When it comes to the gun control debate, we’d all do well to remember that what we’re looking at isn’t a binary thing. People generally aren’t either pro-gun or anti-gun.
Instead, it’s more of a spectrum. While you have those who are vehemently anti-gun and those who are just as vehement in their support of the Second Amendment, most people fall somewhere in the middle.
Many of those closer to our end of the spectrum likely believe there is some gun control that’s actually good.
Yet as David Codrea notes over at Ammoland, good gun control is like unicorns or fire-breathing dragons. They simply don’t exist.
“This is how we end ‘gun violence,’” a reader reacting to my recent AmmoLand piece about anti-gun Democrat Rep. and possible Dianne Feinstein replacement Katie Porter wrote to me. That article speculated on domestic violence gun laws Porter supports applying to her with allegations by her former husband that she dumped hot potatoes on his head and cut him by smashing a glass. The reader’s solution?
“Prosecute and lock up violent criminals, repeat felons, drug dealers, and especially lock up illegal sellers and illegal possessors of guns and throw away the keys,” he advocated. “Anyone opposed to stiff sentencing isn’t really interested in stopping ‘gun violence.’ Their true goal is to disarm the tens of millions of law-abiding gun-owning Americans whose politics and voices they want to stifle. By force if need be…”
There’s truth in some of his contentions. There are also some concerns. “We part ways at ‘illegal sellers and possessors,’” I replied, speaking from personal experience.
As for violent criminals, an undeniable truism is anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. If proven guilty violent persons are still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his 1973 classic Gun Control, equating their release from prison with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result.
If there is clear, convincing, admissible evidence that a supposedly “restrained” party is a danger, how is it responsible to allow such a menace access to the rest of us until such time as it can be established that he is no longer a threat? Does anyone think he couldn’t kill with something else? Or, noting routine headlines from places like Chicago and Baltimore, that he couldn’t get a gun? Why wouldn’t he be separated from society, after being afforded real “due process,” with all appropriate protections of course?
I’ve evolved a bit on the issue of armed felons.
I acknowledge what the law currently is and will happily point out where those laws failed to keep such a felon disarmed, but I also agree that if they cannot be trusted with their rights, how can they be trusted with their freedom in general?
Either they’re dangerous criminals or they’re not. There’s not a lot of middle ground here.
I didn’t always feel that way, though. I’m more than happy to admit I was wrong then and I’m more than happy to proclaim where I stand on this.
More to Codrea’s point, I think, is a pertinent fact that we’d all do well to understand. That’s the fact that most people commit something like three felonies per day, and some of them are things you would never imagine were, in fact, felonies.
Yet if you were to be prosecuted for them, you too would be denied your Second Amendment rights upon release from prison despite being no threat.
Let’s remember this quote from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:
“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
In other words, it’s in the state’s interest to make it easy for you to become a felon because they know they’ve got you for something somewhere along the line.
So no, there is no good gun control because it can all be used against you at some point or another. Stand against it all or get ready to feel the proverbial (and possibly literal) boot on your throat.