Gun-Control Madness

by Jacob G. Hornberger
Apr. 01, 2014

British commentator Piers Morgan took a parting shot in favor of gun control during his final appearance on his CNN news show last Friday. Morgan exclaimed, "It's your country; these are your gun laws. And the senseless slaughter will only end when enough Americans stand together and cry: Enough!"

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times is exclaiming against the State of Georgia, where the state legislature has passed what the Times describes as "the most extreme -- indeed "bizarre" -- set of gun laws in the nation."

The Georgia law permits people with gun permits to carry weapons in unsecured areas of airports, bars (unless the bar owner objects), and in some cases churches. That's what the Times calls "extreme" and "bizarre."

It never ceases to amaze me how gun controllers just don't get it. No matter how many times we point out the fallacies of their position, they just keep repeating the same old fallacious gun-control mantras.

Let's start with the overall aim of gun controllers: to bring an end to gun massacres and gun murders, or at least drastically reduce their number. The gun controllers say that by making it illegal to bring guns into certain areas, the number of massacres and murders will diminish or even possibly brought to an end.

Do you see the fallacy behind such thinking? Do you see how irrational it is? How likely is it that a person who intends to commit murder with a gun is going to say to himself: "Golly, I can't go into that area and kill people with my gun because it's not legal for me to carry a gun into that area"?

Not likely at all! If a person doesn't give a hoot about a law against murder, he's not going to care about a law that makes it illegal to possess a gun.

It's different, however, with innocent people who would like to have a gun to defend themselves against murderers. Most peaceful and law-abiding people are likely going to obey a gun-control law, especially if possession is made a felony.

So, all that a gun-control law does is disarm the peaceful, law-abiding victim. It prevents him from defending himself against the murderer, rapist, robber, or kidnapper, none of whom is going to comply with a gun-control law.

Why can't the gun control crowd see that?

I suppose the gun control crowd might say, "But Jacob. You don't understand what we're really trying to accomplish. We want all guns to disappear from society. If all guns disappear, no one will be able to massacre or murder anyone, at least not with a gun."

But if that's what they really think, then they are truly going bonkers. There is no possibility -- none -- that guns are going to disappear from American society. There are way too many of them and most gun owners aren't about to surrender their guns even if it were made a felony offense to possess them. Moreover, anyone who suggests that that the government should go house to house, building to building, to look for and seize guns is obviously not playing with a full deck.

So, what does that mean? It means that if the state makes it illegal to own guns, there simply is going to be a black market in guns, just like there is with drugs. That means that the people who are willing to risk a felony conviction are the ones who are going to be able to get their hands on guns on the black market. That means that murderers, rapists, robbers, and kidnappers will be armed and that their targeted victims will be disarmed.

So, the bottom line is that gun control does not achieve what the gun controllers want to achieve -- a society in which there is greatly reduced gun violence. All it does is prevent regular people from defending themselves from violent people who don't give a hoot about gun-control laws.

What we really need to do is figure out why America now has such a deep and widespread culture and tradition of violence. Is it really due to widespread ownership of guns? Well, let's consider Switzerland, where everyone is armed to the teeth. Wouldn't we expect there to be a massive amount of massacres and murders in Switzerland? But there isnít.

That means we ought to look in a different direction for why Americans live in such a violent-prone society. Perhaps we ought to look in the direction of Washington, D.C., where (1) the national security state has a long-established foreign policy of violence, killing, death, destruction, and torture that inevitably nurtures such a mindset within some of the citizenry, and (2) the federal government continues to wage a decades-long war on drugs that, like Prohibition of alcohol, continues to produce a daily grind of violence, robberies, muggings, gang wars, and turf battles that have become an integral part of American life.

But of course that means pointing the finger at the institution that many gun controllers look upon the national government as their parent. That especially applies to British citizens, most of whom look upon their national government as their mommy or daddy, given that it provides them with retirement, healthcare, education, and other necessaries of life.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News' Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano's show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at and from Full Context. Send him email.

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