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Senate Rejects Gun Purchase Background Checks

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This past week, the Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to adopt a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks on sales of firearms, despite the unusual move by Republican Senators Mc Cain (AZ), Collins (ME) and Kirk (IL), who opposed the tide of no votes in their own party to back the bill.

The compromise bill was originally presented by Senators Joe  Manchin, D-W.Va and Pat Twomey, R-Pa. The bill had widespread support among the mayors of the major cities, including  NYC Mayor Bloomberg, who raised the prospect of defeating a number of non-cooperating senators at the polls. After the vote was cast, Mayor Bloomberg indicated that more children will die without the added protection of a background check when guns are sold. Bloomberg’s initiative would seem to indicate the issue is not concluded.

There is an alternative to resolving the issue of universal background checks: a national referendum. National referenda have been employed principally in Switzerland. The idea of a national referendum has yet to take root in the USA, simply because there hasn’t been sufficient consensus for one by the various states. The national referendum might be a practical way to resolve conflicts between the coequal branches of the federal government. Such applications would serve to break difficult bottlenecks on federal legislation deadlocked in Congress. Inevitably, citizen participation in the government will result in the exercise of the national referendum in the not too distant future.

Another possibility is for each of the individual states to enact tough licensing and registration requirements for gun owners, similar to the requirements which must be met to drive an automobile. The registration process for a gun should require the passing of a written exam, testing the discharge and use of the gun, formal gun registration and the presentation of an insurance card as evidence of insurability for accidental or negligent use.

Traditionally, insurance companies have had a good record of weeding out bad drivers by simply canceling their insurance or raising rates in response to rising claims and/or traffic tickets resulting in point accumulation. A similar registration procedure is needed for gun owners in order to limit unauthorized use/access or negligent use. The various states could begin toughening gun registration requirements now, without any further congressional involvement.

Universal background checks would be helpful to have right now. Nevertheless, there is a myriad of practical alternatives available to the various states and localities in the event that the federal government is unable to arrive at the requisite consensus to move the Congress into action for the foreseeable future.

But for now, the background check debate can open up on a number of new fronts.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.