Bad arguments in favor of gun control persist

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

For proponents of gun control, there are tried and true arguments they trot out whenever they need them, and by “tried and true” I mean “tired and wrong.”

Over and over again, we see these arguments used, with almost no pushback from the mainstream media. After all, they’re the ones making these arguments.

Take this op-ed from the Star Tribune:

Gun regulation long has been the third rail of American politics. But the increase in murders, accidental shootings, suicides, armed carjackings and robberies, as well as the ongoing tragedy of mass shootings, shows the urgency of changing course. A responsible gun safety regulatory system would reduce crime and save lives.

Consider how we regulate cars. There are lawful uses for both guns and cars, but both are deadly when misused.

With cars, we require operators to be trained and licensed. We register every vehicle, and re-register each when it’s transferred to a new owner. We require liability insurance. We also require safety modifications and regulate how and where cars are driven.

Except that’s an inaccurate comparison. You only have to do any of that if you drive the vehicle on a public road. If you keep it confined to your farm, you’re not required to do any of that.

Further, the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally protected right. Cars, not so much. The courts have ruled that driving is a privilege, not a right, so comparing regulations surrounding a privilege to the lack of regulations for a right isn’t asinine, it’s idiotic.

But it’s bound to get better, right?

Don’t hold your breath.

For guns, there is no licensing, no training requirement, no registration, no insurance, no safety equipment required. This enables criminals to obtain guns with no background check, no waiting period — no means of enforcement at all.

Except that every FFL holder conducts criminal background checks on every firearm they sell.

“Oh, but private sales-”

Sure, in theory, but do you know how criminals tend to get guns? Via the black market, which is never going to conduct a criminal background check. Remarkably few buy from law-abiding gun owners looking to lawfully sell a firearm, so it’s a non-issue.

Yet the hits don’t stop there. Oh no, we get this classic gem:

The U.S. Constitution explicitly says “well-regulated” when referring to gun rights, yet the gun lobby opposes any form of gun regulation. The courts have said that reasonable restrictions may be placed on the possession of firearms. The National Firearms Act of 1934 effectively banned machine guns from most private ownership. Since that time, the “Tommy guns” of the Al Capone era and other fully automatic machine guns have not been used in mass killings or other crimes.

Oh, goodie, the “well-regulated” argument.

Talk about nonsense.

Look here, Sport. The phrase “well-regulated” meant nothing more than “properly functioning,” such as a well-regulated clock. The term didn’t mean then what it means now and there’s been a lot of actual scholarship supporting that fact.

Plus, more importantly, the right explicitly says “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That’s a contradictory clause unless “well-regulated” meant something differently at the time. It’s unlikely such a contradictory amendment would have been added by our Founding Fathers who desperately were trying to build a nation of laws.

But the author doesn’t care about that. He just wants to see new gun control passed, claiming it saves lives. Except, a look at the UK’s homicide rate before and after they passed gun control shows that it doesn’t really.

So not only are his arguments bad, even the facts work against him.