For several months now we’ve been talking about a hidden fault line in the gun control movement; the embrace of the defund police movement while at the same time demanding new gun control laws that would be enforced by the heavy-hand of cops. For the most part, gun control activists have tried to ignore the inherent contradiction, but a new report by John Jay College of Criminal Justice shows just how deeply they’ve buried their heads in the sand.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. we take a deep dive into the new report “Reducing Violence Without Police: A Review of Research Evidence,” and find that, contrary to the title, the gun control movement is still committed to putting new laws on the books that will be enforced by armed agents of the state.
To be fair, most of the 40-page report offers up strategies that don’t involve traditional gun control measures that are designed to target legal gun owners. The research on violence interrupters and programs that seek to “prevent violence by improving participants’ self-control, social skills, and decision-making” is actually really intriguing, and there’s a lot in the report that Second Amendment supporters could agree with.
The report’s recommendation to “confront the gun problem” has more than a few issues, however. Remember, this is a report all about reducing violence without the police, but here are the recommendations by the study’s authors.
- Prohibit people with previous convictions for domestic violence charges from possessing or purchasing firearms
- Enact child-access-prevention (CAP) laws
- Reduce firearm availability for individuals with documented histories of interpersonal violence
- Implement comprehensive background check laws coupled with purchasing liscenses
- Implement handgun purchaser licensing laws
- Remove “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) laws
- Add waiting periods for purchasing firearms
- Implement mandated reporting of lost or stolen firearms
- Extend background check requirements to private transfers
- Utilize strong regulation and oversight of licensed gun sellers
- Maintain “No Issue” or “May Issue” laws rather than “Shall Issue” laws
Notice how many of those require enforcement by police? In fact, the licensing proposals would put more power in the hands of law enforcement by allowing them to determine the “suitability” of someone applying for permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
The recommendation of “no issue” or “may issue” concealed carry policies is particularly silly, given the report’s focus on non-law enforcement ways of addressing violent crime. Most criminals aren’t legally carrying a firearm, and 99% of concealed carry holders will never have their license revoked because of a violent crime.
Restrictive carry laws do far more, in my opinion, to increase illegal carrying of firearms than they do to stop the practice. Fully 70% of the people charged with illegally carrying a gun in Brooklyn are young men without serious criminal histories, but who face years in prison for possessing a gun without a license that they could never hope to get thanks to New York City’s draconian gun control laws.
The new study suggests legalizing marijuana as a way to reduce incarceration, but not once do any of the academics involved in the report reach the conclusion that offering people the opportunity to legally carry a firearm could do the same. Instead, they want to decriminalize cannabis while criminalizing the right to carry.
Gun control activists can’t have it both ways. If “police violence is gun violence,” then each and every gun control law that turns the exercise of our right to keep and bear arms into a criminal offense actually fuels the violence the activists claim they’re trying to prevent.
It certainly wasn’t going to happen before the election, but now it’s time for the gun control movement to reckon with the fact that it is fundamentally at odds with the defund police movement. If police are part of the problem, and if the criminal justice system is inherently biased, then so too are the gun control laws that they’re enforcing.
If the authors of this study are serious about addressing violent crime without using law-enforcement, they should scrap the section of the report dealing with firearms or admit that there’s no way that the gun control policies they demand can be implemented without the use of armed cops and the threat of prison time for non-violent offenses.