Gun Control or Meaningful Action? You Can't Have Both

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

Our cities are plagued with violent crime. Even though the rates are dropping–and that’s a very good thing–there will likely never be enough of a drop to make everyone happy. It’s just not likely to happen. Even should one become the safest large city in the world or something, there’s still room for improvement. Far too often, people think that’s gun control, but not always.

And Indianapolis is far from a safe large city.

Yet looking for solutions always becomes a political act. Almost nothing is going to happen without government support and approval, which means politics is involved in some way, shape, or form.

A group called the Marion County Youth Violence Prevention Coalition recently wrote an op-ed about the situation.

It is disheartening that even during moments of celebration, gun violence continues to rear its ugly head. The incident this past weekend serves as a reminder of the pressing need for common-sense gun safety policies that can address the ongoing gun violence crisis and potentially prevent future tragedies.

Joining together, the organizations and individuals below call on lawmakers at all levels of government to take immediate and meaningful lifesaving action to prevent gun violence by:

Now, when I got to this point, I sort of got my hopes up. Meaningful lifesaving action? Absolutely. It’s about time we start talking about meaningful lifesaving actions.

Usually, groups like this just want to talk about gun control.

I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in mind.

– removing the state’s preemption of local gun laws, to allow cities and counties to create stricter regulations
– repealing the state’s recently enacted permitless carry law
– requiring background checks for gun sales at gun shows, on the internet, or between private individuals
– increasing the minimum age to purchase & possess firearms
– enacting child access prevention and safe storage laws.

Wait…I thought they wanted meaningful action. All I see here are a bunch of tired, anti-gun talking points pushed by gun control groups.

Preemption merely simplifies the law. Local laws are generally only going to be misdemeanors anyway, so the lack of local gun control laws isn’t really making way for violent criminals. A fine isn’t going to make a career felon suddenly walk the straight and narrow, for crying out loud.

Permitless carry doesn’t empower criminals, contrary to what gun control advocates like to claim. Bad guys are still prohibited from lawfully carrying guns, just as they always have. The difference is that they were carrying without a permit before permitless carry was passed and now there’s no longer a delay for the good guys to carry.

As for their background check request, they do realize that gun shows and internet sales already come with background checks, right? I mean, most guns sold at gun shows are sold by FFL holders, so they carry out NICS checks. Internet dealers ship to FFLs, not people’s homes, and those FFLs also conduct the same checks.

The only people who don’t are private citizens, sure, but most criminals aren’t buying from law-abiding citizens just trying to unload their collections. They’re buying stolen guns or stealing them themselves. This is an established fact. Of those that report getting them from individuals, that includes straw buys.

As a result, universal background checks aren’t likely to stop most bad guys.

Raising the minimum age to buy guns? It’s already 21 for handguns, which is what are generally used in violent crime. Raising the age for long guns isn’t going to do much. Plus, as noted above, they’re not buying them in gun stores.

So the question becomes, do you want gun control or meaningful action to address violent crime? You’re not getting both with a wish list like that.