are only bad to lefties when suspected terrorists are the targets. When it’s American citizens, meh….

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