As far as the left’s patronizing objection to gun control opponents that, “no one’s coming to get your guns,” the San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne has taken the unrealistic position that all guns can be taken off the streets withing a “generation.” Breitbart had the story, which quoted Landsowne:
“I could not be more supportive of the president for taking the position he has. I think it’s courageous with the politics involved in this process. [And] I think it’s going to eventually make the country safer.” He made it clear that it may take “a generation,” but new laws could eventually take all guns off the streets.
Such an extreme statement highlights the Tocquevillian warning that the end goal of eliminating the freedom of citizens can be achieved by the state passing “reasonable” regulation after “reasonable” regulation.
In a nation where hammers and clubs killed more people in 2011 than all rifles combined, of any type or magazine size, by a rate of 496 to 323, it seems a bit absurd, not to mention slightly nefarious, to seek a ban on a subset of so-called “assault rifles” (as if there were any other type). The aforementioned blunt objects also killed more people than all shotguns combined, which registered a rate of 356 murders.
In that same year of 2011, gun control-central Chicago alone had more murders at 433 than all people murdered in the U.S. by rifles or shotguns. While 99.7% of registered gun owners are law-abiding, criminals break laws because that is what they do. Criminals not only can make their own guns, they can actually print automatic ones. The notion that disarming law-abiding citizens will lead to a reduction in violent crime is simply quixotic.
It is the job of the police to protect and serve the people. Disarming the populace of semi-automatic rifles and home defense firearms puts law-abiding citizens in more danger, not less. Not even the best police unit can be everywhere at once, and no matter how tempting it is to presume otherwise, people should be seen as innocent until proven guilty.
Therefore, police officers should refuse to comply with the forcible confiscation of semi-automatic weapons, just like 2/3 of the public say they will refuse to comply with a federal gun ban. Innocent, otherwise law-abiding citizens want to feel safe, just like any other person, and just like any politician. One might beg the forgiveness of the reader for an excursion into the problem of unintended consequences. Banning guns will not lead to the desire result of reduced violent crime, and it is actually quite dangerous in terms of merely acknowledging the historical fact that a disarmed people is much easier to oppress.
Much like the war on drugs, which led to thousands of innocent people being locked up for crimes whose victims were complicit, and with no real effect on drug usage, a ‘war against guns’ would be long and futile; and in the end it would accomplish only an endless list of unseen victims.
While the overwhelming majority of the time drug usage is a phase that young people dabble in until they become old enough to know better, the question is begged: how many lives have been wrecked, not by the drugs themselves, but by the federal laws and penalties intended to reduce drug usage? Similar to the war on poverty, whose ‘fighting’ of the situation of the relatively poor by subsidizing their income disparity, meanwhile lowering the incomes of the more successful, a ‘war on guns’ would lead to generations of wasted time and money.
The human wreckage of intergenerational poverty, and fathers replaced by the welfare state, is nevertheless brushed aside as an unavoidable casualty; nothing to worry about, because the aim is ‘social justice.’ And what of the ‘social justice’ of the children who grow up without father figures, whose lives were spent in broken homes, and in deteriorating communities?
It would be remiss not to mention the pie-in-the-sky dreams of
notorious warmonger Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama, who has espoused the dangerously naive and vaguely subversive drive to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth via unilateral disarmament.
It is a bit of forgotten history that one of Barack Obama’s mentors, former Illinois State Senator Alice J. Palmer, paved his way into his first elected office as a state senator. She was a member of the U.S. Peace Council, an FBI-identified communist group, whose aims were in alignment with the Soviet goal of weakening the U.S.’ nuclear defense posture.
When it comes to the gun control argument, there is evidence that violent crimes drop as states adopt gun control. This conceptually has a bit of a parallel in international relations, because the nuclear proliferation to great power states that occurred during the Cold War led to what John Lewis Gaddis referred to as “the long peace.”
In other words, what scholar Stephen Walt coined a “balance of threat” helped develop a prolonged period of relative international quietude. The uncertainty of attacking a nuclear-armed state and the knowledge that unacceptable damage could be the result led to more peace, not more war. As Hedley Bull has put it, ‘mutual nuclear deterrence …does not make nuclear war impossible, but simply renders it irrational’. And many on the left fight what they deem to be irrational, simply because they intensely dislike it.
Such is the case with gun control. Since many people do not like guns, they instinctively believe that banishing them by decree would be the answer for lowering or even eliminating violent crime. If only it were that easy. It is truly the case that more guns means less crime, and it takes a bit of an open mind and some investigation to come to that conclusion.1 2