So there was a post on the Book of Faces asking why gun owners aren’t willing to accept any “lesser” gun control. After all, if we’re not willing to “contribute to the conversation” then we have only ourselves to blame if others make the decisions for us.
I pointed out that we were contributing. He just didn’t like the answers. I then followed up with the following:
No gun laws actually accomplish the stated goals. They do not make people safer. They do not stop criminals. What purpose does a “small” (call it “reasonable” or “common sense” however much you want) regulation serve if it doesn’t stop criminals from getting and using guns if they want them? How can anything other than an absolute, total prohibition on firearms even make a dent in criminal use of guns? NBC (I believe it was) in the late 80’s did a “special” where they traced a single gun through its use in various crimes before it was finally recovered by police. This one gun was used in dozens of crimes. Now, NBC’s purpose in that was to imply how dangerous guns were if even one could lead to so much crime. What they actually showed, however, was how few guns are able to serve criminal uses. If one gun can be used in a dozen different crimes, then take that number of crimes and divide by a dozen to see how many guns are necessary to supply that.
If only 0.01% of guns end up in criminal hands, that’s sufficient to supply all the criminal uses everywhere. Get rid of 90% of the guns and you’re still talking 0.1% necessary to provide for all criminal uses.
I have my doubts whether even complete prohibition could realistically make a dent in criminal uses of guns. Guns can be stolen from police. Corrupt cops–and there are always some in the most honest of departments–can “lose” guns from evidence (it already happens with drugs…and guns). Guns are simply too easy to make, or to smuggle. Hell, we can’t make a dent in the illegal drug trade and those are complex biochemicals that can be sniffed out and distinguished from other things. Guns are metal and plastic, indistinguishable from other metal and plastic except for the shape of the pieces. You can’t “sniff them out” you’d have to physically inspect everything which might contain guns or gun parts (and, again, that does nothing to stop homemade guns.
So, even a complete prohibition is unlikely to stop the illegal uses of guns, therefore it’s certain that anything less will not.
And if you can’t stop, or even significantly slow, the illegal uses of guns with these “reasonable gun control” measures then what’s the point? Why waste the resources making and enforcing gun laws when those resources can instead be used on things that might actually affect crime?
That’s leaving aside that the biggest killer of people is not criminals but governments. It would take about 6000 years of criminal murders–using the highest ever year total in the US–to equal the number of people killed by their own governments in the 20th century. I’m not talking about people killed by foreign powers in war. People. Killed. By. Their. Own. Governments.
It has been said that with private gun ownership you will have tragedies. Without it, you will have genocides.
You might claim that we’re past that. Maybe. But on what do you truly base that? History doesn’t support such a claim. The twentieth century, after all, wasn’t that long ago. Would you claim that democracy and popular will render such things impossible? Have you even opened a history book? The pogroms and expulsions against Jews all through Europe were popular with the majority non-Jewish population. The Armenian genocide was popular among the Turkish majority. The Holodomor was popular among the non kulaks. The Trail of Tears was popular among the white majority (why, no, I don’t exempt my own country from being susceptible to abuse–neither did the folk who founded it; thus the 2nd Amendment). “Democracy” without restrictions is simply everyone picking on the weird kid–and I’ve always been “the weird kid” so I tend to take that kind of personally.
So, these lesser gun controls, these “reasonable gun controls” simply will not accomplish their stated goals. They cannot accomplish those goals. And when they fail, what then? Have proponents of “reasonable gun control” ever admitted “this isn’t working. We need to step back and try something else?” Even once.
Don’t bother answering. That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is “no, never.” Instead, what they do is double down. Their “reasonable gun control” failed to achieve its objective so, instead of rolling it back and trying something else to deal with the problem, they insist that the “answer” is yet more gun control. Another “reasonable” (or so they claim) restriction using the previous one as a stepping stone. And when that one fails, as it must, they put forward another. And another. And another. There is no stopping point short of complete prohibition. And, indeed, if you catch big proponents of “reasonable gun control” in an unguarded moment they’ll admit it, that prohibition of privately owned firearms is the goal.
So, no, there is no level of gun control that is acceptable because it doesn’t work for the stated goal and the unstated goal is reprehensible.