The state of Virginia has reinstituted its gun rationing law, which limits people to purchasing a single firearm in a month. It’s not a new law by any stretch. The law existed for many years before being repealed by the state’s then GOP legislature.
However, Governor Ralph Northam made it clear he wanted the law back on the books and the moment he got a complicit legislature, he started working to make that happen. Now, a lawsuit is underway to fight it.
And if it’s not overturned, that law is going to get people killed.
You see, gun rationing is supposedly a way to inhibit straw buyers. To some extent, it might. At least, it inhibits those who straw buy as a career, anyway. If you can only buy one gun a month, you can’t really make much of a living off that. It doesn’t do much to stop the guy who gets his wife or girlfriend to buy the gun for him, though, and that makes up the majority of straw buys.
So what the law really does is inconvenience a couple of criminals and makes it more difficult on average citizens who did nothing wrong.
Sounds like any other gun-control law out there.
The difference, though, is that gun rationing is far more likely to cost lives than many other gun control efforts.
You see, if a family is under threat for some reason, one gun might not be enough to keep everyone safe. Especially if you just bought a firearm for some other purpose.
Let’s say you have someone who feels like you did them dirty somehow and they’re vowing to kill you. Maybe you have reason to believe they’re serious and can actually do it. So, you go and buy a gun.
So far, no problem.
Where the problem comes up is if the threat is against your entire family.
In Virginia, with your single handgun, you’re left to determine who should carry the gun–we’re assuming you also got a concealed carry permit, as did your spouse. Is it you, or your spouse? Who carries the firearm?
“Oh, your spouse can buy their own gun,” someone says. Sure, that’s a possibility…except your spouse bought you a shotgun for duck hunting a week prior to the threat.
So, someone’s screwed.
Of course, that’s just one hypothetical scenario. Another is that someone buys an inexpensive gun for protection, but it breaks–it’s a cheap gun, after all–and they want to buy a replacement so they can protect themselves while they await the first gun being repaired or replaced by the manufacturer. They can’t though, because someone thought they couldn’t be trusted with a second gun this month.
Then there’s the person who bought a gun, then had it stolen a short time later. While that’s often the excuse of a straw buyer, it actually can and does happen. That more schmoe is now defenseless.
And these are just the ones I can think of in my under-caffeinated state. I’m quite sure you can think of a dozen more. Some of you probably even know some who actually dealt with this in real life from back when the law was on the books the first time or from where similar laws exist.
The truth of the matter is that lawmakers never think about these scenarios or, if they do, they don’t take them seriously. The problem is, after that law was repealed? No increase in crime or even criminals getting guns. In other words, the law didn’t work in the first place, but Northam wanted it back on the books anyways.
Don’t ever let anyone claim that gun control is about saving lives. It’s not and it never really has been, despite what some people honestly believe. It’s about control and nothing else.