Humans are an innovative and industrious species. No other creatures on this planet do what we do. Even those that build things don’t do so on a scale even close to us. It’s really quite impressive.

The other side of that coin, though, is that we’re also quite good at doing what we want in spite of the rules if we were so inclined. That’s why rules, or laws, need to focus on punishing behaviors rather than preventing them. A prime example is a UK man who was just sentenced for making firearms.

A Walsall man who converted imported blank-firing guns into lethal weapons has had his jail term doubled.

Robert Bartell bought blank-firing pistols from abroad and converted some into serviceable guns in his shed before test-firing them in his garden.

The stash of guns – including self-loading pistols – were manufactured in Turkey and Italy, and bought from a Spanish website.

Cops raided the 54-year-old’s home in Cambridge Street on November 28 last year after police intelligence suggested he was importing blank-firers.

Officers discovered six handguns, including some which he had converted to fire live rounds in his shed workshop using a table drill and disc cutter, plus 23 adapted 9mm blank rounds retro-fitted with ball bearings or lead shots.

Blank-firing weapons can be sold legally in mainland Europe but are illegal to sell and possess in the UK.

Along with the guns, police also uncovered lengths of steel tubing, a 5kg bag of lead shot and damaged books which the 54-year-old had used as targets to test-fire the weapons.

So Bartell imported fake guns and turned them into functional firearms.

And let’s not forget that P.A. Luty, another resident of the UK, built a submachine gun in his workshop with only tools you can find almost anywhere. Stopping the import of blank-firing guns isn’t going to stop much of anything.

That’s because human nature is to do what they want unless you give them a good reason not to. In theory, prison should serve as a good reason not to do something, but that doesn’t always work. If it did, our prisons would have been emptied long before anyone ever heard of COVID-19.

Gun bans like they have in the UK don’t deter people like Bartell from making guns.

Humans have done ingenious things for odd reasons. Phreaking, for existence. Someone sat down and figured out how to hack the telecommunications systems, just so they could make some free phone calls. If people will come up with a way to avoid dropping 25 cents in a payphone, they’re not likely to be deterred by much of anything else.

Ban guns and someone will simply find a way around that ban. If they can’t import guns, they’ll make them.

Gun control is dead. The idea that you can keep guns out of the hands of bad people is dead. All that persists is the belief that you can make people behave better if you just take away a single tool they use for bad things, a mistaken belief at best.

It’s well past time for the anti-gun jihadists to come to realize that fact.