Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gun Control

Mitt Romney says that new gun laws won’t stop law breakers.

That’s the standard argument isn’t it? The idea that if you control guns only criminals will have guns and life will be more dangerous.

I debate that conclusion based upon two points. The first is simply that controlling guns makes it harder for anyone to get a gun including would be criminals. The big problem with criminals getting guns is they get them through the so-called secondary market from unlicensed sellers. Even simple regulations that limit handgun sales to one gun per month have been shown to dramatically reduce illegal gun trafficking by reducing the supply of guns for the secondary market.

Can we guarantee that no criminal has a gun? Of course not; just like we can’t guarantee that no one has drugs. But you can at least make it a hell of a lot harder to obtain one and you eliminate the ease of stealing a gun if there aren’t many around and they’re securely protected.

Securely protected, that’s another point of contention. The counter argument is a gun that’s locked up, unloaded or secured with a trigger lock isn’t of any use. This is really just a variation on the “only criminals will have guns argument” because a secured weapon is almost like having no weapon.

So let’s address the main point. That having guns acts as protection or as a deterrent against criminals. This is the cowboy fantasy. The hero in the white hat is going to whip out his shootin’ iron and run off the desperados with heroic deeds.

This is a fantasy that has almost no chance of actually occurring. You have a better chance of accidentally injuring yourself or a family member than fighting off a bad guy. Does an occasional store owner pull out a pistol and scare off a would be hold-up man? Sure, but most likely because the hold-up man was scared already. This is also an action that law enforcement recommends against. You’re more likely to get yourself killed than accomplish anything positive. Are the few dollars in the cash register really worth it?

As for the Right Wing morons that think their weapons are somehow preventing a dictatorship arising in this country, they seriously need to get their brains checked. Dictatorships occur only with support of the Army so two points. First, do you seriously think the U.S. Army would EVER support the overthrow of the U.S. Constitution? Second, should that ever happen, do you have any idea how much chance a motley crew of weekend gun enthusiasts would have against a modern military unit?

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