The gun control lobby can’t get any of their bans and infringements through Congress at the moment, but that’s not stopping one anti-gun activist from calling for a 20-year ban on firearms manufacturing; an idea as unfeasible as it is unconstitutional.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we take a closer look at the proposal by Philadelphia’s Michael Cogbill, an AFL-CIO and NAACP leader in the Philly area. Cogbill’s idea is utterly ridiculous from both a political and constitutional perspective, but I’ll give him a point for offering up something other than the stale rhetoric about gun bans (which the gun control lobby has been calling for since the late 1960s), universal background checks, smart guns, and other restrictions that are the usual talking points of the anti-gun crowd.
Unfortunately, Cogbill doesn’t actually know how to enact his big idea. The vast majority of his column at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star is taken up with empty rhetoric about how he and others have tried so hard to turn the tide of violence, but have failed because people keep making and buying firearms.
Advocates have asked for the media to do a better job on gun violence reporting and they have done so, trauma surgeons and nurses are relentlessly advocating on behalf of the issue and community groups are frequently rallying for an end to gun violence in Impacted communities.
Despite the valiant efforts of so many across the state, we are still left with the question of how and why gun violence is so out of control.
The problem is there are just too many guns, hand guns, shot guns, assault rifles, machine guns, and now, ghost guns.
Of course, if there are already “too many guns,” then what would a 20-year moratorium on their manufacture really do? Unfortunately for Cogbill, not only does he offer up the wrong diagnosis of the actual problem, but he’s misread and misreported the data that he’s used to reach his conclusion.
The FBI estimates that nearly 40 million guns were purchased in 2020, by the number of NCIS background checks initiated.
The FBI estimates no such thing. In fact, the FBI literally states in its database of NICS checks that “These statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.”
But that’s exactly the mistake Cogbill makes, apparently believing that every NICS check is analogous to a gun sale. In reality, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that about 21-million firearms were sold last year; still a record, but about half the number that Cogbill came up with.
There’s an old saying among programmers that correlates to Cogbill’s column: garbage in, garbage out. I’m not sure that his erroneous interpretation of NICS data is the sole reason he came up with his inane idea to ban the manufacture of firearms for 20 years, but I’m sure it didn’t help.
Sadly, all of Cogbill’s rhetoric and faulty reporting of the facts take up the bulk of his column inches, leaving him with very little space to elaborate on his big idea.
It is far past time that GVP groups, legislators and anti gun lobbyists stop playing nice with gun owners and manufacturers.
A potential answer is to go big, and push for a blockade on the production and import of firearms for at least the next 20 years. This action is feasible but it will take courage, creative thinking and relentless advocacy over a short window of time.
I’ve been covering the Second Amendment on a daily basis since 2004 and I’m not aware of the gun control lobby ever “playing nice” with gun owners or gun makers. It’s a shame that Cogbill couldn’t provide any example, because I’d love to hear it.
Still, as silly as that statement is, it’s nothing compared to Cogbill’s claim that blocking the manufacture and importation of firearms for a generation is feasible. From a political perspective it’s a non-starter, and from a legal perspective it’s even worse. Democrats don’t have the votes for universal background checks or Joe Biden’s gun ban at the moment, so how exactly is it feasible to pass a bill that would shut down the firearms industry for 20 years? It’s going to take more than courage, creative thinking, and relentless advocacy to even get a bill to Joe Biden’s desk, but no amount of creativity or courage is going to prevent the Supreme Court from striking down that law at the first opportunity.
Whether Cogbill likes it or not, he lives in a nation with 100-million gun owners, 400-million privately-owned firearms, and the constitutionally protected right to keep and bear them. That’s reality, and any feasible proposal to reduce violent crime has to operate within the boundaries of reality.
Cogbill and his fellow gun control activists are obsessed with the idea of a supply-side solution; that if only we can get rid of the guns we can get rid of crime. It’s an unrealistic premise which leads to violations of civil rights without impacting the relatively small number of individuals who are driving the violence in Philadelphia and every other community across the country.
The answer to Philly’s crime problem isn’t some nonsensical idea that will never come to fruition, and frankly, it’s embarrassing that this is the best Cogbill has to offer. Focus on violent criminals, ensure that there are swift and certain consequences for using a gun in the commission of a violent crime, while bolstering community outreach efforts that have a proven track record of success. And if you really want to experiment with a bold idea, how about offering basic gun training courses in high-crime neighborhoods and ensuring that good people have the opportunity to exercise their right of armed self-defense?