The National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre irrationally claims that universal background checks would just penalize law abiding citizens. That's like saying that licensing drivers just punishes those who qualify to get a driver's license. Aren't the roads safer for all of us because of licensing?
The contradiction in LaPierre's statement is that sales in gun shows and other private sales provide no assurance that the buyer is not a felon or mentally ill. The seller in private sales is in no position to judge whether a buyer is legally qualified to buy a gun.
There is no doubt that the flow of firearms to those who cannot legally buy them will diminish with universal background checks. The only qualification for buying a firearm in a gun show is having enough money in your wallet. Sellers in gun shows and other private sales are in no way qualified to make the determination that a buyer is qualified. The omnipresent gun shows, where sales are considered private, should be brought under the law.
Furthermore, sellers at gun shows have a conflict of interest. They make a profit only if they make a sale. Being fussy about the qualifications of a buyer reduces the chance of making a sale. After all, if a seller at one booth refuses a sale, the felon or insane buyer can just go to the next booth, where they will encounter the same lack of expertise and conflict of interest.
Selling a firearm with a background check actually protects the seller. The responsibility for qualifying the buyer then falls on the background check process.
Therefore, those of us who buy guns legally must step up to the plate and go through the simple process of passing a background check, even when we are not purchasing through a licensed dealer. It's for our safety, too. Who wants an unqualified felon or insane person near them on a firing range or while hunting?