Academic says quiet part out loud on gun control

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Anyone who engages in discussions on gun control has undoubtedly been told that no one is coming for our guns; that all anyone wants to do is to keep firearms from falling into the wrong hands. All those regulations they’re proposing? Those are just for criminals.


Now, we all know this is BS. Things like assault weapon bans, for example, result in taking people’s guns sooner or later. Just because that’s not what they’re saying no doesn’t mean that’s not where we’re eventually going to head.

Enter a discussion about President Joe Biden’s new Office of Gun Violence Prevention over at China Daily.

Yes, it’s China talking about US gun policy–a subject I think I’ve been pretty clear about my feelings on–but in there, we find someone who may have just said the part gun control fans are supposed to keep quiet.

Jeffrey Fagan, an expert on policing, crime and gun control and Professor of Law at Columbia Law School in New York, said: “Every little bit helps, including research, to slow the epidemic of gun violence. However, unless there are strong measures to reduce the supply of firearms, and also the legality of firearms, this will have little effect on the unacceptably high rates of both lethal and nonlethal firearm violence.”

(Emphasis added)

Now, let’s take a look at that bolded section for a moment. We’re going to take that in order–don’t worry, we’ll get to the “legality” thing in a moment.

Reduce the supply of firearms

There are an estimated 400 million firearms in private hands in the United States. The Second Amendment also protects our right to keep and bear arms.

Yet Fagan here has argued that we need to reduce the supply of firearms. Not the supply of black market guns or guns in criminal hands, but guns in general. That despite ample evidence that it’s those guns in particular that represent a problem with regard to violent crime.


As such, that means reducing guns for law-abiding citizens to some degree or another.

The easy thought is to assume Fagan simply means restricting the purchase of firearms in general in some manner, such as gun rationing or some similar policy.

The problem there is that with 400 million firearms already in circulation and the fact that firearms are generally durable, meaning they don’t necessarily wear out or anything if properly maintained, that number isn’t going to decrease on its own. Every gun purchase adds to the availability of firearms.

That means that, at some point, you’re going to have to remove firearms from circulation as a whole. The only way that can happen is via gun confiscation.

You can’t just make guns vanish otherwise. You can’t reduce the availability of guns without that.

Reducing the legality of firearms

Fagan makes reference to the legality of firearms, suggesting he wants to make them less legal to own in some manner. This likely includes things like assault weapon bans and other restrictions, particularly those lacking some kind of grandfather clause that would allow those who already have such weapons to keep them.

Again, that whole gun confiscation thing.

But we need to remember that the legality of firearms is preserved via the Second Amendment. You can’t just wish that away no matter how much you want to. So long as the Second Amendment stands, you’re not going to be able to really do much of anything about the legality of guns no matter how much you favor gun control.


This is one problem gun control is always going to have.

What’s more, following the Bruen decision, it’s clear that one will be hard-pressed to find gun control regulations existing at the time of the Second Amendment that would be an analog for any restriction you could pass today that would restrict the legality of guns in general.

Now, one can imagine gun control advocates dismissing Fagan’s comments as just the words of a single academic, that they’re not reflected in the gun control community as a whole. I disagree, especially since we saw Gabby Giffords, founder of one of the biggest anti-gun groups out there, argue for “no more guns.”

I’m sorry, but I can’t buy that this is just a fringe opinion.

Yes, they’re coming for our guns.

No, they can’t have them without a fight.

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