We who support the Second Amendment have long argued that gun bans are ineffective, that all it will do is disarm the law-abiding and do nothing to stop criminals from acquiring and using guns. After all, gun crime happens in the UK. Clearly gun bans don’t actually work.
Well, Cam Edwards took a swing at the claim and made some very interesting points worth considering over at America’s First Freedom.
According to a recently released Quinnipiac poll, young Americans like the college students at Slippery Rock University are the least likely to support a ban on semi-automatic firearms, even when they are described as “assault weapons.” It may be that, because these millennials have grown up in an era where modern sporting rifles are the most common rifle sold, they don’t find the guns to be scary and unusual. It may also be that these millennials are increasingly skeptical of the idea that bans really work. As they’ve gotten older, they’ve seen states across the country buck federal law to decriminalize or legalize cannabis. At the same time, they’ve seen the cost of illegal drugs like methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl drop dramatically, and drug overdoses skyrocket to more than 60,000 per year. The widespread availability of these illicit drugs may also be fueling the skepticism surrounding calls to ban firearms or to eradicate the Second Amendment. If we made guns as illegal as heroin tomorrow, and somehow managed to eradicate the hundreds of millions of firearms that are legally owned in the United States, what would stop the cartels from supplying criminals across the country with black market firearms imported from overseas or even manufactured south of our border?
China, for example, has long cracked down on its domestic black market for firearms, but the nation is also one of the largest exporters of small arms and light weapons, and one of the least transparent. How easy would it be for the criminal actors in that nation to divert small arms to the Mexican cartels? According to our government, right now China is supplying about 80 percent of the precursor chemicals that the cartels are using to make methamphetamine, and the cartels are supplying about 90 percent of the meth used in the U.S. today. China has also been a major supplier of fentanyl to the U.S. and Canadian black market, though there are indications that the cartels are starting to manufacture the illicit drug without the help of Chinese pharmaceutical firms. In fact, earlier this year China banned the manufacture of several synthetic opioids, but it hasn’t made a difference in our skyrocketing overdose death rate. In 2016, there were more fentanyl-related overdose deaths than homicides in the United States, and 2017 will likely be no different.
When it comes to the illicit market for firearms, criminals will find increasingly creative ways to supply that market. Whether it’s smuggling in firearms from outside our borders, theft from government or military sources, or even making guns themselves, we can be assured of a steady supply to the underground and illegal trade.
Edwards is 100 percent right. Guns will continue to flow onto American streets. The criminals will continue to be armed, just like those who want to abuse drugs will continue finding access to these drugs easily enough.
Time and time again, we keep finding these legislators who honestly appear to believe that they can make a vote and suddenly purge the ills of the world. It doesn’t work like that and it never will.
Instead, what happens is that whatever they’re trying to ban will become a more interesting commodity for those who trade in illegal goods. Think about it, the gangs that became the mafia didn’t give a flip about selling alcohol until it was illegal. Once it was legalized, they moved onto other crimes. Street gangs selling crack and other drugs wouldn’t keep selling those drugs if they were suddenly legal (though I’m not suggesting legalizing crack, just for the record. Simply making an argument). They’d find something else illegal to move.
On the same token, guns will continue to be traded in American communities, even if there was an outright gun ban. The problem is, it would be the American people who were disarmed, thereby relegating us all to the category of “prey” for these people.