This is the second post of a series concerning the issue of gun control.
The question from the previous post asked:
So where is the reduction in criminals acquiring guns that is directly associated with gun control legislation?
To answer this question we must first understand what criminal laws are. In their simplest form, criminal laws define a penalty should a defined crime be committed.
Crimes are anything as mundane as violating a speed limit (public safety) to as serious as committing murder (crime against society and the individual). Likewise, penalties for committing crimes also are on a similar scale – from a fine to incarceration to execution, all depending on the crime committed and the penalties for that crime.
I believe that most of us are law-abiding people, productive members of society. We don’t steal from our neighbor or the store, we pay our taxes (reluctantly), and generally treat each other with respect. Criminals, especially career criminals, do not operate under the same social norms as the rest of society. Criminals will commit a crime when they have performed a risk / reward calculation in their mind, have determined that they will benefit from the crime, and will not get caught or will pay an acceptable penalty if caught.
The theory behind gun control legislation is that these laws will prevent a crime from occurring. The reality is that laws and legislation will not prevent any one crime from occurring. Background checks, restrictions on round count in magazines, gun free zones, and the like do absolutely nothing to deter criminals from their activities – quite frankly, I think it encourages criminal activity in some cases. The only thing that gun control legislation does is hinder the law-abiding citizen from exercising their right to own a weapon.
The proof behind the above statements are cities with severe gun control laws such as Chicago, Washington DC, Detroit, and New Orleans. If gun control laws worked as advertised, then these four cities would be the safest on the planet. Instead, these cities have some of the highest crime and murder rates in the United States, and probably larger than some small countries.
The same proof can be said for gun free zones and of the mass-murders of the past 20-30 years. The latest tragedy in Oregon only highlights the insanity of a gun-free zone protected by nothing but a sign and guard armed with pepper spray.
“Possession, use, or threatened use of firearms (including but not limited to BB guns, air guns, water pistols, and paint guns) ammunition, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or any other objects as weapons on college property, except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations, is prohibited.” – Umpqua Community College Security Policy
Here’s the reality:
In the aftermath of the Umpqua murders, President Obama stated that the issue of gun control needs to be “politicized” in order for something to be done about gun violence. The problem is that the “issue” has always been political in nature, and that the repeated calls for “common sense” gun controls have not addressed the circumstances in which any of the mass-murders could have been prevented.
Next in Part 3 of this series – Gun Control Politics.