The State of Gun Control
Is it time to pursue real solutions to criminal violence and forget about a war on law-abiding gun owners? Of course it is. In fact, that is the only solution that has ever had a chance or reducing gun-related crime. By definition, laws only apply to the law abiding when it comes to prevention, but that has not stopped or slowed the anti-gunners’ “commonsense gun safety” agendas.
You have to understand the opposition to understand how to counter the fallacy of their arguments, so here it goes.
Common Sense Gun Control
Gun control advocates continue to call for their so-called “commonsense gun safety” measures. Essentially, this can be broken down into two main concepts. The first is universal background checks. According to The National Institute of Justice “effectiveness depends on… requiring gun registration.”
Historically, gun registration has led to gun confiscation. First, they say they want to “innocently” just know who owns guns and which ones they own. Then, they have a substantial list to force the confiscation. Besides, how does a list of gun owners prevent crime? It does not. However, that has not stopped politicians such as Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) from recently introducing yet another a bill in Congress that would create a national registry of all firearm owners.
The second objective is a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Gun control advocates seem to believe one gun is deadlier or more dangerous than others and somehow limiting access to a class of guns would then prevent crime. To do this, they point to recent tragedies. However, Charles Whitman opened fire from a Texas clock tower, killing 16 people and wounding 31 before officers killed him.
Whitman used knives and multiple firearms during his spree—none of which would meet the definition of an “assault rifle.” Gun control advocates do not seem to understand that you cannot simple pass a law and prevent future tragedy. It is not the gun that commits the crime, it is the person. That fact does not seem to have resonated with the American Medical Association, which recently reaffirmed its endorsement of a ban on “assault weapons,” including the confiscation of all such firearms from Americans at large.
Fortunately, to date we have been able to stop the efforts of the antis in Congress. Why hasn’t Congress adopted these proposals? Quite frankly, the answer may be as simple as commonsense. Neither of the antis’ concepts would accomplish their stated goal of reducing or preventing crime. Licensed dealers, who are required to clear every sale through the National Criminal Background Check System (NICS), sell most of the guns. Even where private party sales are allowed, the seller accepts the responsibility for ensuring the buyer may legally purchase the firearm before the transaction may legally takeplace.
On top of that, to address recent failures of the NICS system, Congress passed the Fix NICS bill to address the governmental units that were often not reporting criminal records to NICS. It was just such a NICS failure that allowed the Texas church shooter to buy a rifle. Ironically, a citizen who shot him with an AR-15 ended his spree. Do gun control advocates really believe criminals will do background checks on each other?
As for “assault weapons,” President Clinton signed the “Assault Weapons Ban” in 1994. It was not renewed 10 years later when studies showed it had no effect on crime reduction. The federal NICS law, passed in 1993, prohibits registration of guns and gun owners. Congress has repeatedly rejected gun registration based on bitter historical lessons. Why? Just before the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress forbade gun registration and reaffirmed the Second Amendment based on how the Nazis used registration records to confiscate firearms from their intended victims. That lesson is as appropriate today as it was then.
The registration records were critical to the Nazis who overran France in 1940, imposed the death penalty for not turning in guns, and conscripted the French police to ferret out violators. Despite the chance of being executed, numerous French citizens did not surrender their firearms. Readers of The Shooter’s Log often comment that they would not surrender their weapons either. I am sure there are many other Americans who would not as well.
Such experiences are as old as humanity. Tyrants, conquerors, and dictators of every breed have sought to disarm their subjects in order to dominate and exploit them. It was that lesson which our founding fathers understood well when they penned our Second Amendment protections.
Gun control is as alive and strong as it has ever been. Do not be fooled. It is a cancer. Often being harbored in the body of America and unseen until it rears its ugly head. The appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice will be critical to the future of the Second Amendment as we know it. Until then, all we can hope is that the anti gunners will pursue “common sense” solutions to criminal violence and forget about their war on law-abiding gun owners. The law abiding are not the ones committing crimes, and the lawbreakers will not follow new laws any more than have obeyed the old ones.
This post originally ran on Cheaper than Dirt!‘s The Shooters Log