Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Abject Folly of Gun Control

In the recent Virginia Tech rampage, many observers point to the fact that a foreign national ( Cho Seung-Hui) being able to legally purchase a gun proves the need for more stringent gun control, but what it really proves is the abject folly of gun bans!

We already have strict laws on gun registration and convicted felons, people with a history of mental disorders and foreign nationals are already barred from legally owning guns.

Yet, those groups generally have little problem getting guns "illegally," or what I prefer to call, "extra-legally" or outside the law.

That merely proves that gun bans work about as well as drug bans, which is to say, not at all.

I wish it weren't true, but violent people are always going to do violent things and get the tools by which to carry them out and as I said, many Americans depend on that (SADLY so) for their jobs. We are and always have been a relatively violent society and it's probably true that a certain amount of violence comes with being a free and open society.

Given that we'll never have a gun-free society, as no one has ever suggested disarming the police or military, and thefts from those two organizations account for a large number of the guns on the black market, we're never going to get rid of gun violence either.

The most draconian gun bans (like the ones in NYC & D.C.) only succeed in disarming honest, law-abiding citizens. In fact, they disarm people like the students killed at VA Tech.

They do not disarm those intent on harming them.

You see how that works?

If person-X is already intent on breaking the laws against murder, he's not going to be deterred by a few extra laws against "carrying a concealed weapon," or "committing a felony with a gun," etc.

Gun control has never worked!

Places like NYC & D.C. with the nation's strictest gun laws have also had among the highest rates of gun crime.

Rudy Giuliani inherited NYC's strict gun laws.

In other words, gun control did NOTHING to bring down NYC's crime rate during his tenure, Bill Bratton's "Community Policing" DID.

Bratton instituted a program where cops swept squeegee men off NYC streets, arrested "aggressive panhandlers," went after "quality of life" crimes and ran those perps through the system, finding (unsurprisingly) that many of those who routinely engaged in "quality of life" crimes (like public urination, public drunkenness and turnstile jumping) also had outstanding warrants for more serious crimes.

During Giuliani's tenure getting guns off NYC's streets was a top priority, one that resulted in random "stop & frisks" in "targeted neighborhoods" (ie. inner city nabes)...that policy was highlighted in the Amadou Diallo killing.

The Giuliani administration greatly reduced crime, dropping the murder rate that had reached over 2,000/year under Liberal Dem Dave Dinkins, to around 500/year, but that administration did not eradicate NYC's drug problem, nor did it get guns off the streets.

Criminals don't obey laws, guns are too easy to make and cops can't act proactively, as they arrive in response to and after the crime has been committed.

What gun bans effectively do is to disarm the honest, law-abiding citizens, and outlaw violent self-defense (which is a basic and fundamental right we all share) making it even easier for miscreants to hunt the law-abiding, like "fish in a barrel."

The lesson of Luby's was clear.

Guns were banned in that diner, so even the military men from nearby Fort Hood were unarmed (leaving their weapons in their cars) when George Hennard came calling.

The gun ban didn't work.

ONE armed patron could've prevented that attack. A bunch of armed patrons would've almost certainly stopped it dead in its tracks.

The lesson from the LIRR shooting rampage was clear.

NYC's gun ban didn't stop Colin Ferguson from getting that gun and killing all those people. The gun ban didn't work.

One armed rider on that LIRR train that night could've stopped that rampage. A bunch of armed LIRR passengers almost certainly would've stopped it.

A ban on illegal aliens would've also done much to stop that one rampage.

The lesson from Virginia Tech is clear too.

Guns were banned on VT's campus and that ban only disarmed the law-abiding students who would be the victims of this tragedy.

One armed student could've ended that rampage and a bunch of armed students would've almost certainly stopped it early on.

Banning things never works.

We haven't been able to successfully ban drugs and we haven't been able to successfully ban guns either.

And the problem isn't those THINGS.

The problem is malicious behavior, which is something that bans fail to address.

There's no way to stop malicious behavior by fiat (law), because the law can only be applied AFTER the fact.

In places were gun laws are strictest (NYC, Wash, D.C.) only the law-abiding and most likely victims are disarmed, making them easier targets, as the thugs cannot be disarmed by mere law.

Gun bans do not address malicious behavior, so their goal is not "reducing violence."

If it were, the fact that violence actually increases under such bans would give those who support such bans pause for thought - it doesn't, so that is NOT their aim.

There is ONLY one effective way to deal with malicious, malevolent behavior and that's to encourage all those in society to oppose it, violently when necessary and to confront it, with force, whenever malicious behavior is exhibited.

If the goal is reducing violence/malicious behavior, then it's not a matter of banning a single tool, among many, that can be used to that end, a tool that can and, more often than not, IS used for defense, but to encourage and celebrate vigorous personal defense

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