Skip to comments.No, We Haven’t Discovered ‘Gun Control That Actually Works’
Posted on 06/01/2016 9:10:44 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
Over at The New York Times, Alan Berlow thinks he has discovered gun control that actually works. He hasnt, and its a pitiable liberal tendency to search desperately for successful gun control laws, year after year and ban after ban. It is the policy equivalent of Sasquatch: its out there, somewhere, even though theres no real demonstrable proof of it. You just have to keep looking.
Barlow thinks he has finally found it, the Surgeons Photograph of gun control. For more than 80 years, he writes, the United States has enforced a tough and effective gun control law that most Americans have never heard of: Its a 1934 measure called the National Firearms Act, and it stands as a stark rebuke to the most sacred precepts of the gun lobby and provides a model we should build on.
The National Firearms Act of 1934 does no such thing: it rebukes no sacred precept, and the model it provides is meaningless in relation to broader gun policy.
The NFA mandates that owners register various types of firearms and firearm accessories: machine guns, silencers, sawed-off shotguns, short-barreled rifles, and other concealable weapons. Registration involves a background check, an added tax, approval by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and a stolen gun reporting requirement.
One of These Things Does Not Undermine the Other
In Berlows reckoning, the NFA makes a good case against the N.R.A., because it requires a firearm database the likes of which the National Rifle Association vehemently opposes for broader gun ownership. [T]o todays N.R.A., he writes, such measures are an existential threat to the Second Amendment. As Berlow puts it, the NFAs success forcefully undermines the N.R.A.s nonsensical claims that reasonable limits on gun ownership are a serious burden to law-abiding gun owners.
This is profoundly silly for a number of important reasons, chief among them that Berlow seems not to grasp the animating principle of the NRA itself. The NRA has one purpose through which it serves the American body politic: broadly safeguarding the American right to keep and bear arms. The firearms covered by the NFA, on the other hand, are niche itemscertain carbines and fully-automatic M4s and handguns with shoulder-stocks.
It is simply nonsense to claim that heavily regulating these types guns represents reasonable limits that can be applied to broader categories of firearms. One style of regulation covering a few specific types of guns does not mean that every gun must be likewise covered, any more than the specific regulations covering certain types of cheeses means you must similarly regulate a raw-milk cheese and a slice of American.
As for Berlows broader argument, that gun registration promises tremendous success in reducing gun violence: this is a dubious proposition at best and a willfully ignorant one at worst. One only need look at Washington DCs gun registration law compared to the decades of the Districts astronomical gun violence to see that gun registration hardly correlates with a drop in gun crime. (Additionally, the expensive and esoteric types of weapons covered by the NFA are by their nature less practical for committing crimes than cheap, easily concealable handguns and revolvers.)
Gun Registries Do Have Historical Precedent
Berlows final contention is a rhetorical one: if registration is so threatening, he asks, then why hasnt the government used the N.F.A database to confiscate weapons? Why has it failed to move against the holders of hunting licenses and concealed carry permits who readily submit to milder forms of gun licensing and registration?
This is, by way of rhetorical device, a true statement. It is also a meaningless and stupid one. Supporters of American gun rights do not oppose gun registries because we are worried that senators Mitch McConnell or Patrick Leahy are going to order their personal aides to snatch our guns away. We are concerned, rather, that a gun registry couldyears down the linebecome a powerful and dangerous tool in the hands of a government bent on subduing the civilian population under an authoritarian regime.
There is also the fear that an activist Supreme Court could re-litigate the Second Amendment out of existence, something Hillary Clinton has effectively promised to do. In either case, a registry would be a dangerous road map that would tell the government exactly where every gun in the country is.
This type of scenario is not mere fantasy. It has happened before, well within living memory. The Nazis used the Weimar Republics gun registry to confiscate firearms from the German Jewry. This disarmament doubtlessly contributed to the forced extermination of millions of Jews. Disarming the civilian populace invariably precedes the ascendancy of every tyrannical government.
Gun registries let the powers-that-be know where firearms are kept. Registries are inimical to the Second Amendment, which is meant to ensure a defensively armed population, something a registry by its nature preempts. Berlow is, in either case, wrong: about the relative merits of a broader gun registry, and about the safety and prudency of such a registry.
Those of us who take gun rights seriously have heard these arguments before, and dismissed them. Gun control that works continues, as always, to not actually work. Like Sasquatch, its always out there somewherebut you never find it.
Depends on how you define “work”
I'm a prolifer. To me the issue is like being against a Life carpetbagger like Bob Dole, who was pro-abortion in his earlier political career but "became" pro-life to synchronize with his constituency.
Guns are nasty, toxic, heavy, if you carry one, you should carry two, one on each side, so you don't throw off your hips.
What I'm against is, anyone needing to be armed. If there are bad guys on the immediate horizon, I'd much rather have my radar out and escape them, than have to deal with the authorities after having to shoot a bad guy.
What I'm for is, leftist (don't say liberal) elites which want to apply their social engineering to your life; I'm against mushrooming quasi-governmental agencies arming their operatives--insurance agents with guns by where I work; I'm against Hillary's private security being armed, rolling into my community to make way for Her Majesty's August Presence, while the people in that community can't protect themselves, against Her favored subjects, beneficiaries of government largess.
