Gun control is an infringement of our right to keep and bear arms. Despite what President Joe Biden and others keep claiming, it truly is. Anyone who is remotely honest will admit that.
However, some believe a bit of infringement is fine if it actually keeps people safer.
A recent op-ed regarding Biden’s new “ghost gun” rules, however, does something even more bizarre. It acknowledges that the rules won’t do much but then supports them anyway.
This week, President Joe Biden announced new measures to track the sale of “ghost guns,” untraceable firearms made from do-it-yourself kits. The new Justice Department rule will require such kits to be produced by licensed manufacturers, and will require purchasers to pass a background check. This is a reasonable gun control step that will undoubtedly face unreasonable responses.
We strongly support Second Amendment rights, and we expect that this won’t make a dramatic difference in gun violence, despite Biden’s most earnest wishes. Violent people will still commit crimes with legal firearms. And criminals bent on breaking laws won’t be dissuaded by yet more laws around certain kinds of guns.
So far, so good, right?
Well, it’s about to get stupid.
But the law is more than symbolic. It matters what kind of behavior we condemn and what kind of barriers we erect. If this rule makes it more of a hassle to order “buy build shoot” kits, it’s reasonable to think that fewer people will take that step. More importantly, fewer untraceable guns will make it easier for police to investigate offenders.
There is no good reason to have easy access to untraceable weapons or to make it harder on law enforcement to do its job. That undermines an important defense of gun ownership, that law-abiding people have a right to self-defense.
First, all this talk about untraceable weapons is absolute nonsense. A firearm’s ability to be traced isn’t absolute. All it will do is track it down to the original purchaser of the gun. That’s it.
If that gun has been sold at any point, there’s a good chance that the ability to trace it is lost forever. Yes, that’s even potentially true in universal background states. After all, it’s required that you take the gun to a licensed dealer for transfer. It doesn’t require you to remember which one.
At that point, all bets are off.
And yet, the police solve crimes all the time. To hear Biden and this author speak, one would imagine that would never happen.
However, since most guns used in crimes aren’t being used by the original owner, it happens quite often.
Then again, when you’re spouting questionable data such as claims that the law enforcement recovered 20,000 so-called ghost guns, a 10-fold increase from just six years ago, what can you expect?
This claim is interesting to me because of the report I did on Thursday. In it, I mention some questions another site had about many of these kinds of claims, including my own discussion with the Department of Justice where they couldn’t or wouldn’t give me particular figures.
How can they make this claim when the DOJ expressly refuses to give numbers because they claim they simply don’t have them?
This whole op-ed has the title, “Ghost gun rule does no harm,” but it’s clear the author or authors don’t seem to understand how rights work. Any infringement on a right is harm, that includes telling me I must go through a background check to replace a part on my already lawfully purchased firearm.
Besides which, arguing that an infringement that you agree will do little simply because you don’t see the harm is how authoritarianism likes to begin. Laws don’t exist because there’s little or no reason for them not to. They must exist because there’s a compelling reason for them to come into being.
This whole opinion piece is a prime example of note understanding rights.