Monday, February 4, 2013

Gun Control in the wake of Newtown

There has been a great deal of press recently about the tragic shootings at the Newtown elementary school.

This is a horrendous event that we all wish had never happened, and we all hope will never happen again.

There has been a chorus of people calling for gun control in an effort to prevent such an event from happening again in the future.  The problem is that none of the measures that have been proposed will have any effect on crime.

As we have noted previously, there is no room for gun control.  

All of the small gun control measures will fail. Even the most well thought out proposals will not work.

Here is a sample of one of the more cogent arguments:

I demand you press for legislation that closes the gun show loophole completely, once and for all.
There is no such thing as the gun 'show loophole'.  Private citizens are allowed to sell and buy guns from each other.  This is not a loophole, but an express provision of the current gun laws.  There is no evidence that 'gun show' guns are used in crime more than any other source of guns.   Most crime guns are stolen guns, with less than 1% being procured at a gun show.

I demand that ammunition designed to inflict massive tissue damage or pierce armor be completely banned except for the military and police.
His first reference is probably referring to hollow point ammo.  This ammo is used for hunting expressly because it is more lethal.  And almost any rifle ammunition will pierce armor -- they are simply too powerful to be stopped by body armor.  But by banning hollow point AND full metal jacket ammo, he is calling for a ban on all ammo.   It would be helpful if the people trying to regulate these things had at least some idea what they are talking about. Unless, of course, that is what he intends all along.

I demand that the sale and possession of all ammunition be regulated at least as stringently as Sudafed and other drugs, including strict monthly and annual purchase limits. Individuals found in possession of more than their allotment should be fined and jailed just like drug dealers.
Just like drug dealers? Since the war on drugs has been so effective?  The massive burden of administering such a program would cost billions with no real effect.  How many rounds is he envisioning for a limit?  A small limit would be impractical, making guns completely useless.   A large limit would not stop 99% of crimes.

Incidentally,  linking his ideas to the War on Drugs, he exposes the fallacy in the entire gun control argument.  Bans on drug have not worked.  Bans on drug components have not worked.  Bans on drug paraphernalia have not worked.  What makes the author think that a ban on ammo will work?

I demand you lead a call to ban and confiscate any weapon capable of holding more than 6 rounds of ammunition, being reloaded by a pre-loaded ammunition clip or otherwise capable of firing more than 6 rounds without pause for manually reloading each bullet or shell. Hunters and sportsmen can still own rifles and shotguns that meet these criteria. Handguns that hold 6 or fewer bullets would also be permissible.

This is a call for the elimination of virtually all firearms.  The only legal guns would be revolvers, some bolt action rifles, and some shotguns.   Everything else would be eliminated.  This is not only unconstitutional, but completely impractical and counter productive.  Never mind that if you were magically able to make all these gun disappear, it would be a matter of minutes before a steady stream of guns was smuggled over the border and into the hands of criminals.  How hard would it be to strap an AK-47 to each bale of illegal drugs?

A gun confiscation would be a disaster, likely leading to civil war and millions of dead.  With 20 million 'assault rifles' in circulation even a 99% peaceful confiscation would still leave 200,000 rifles to be seized from the cold dead hands of the owners.  Does the author really think that the death of 20 children justifies 200,000 dead and open civil war?

I have read the Constitution and nowhere do I find the words ‘stand your ground’, a complete perversion of the ‘duty to retreat’ common-law principle understood at the time the Constitution was ratified, or the concept of ‘concealed carry’. We must repeal laws that allow these dangerous and unnecessary practices.

The reason that these words are not in the Constitution is that there was no such thing as concealed carry in 1776 because everyone that carried a gun carried it openly.  There is no common law principle that says you have to retreat.  You are allowed to defend yourself.   The 'stand your ground' laws were passed as a reaction to insane court rulings where people were charged with crimes for shooting intruders in their own homes.  Americans believe that you have the right to defend yourself and do not subscribe to the insane notion that the outlaw has more right to be in your home than you do.  Furthermore, there is no evidence that these laws contribute to the overall crime rate. Most gun deaths are gang related or crimes of passion committed by people who live in the home already.  These laws are simply not a factor in crime rates.

I urge you to direct the Justice Department to prepare a brief detailing how gun manufacturers might be subjected to the same legal approach used against tobacco companies.

If we can sue GM and Ford for cars with exploding gas tanks, ban lawn darts, and restrict over-the-counter medication deemed to have potential criminal uses (e.g., Sudafed), surely weapons designed for no other purpose than mass killing can be sued out of existence as well.

This is a call for legal extortion.  Guns are designed to kill.  His complaint is that they are too good at that for which they were designed.  His proposal is not to subject the gun companies to the normal laws (warranty of merchantability, negligence, etc). After all, his complaint is not that the guns don't work, his complaint is that they DO work.   He is seeking the ability to sue a company because he doesn't like what they make.

This is a gross violation of the rule of law.

I urge you not to be diverted or bogged down by the efforts to enlarge the scope of problem to the point it becomes intractable and unsolvable:
    • A lack of religion in schools is not the problem.
    • A lack of men in schools is not the problem.
    • Mental illness is not the problem.
    • Video games are not the problem.
    • Quentin Tarantino is not the problem.
    • More guns are not the answer.
The unfettered and ineffectively regulated access to guns is the problem, plain and simple.

This is completely counter factual.  In simple terms, it is a lie.  Guns are more plentiful than ever, yer murder and crime rates are at all-time lows.  There is no evidence that access to guns is the problem, and there is ample evidence that gun control laws are the problem.  Look at the crime rates in places like Chicago and Washington DC and explain me how gun control is working.

I don't have a simple answer for the causes of crime, but I do know there is no evidence that guns are causing it.

The right of some to possess guns should never supersede the right of children to safely attend kindergarten without an armed guard at the door.

This get to the crux of his flawed argument: the right to safety.  There is no such thing.   
We do not have a right to safety, and we certainly do not have a right to safety 'without an armed guard at the door'.    There is risk in everything that we do.  Children are in far greater danger on the school bus than they are of being shot in the classroom.   If there is a 'right to safety' then why are police not legally required to protect you? 

This argument is fatuous.  Obama's children are protected by armed guards at school everyday.  Is this protection a violation of their rights?

Armed guards (or other armed adults) are the most effective and proven way to stop armed attackers.  To argue that children have a non-existent right to safety and a right not to be protected by the most effective means possible is the argument of a non-serious person.

These 20 children and 6 courageous adults of Newtown must not be allowed to die in vain. Their legacy must be that they were the last to be ignored in this endlessly escalating cycle of violence and death.

Again, the author is wrong.  The 'cycle of violence' is declining, not increasing.  49 states have passed concealed carry laws, gun ownership is at a all time high, and yet violence and murder are at all time lows.

In summary, not a single argument in favor of control stands up to the facts or logic.

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