Within any gun debate, gun control advocates will typically spout some platitude about how they’re not wanting to ban guns outright, just certain guns. Maybe they’re saying they don’t want the hunting rifles, but do want the modern sporting rifles like the AR-15, whatever. Regardless of the specifics, they’ll routinely say they don’t want all the guns.
Of course, that’s a load of bovine excrement.
While some gun control advocates may, indeed, be sincere about their lack of desire for the confiscation of all firearms, there are more than enough who do. Take, for example, David Scharfenberg at the Boston Globe.
Scharfenberg wrote an op-ed last week all about how we need gun confiscation here in the United States, much like Australia had.
Still, even if we find a way to keep guns out of the hands of people who have engaged in disturbing or violent behavior — no small task, given all the stories of the troubled shooters who slipped through the cracks — it will only get us so far.
The United States’ astronomically high rates of firearm violence aren’t rooted in some unique American propensity for derangement and delinquency. Studies show our levels of mental illness and basic criminality are on par with other wealthy countries.
Other common explanations, like the social fissures created by our racial diversity, have been debunked by researchers, too. The only explanation left — an explanation borne out by a number of careful studies — is the sheer size of the American arsenal. There are 310 million handguns, shotguns, and semi-automatic weapons in American homes, garages, and waistbands.
Ultimately, if gun-control advocates really want to stanch the blood, there’s no way around it: They’ll have to persuade more people of the need to confiscate millions of those firearms, as radical as that idea may now seem.
And this is why gun rights advocates fight any and all gun control measures so vehemently.
Scharfenberg is simply stating an endgame that we already know is on the agenda. Today, the boogieman is the so-called assault rifle. Tomorrow, it’ll be the semi-auto handgun. Then it’ll be the “sniper rifle,” which most of us know as a hunting rifle. Yes, they want the guns. They want them all, and they won’t be happy with any ground given until they have them all.
It doesn’t matter that much of our gun violence is gang-related. It doesn’t matter that you can find far fewer guns in places like South America, yet much higher rates of violence. It doesn’t matter that most of our gun violence is centered on American cities, indicating the issue is something more localized than guns per capita.
No, none of that matters.
All that matters is blaming the tool sufficiently that people will gladly give up their firearms so our betters can make decisions for us. They can keep us safe and sound…except they can’t. Even if they desperately wanted to, they can’t.
The United States isn’t England, Australia, or any other country on Earth. We do have the Second Amendment, and we do have massive numbers of people who will vocally defend that amendment, many with their lives if necessary, but more importantly, we have a different culture than those nations. That different culture means what may work over there won’t necessarily work over here.
That’s especially true for gun confiscation programs.
Not that it matters, though. Democrats know damn good and well that trying to take all the guns is a non-starter, at least in one fell swoop. They know they need to take them incrementally.
Republicans, despite some recent squishiness on guns, aren’t likely to give up that kind of ground anytime soon. Bump stocks are one thing. Modern sporting rifles are another.
But never let a gun control advocate say that they, as a group, don’t want all the guns. Of course, they do, and the Boston Globe pretty much admitted it.