When people push the idea of gun control, they often look to Europe for examples. They look at the low homicide rates over there along with the low number of guns in civilian hands and argue that we could have the same thing if we’d just give up this silly idea that our rights matter.
First, there’s more going on than whether or not we have gun control, as noted by our non-gun homicide rates being higher than many European nations’ total homicide rates.
Second, these nations do have issues with guns. Some pretty significant problems from the look of a recent incident.
More than 700 firearms have been seized in a five-year operation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Spain’s Guardia Civil to prevent replica guns that can easily be converted into lethal weapons from entering Britain, the NCA said on Sunday.
Since 2019, the NCA and Guardia Civil – which has jurisdiction in Spain for the national control of firearms- have been jointly working on Project Vizardlike to combat the threat.
The operation has so far resulted in the seizure of 703 firearms, 74 arrests and 50 convictions, the NCA said.
But they’re not guns, someone will probably argue, and they’re not wrong. These are not functional firearms.
What they are is guns that can be readily converted into functional firearms. And they have–these weapons account for a lot of the guns found in criminal hands in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. These are treated as firearms in the UK and, as such, are a good opportunity to discuss how gun control isn’t the end all, be all many in the US think.
Criminals want guns.
Criminals have money they can spend on guns.
That means someone, somewhere will find a way to supply that particular demand. It’s like any other good, where there is demand, supply will follow. In the UK, it’s blank guns converted into a firearm, but it could just as easily be a so-called ghost gun or whatever else would meet that need.
Because unless you address the underlying causes of violent crime, it doesn’t matter if you restrict guns into oblivion or not.
Oddly, once you address those underlying causes, however, you don’t need gun control at all.
But that’s difficult. That takes time. It doesn’t make massive headlines and doesn’t help a politician look like they’re Doing Something. No, for that they do things like try to ban guns, restrict firearm ownership, and eventually start trying to prevent non-guns that can be turned into firearms from being a thing.
The UK hasn’t solved its problems by restricting guns. They’ve just created all new ones.
In the meantime, those with the expertise to convert these blank-firing guns into live weapons can make a small fortune buying these relatively inexpensive weapons and converting them.
So, in a way, gun control works for many. It’s just not in the way proponents like to claim.
I know, I know, you’re not shocked in the least, but with some luck, maybe someone will actually realize that more gun control doesn’t make the problem go away, it just shifts it in a slightly different direction.