OPINION

Rick Sanchez: Close the gun show loophole now!

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31:  Surrendered handguns are piled in a bin during a gun buyback event that was announced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in the wake of a killing spree at University of California, Santa Barbara that left six students dead, on May 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. People can exchange their firearms with no questions asked at four Los Angles-area locations for Ralphs supermarket gift cards ranging from $100 to $200 per weapon. The buyback program first took place in Los Angles in 2009 as part of the Gang Reduction and Youth Development program to reduce the number of guns on the streets. The last buyback resulted in more than 1,500 firearms being turned in. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: Surrendered handguns are piled in a bin during a gun buyback event that was announced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in the wake of a killing spree at University of California, Santa Barbara that left six students dead, on May 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. People can exchange their firearms with no questions asked at four Los Angles-area locations for Ralphs supermarket gift cards ranging from $100 to $200 per weapon. The buyback program first took place in Los Angles in 2009 as part of the Gang Reduction and Youth Development program to reduce the number of guns on the streets. The last buyback resulted in more than 1,500 firearms being turned in. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)  (2014 Getty Images)

Of course we should get rid of the gun show loophole. What are we, stupid? Do we want somebody to be able to sell a gun to a person with a violent criminal record? How about a person with a lifelong history of psychotic episodes? What the hell, how about a terrorist? Really? Who would defend not wanting to come up with a way of getting at least a cursory check on a gun buyer?

We shouldn’t care who, what or how the gun violence epidemic in America is brought under control. We'd like it to be part of a bipartisan compromise hammered out by Democrats and Republicans alike, from both chambers and both branches of government.

- Rick Sanchez

The answer is pretty simple: Eight percent of all Americans and 13 percent of all Republicans — that’s who. 

That’s right, according to the latest poll conducted by CBS News and the New York Times, the vast majority of Americans want background checks for anyone buying a gun. Ninety-two percent say yes and 87 percent of Republicans concur.

So when the White House announces that it’s seeking to expand background checks for all buyers, you would think the reaction would be that "it’s about time," right? The measure simply clarifies that anyone "in the business of selling firearms" must register as licensed gun dealers, effectively narrowing the so-called "gun show loophole," which exempts most small sellers from keeping formal sales records.

Don’t believe the naysayers who maintain that reality isn’t real. The gun show loophole – also known as the private sales loophole – is real! In fact, at least one study conducted by Harvard University has found that as many 40 percent of guns sold or transferred in America are conducted without a background check. 

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Problem? Of course! Should we be looking for a solution? Of course! But today in America, problems don’t require solutions. It simply requires political posturing.

Even Republicans – like House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is on the record on many occasions stating that “we should find a way to close the gun show loophole” – is now doing an about-face. His reaction to President Obama’s suggestion to close the loophole sounds, at least on its face, like a complete capitulation of his earlier position. Ryan accuses the president of “undermining liberty.”  

If Ryan’s suggestion is that both branches of government should make a decision this monumental, then I say he’s right. We don’t want the president issuing this type of executive action, which smacks of one-sided bullying. But you know what else we don’t want? We don’t want a congress that agrees we have a gun violence problem in America, but doesn’t have the guts to do anything about it.

Frankly, we shouldn’t care who, what or how the gun violence epidemic in America is brought under control. We'd like it to be part of a bipartisan compromise hammered out by Democrats and Republicans alike from both chambers and both branches of government. However, short of that — like the Nike campaign says, “Just do it.”     

Rick Sanchez is a contributor for Fox News Latino.

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