The idea behind gun control is simple. Proponents argue that if you make guns more difficult for criminals to obtain, criminals won’t have access to dangerous weapons.
I said it was simple. I didn’t say it made any sense.
As we all know, gun control doesn’t actually work like that because criminals don’t obtain guns on the lawful gun market. They steal them or buy them in back-alley deals.
One of the laws meant to prevent bad people from getting guns is the prohibition on convicted felons from buying firearms. However, a recent arrest illustrates just how badly that law fails.
Court documents state that Tytus Lamaar Shields, 34, of Parkersburg, West Virginia, was arrested on Nov. 22, 2021. The DOJ said authorities searched Shields’ home and found a Ruger semi-automatic pistol, which he admitted he owned.
Shields admitted he knew he could not have a gun because of previous felony convictions for drug trafficking and corrupt activity in Ohio. His criminal history includes 17 felony and 16 misdemeanor convictions, the DOJ said.
That’s right, 17 felonies.
One would have to imagine that at age 34, a lot of those occurred at around the same time. Otherwise, I don’t see him being out of prison.
Regardless, though, this is not someone who was permitted to have a gun. He knew it, too, and yet he got a gun anyway.
“But West Virginia has lax gun control laws,” someone will claim, and it’s true that West Virginia isn’t exactly California when it comes to gun regulations.
However, it’s also not legal for felons to be armed there, either.
Shields knew he couldn’t lawfully have a gun, yet he sought one out anyway. Whether he finagled it from a lawful gun owner who was unaware of his background or not, he still broke the law. Plus, with 17 felonies under his belt, I bet you he knows where to find a gun pretty much anywhere regardless of what the law says.
He doesn’t need lawful gun owners to sell him a firearm. He can find unlawful sources just fine.
See, that’s part of the issue with gun control as a whole. It’s not that it disarms criminals. If it just did that, a lot of people wouldn’t find it quite so onerous. Many would, of course, such as myself, but a lot of people would just shrug and accept it.
The problem is that it doesn’t.
Gun control interferes with our ability to buy, keep, and bear arms, all while doing absolutely nothing to stop people like Shields.
Then, when it fails to do what we were told it would do, the answer is always more gun control. It’s not that the laws failed, but that we somehow failed by not going far enough.
I’m sorry, but I’m unconvinced. I tend to be unconvinced by unrealistic fiction.
Criminals, by definition, break the law. It’s how they become criminals in the first place. Once a resource closes to them, they find another pathway to get guns.
That’s likely what Shields did and he’s far from a pioneer in this. We’ve all seen this scenario play out a thousand times, too.
At some point, we need to acknowledge as a society that gun control doesn’t work and start looking for things that actually will. Unfortunately, that’s not something we seem capable of doing as a society, in part because gun control is big business.
Meanwhile, gun control laws fail to stop folks like Shields–though, I should acknowledge that as things stand, he’s only accused of a crime this time around and hasn’t been convicted of having a firearm illegally. He’s innocent of this until proven guilty–nor anyone else who wants a gun for illicit purposes.