Monday, November 16, 2015
Hillary Clinton's gun confiscation agenda a losing issue
In 1994, the Assault Weapons ban passed under President Bill Clinton. That piece of legislation, now sunsetted into the history books and having had no discernible effect on crime even when active, was one of the big reasons the Democrats got their derrieres handed to them in the 1994 mid-term elections.
Hillary's past protestations about not wanting to take our guns is certainly accepted and excused by her liberal acolytes, apologists and worshipers. They recognize that their pols need to tell lies in order to get past the unbelievers' obstructionism.
There are over 350 million guns in the country. While every new firearm sale and every transfer through a licensed dealer requires record keeping, transfers between individuals do not. So, apart from those jurisdictions that require registration, there's no way the government could effect an effective confiscation program without full compliance by the public.
Even if only one gun owner in 10 held back, there would still be millions upon millions of firearms in the hands of the public, and I'd feel safe in speculating that more than 1 owner in 10 might feel reluctant to hand 'em over.
NY State's attempt to get black guns registered seems to have about a 5% compliance rate. Connecticut's compliance rate is in the low teens.
The liberal gun grabbers can dream, but their more practical counterparts (including Hillary's strategists and "walk-back-ers") know that it's a sure loser of an issue. Even should Hillary win the White House, I doubt she'd attempt a confiscation.
The eternally un-addressed or under-addressed observation - if the crime in places with strict gun laws is driven by people smuggling guns in from places with "lax" gun restrictions - why isn't crime higher in those lax places?
Why would criminals go through the trouble and risk of all that travel when they could simply "one-stop-shop" i.e. commit their crimes where they buy the guns. Might it be that they just might be aware that others in that "lax" area might have guns as well?
Of course, the trends support a robust concept of armed self-defense. In the past couple decades, 40 states have passed right-to-carry laws. Many to most have seen crime decreases, and not one has seen an increase.
But, gun control is one of those topics where liberal orthodoxy and their version of "common sense" trumps empirical data and history. The gun-banners "know" that allowing greater access to guns is certain to create crime, to turn the law-abiding into macho vigilantes, to prompt "old-west" style shootouts, and to greatly spike the number of people killed by their own guns. They "know" and argue these points by claiming that they're obvious - forget the facts or the statistics (which they dismiss either by attacking the source, declaring without evidence that they've all been fudged, or declaring (again, without evidence) that they *could* just as easily find stats that support their positions).
This reminds me of an old gag from college math and science classes - you start solving the problem, then write the answer and claim that it's "intuitively obvious." Too bad professors don't give credit for "intuitively obvious."
The problem with all the gun control laws and statistics is that there's really no null hypothesis. If guns were banned in total, 100% of the crimes would be committed by illegal gun owners. If there were no gun control laws, 100% of the crimes would be committed by legal gun owners.
Human behavior has far more to do with it than anything else. If a criminal seeks to accomplish something, he's going to do it if motivated enough. However, guns can deter a spontaneous event, I believe.
Long story short, guns in the hands of the responsible will either do no harm or possibly help. Guns (or anything else for that matter) in the hands of the irresponsible and criminal element will do no good or do harm.
To me, that is the simple truth about gun control. It's government trying to fix a problem, except the problem is a symptom and not the source of the problem to start with.
Posted by Dan Butcher