The arms restricted by the NFA and all but banned by the Hughes Amendment are standard military arms; those most directly and explicitly protected by the Second Amendment.
What would be great to see is an update to our gun laws: (1) recognize that citizens in good standing (e.g., not felons or certified crazy) have right to arm themselves; (2) that they may carry their gun open or concealed most anywhere; (3) that no state or local government can usurp these rights; and (4) no tax or registration of firearms, accessories, or munitions. Bet that sounds like an extreme position to people wanting to ban guns but it should be a legit starting point. The 2nd amendment is a national matter, not state or local. It is our Constitution and no way should any of our rights be different based on what of a state, county, or city line we live or stand on. Maybe President Trump can lead a public discussion on a solution that congress and he can agree to.
We DO NOT trust the Federal Government. Registration gives tyranny a head start in putting down opposition.
Put GPS tracking chips on all advocates of a National gun Registry, with their current location indicated on an open access website. Include any official with the authority to dispatch SWAT teams. Then we’ll think about it.
It’s a Scary Guns Act... no wonder why it was chosen as a model. Just declare All Guns to be Scary Guns and then there you are.
The old model of letting alone all honest people who want to carry hasn’t been beaten. We want dishonest people to fear, and the only thing they will fear is being accosted.
Apparently Fast and Furious did, didn’t it? Just ask the Clintons, pay offs to the Mexican Drug Cartels to get the guns and heat seeking missiles and other things thru there, and then the overthrow of Libya, Syria = ISIS...and the government knew all about it...
We were told by the MSM, paid talk show hosts and talking heads, media online twits that this was to shut down our Second Amendment rights, and people swallowed that hook, line and sinker, but guess what...this is why Fox from Mexico is trying everything he can to stop Trump from becoming President, every body has their hands in the cookie jar...
Interesting approach; one might ask about “ordinary sales taxes” but it’s kind of parallel to the way that religion is treated, or at least supposed to be treated. Churches get to make some transactions tax free.
I might suggest a skill or training requirement, in harmony with the “well regulated militia.” With that right comes a duty to make an effort to do it well, and the amendment even says so.
Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,”
The NRA’s interest in promoting the shooting sports among America’s youth began in 1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies.
the NRA continued its commitment to training, education and marksmanship. During World War II, the association offered its ranges to the government, developed training materials, encouraged members to serve as plant and home guard members, and developed training materials for industrial security. NRA members even reloaded ammunition for those guarding war plants. Incidentally, the NRA’s call to help arm Britain in 1940 resulted in the collection of more than 7,000 firearms for Britain’s defense against potential invasion by Germany (Britain had virtually disarmed itself with a series of gun-control laws enacted between World War I and World War II).
Agreed. (1) Pass a simple, basic national firearms standard course/test or (2) Be a military service veteran.
As for Berlows broader argument, that gun registration promises tremendous success in reducing gun violence: this is a dubious proposition at best and a willfully ignorant one at worst.
Passing a law is one thing .... compliance is another.
[NY] State’s SAFE Act needs to set its sights on compliance [article as of Tuesday, January 12, 2016 ]
The SAFE Act also required that the estimated 1 million assault weapons in private ownership in 2013 be registered with the State Police. After the Cuomo administration stonewalled a Freedom of Information request for more than a year, an Albany judge ordered the State Police to release data on the number of weapons registered as required. They revealed that only 44,000 firearms had been registered.
Subtract from that number the firearms owned by police officers and licensed dealers (who have little way to avoid registration), and it’s clear the compliance rate for registration among average citizens is less than 4 percent. It’s hard to call a law that commands a 96 percent noncompliance rate a success
Due to its time-wasting bureaucracy, three-quarters of the state’s county sheriffs (including those elected in virtually all of the rural counties) have made clear they are not aggressively enforcing the SAFE Act, except as an “add-on” charge for other crimes, and 52 of the state’s 62 county legislatures have approved resolutions opposing the SAFE Act
A sidearm is a tool. Just as a hammer hanging from a loop on the belt. Nothing more. That the local constabulary insists they be concealed and a permit issued for same is deeply offensive to me.
I could walk through town with a hammer on my belt and no one would bat an eye. And no...I don't have to carry two hammers to keep from throwing off my hips. That is ridiculous.
I'll settle for an extra magazine...or two.
The Second Amendment prohibits your proposal. I agree with the Second Amendment.
Check out all the green States at the end ... I do NOT want to go back to having to ask the State "Mother may I?" to exercise my right to bear arms.
I might not. Establishing a skill or training requirement means setting standards which are, most likely, enforced by whatever government entity the training program installs. With that in mind, think about how the standards can be abused, misapplied, or be unreasonably attainable. If you’re in doubt about this, recall the Southern states and their requirement that black voters “pass a test” before being granted the inalienable right to vote. Having a government arbitrarily decide who does and doesn’t qualify to express his inalienable right doesn’t work.
That's the only gun control I worry about.
Well this purpose is firmly stated in the amendment.
Anything on God’s green earth can be abused; it is up to America to keep enough vigilance on itself not to do that, including letting the private sphere be the guardians of the standards. Doctors do not need to pass government examinations to be permitted to practice; it is enough that they pass the examinations of universities that have a cross-accreditation system.
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