Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Really Don't Get It

Glenn "I Link To The Redshirt To Boost My Own Readership Numbers" Reynolds just recently posted a link to a story describing the state of crime in Chicago post-gun-ban (which ought not stand in the wake of the Heller decision, but we shall see), the point being that things are so bad that Illinois Gov. Blagojevich is thinking of calling in some troops to help out. As expected, post-ban, only outlaws will have outlawed guns.

Now, to fully understand the dimensions in any policy debate in which I'm interested, I always try to get inside the head of the opposition, and understand how they may have arrived at their conclusions -- either to better refine my own position, or to be able to neutralize their arguments. Even if I find fault in the logical progression that might lead to alternate conclusions, I at least try to see their side of the issue. I am able to perform this analysis satisfactorily on many controversial issues -- abortion, religion, the free market, the death penalty, the war in Iraq, etc. But on the issue of gun rights, I am truly at a loss in this regard -- I truly cannot fathom a rational line of thinking that would lead one to believe that outlawing firearms in a society already laden with them could ever be a good idea, for the simple reason outlined above: regardless of the penalties, criminals have virtually no impetus to "give up" their guns, unlike law-abiding citizens. And surely no one on either side of the issue is unfamiliar with that objection.

So my question to any readers (preferably liberal, if I have them) is as follows: what is a logical line of thought that could lead one to the conclusion that banning guns is going to make non-criminal people safer? Of course, the obvious follow up is "how does this line of thinking stand up in light of conditions everywhere that guns have been banned, most notably England, Washington D.C., and now Chicago?"

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Marty said...

My favorite ploy of local governments is the gun buy-back. I'd be astounded to find a study that shows that these policies work at all, let alone are worth the money. Who turns in guns? I don't doubt that some criminals actually do turn in guns. Wouldn't you like someone to pay you for your crappy inventory? The question is, do they turn in all their guns? Here's some examples of a gun that might be turned in that would keep a gun out of the wrong hands. Mom finds a gun in Sonny's room. Wife turns in her prison-bound husbands gun. But how many criminals are selling their guns because they're turning a new leaf. I doubt the question could be reliably answered even if it were ever asked. The justification for buying up hundreds of crap guns to snag a couple of guns of the latter type is that "If we can save one life, it's worth doing." But the question for any policy what is the benefit relative to the cost? In light of the fact that there is essentially an infinite supply of guns for criminals who want to obtain one, shouldn't we be concentrating on locking up the criminals that putting a finger in the dike that has thousands of holes?

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I think the liberals believe that with stricter gun laws, guns will vanish. That's the problem- their naivete. Even if there was massive, enforced confiscation and destruction of firearms, tens (if not hundreds) of millions of them would remain in circulation among criminals and patriots.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Well, I suppose that combining the buybacks with the illegalization makes some sense, in a totally naive, totally-not-fact-based way. But just "make guns illegal", on its own, isn't accounted for by the argument-from-naivety.

p.s. Throw one back for me. Preg-o-nant wife equals no booze in the house for me.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to quickly comment on my stance on this freedom issue. I decided to flesh out the comment in MS Word because I forgot how to spell a couple of words. I quickly realized that the definitive essay on our Constitutional Right to Freedom with regards to The Second Ammendment should be posted somewhere other than on the now secondary blog of a victim of "door knob rubbing". Here I will just list my key points:

First: Why would anybody anywhere want to give up ANY freedom?

B: Cool guns are like cool cars that exceed the speed limit by one or more Smoots per hour, even if the car driver never intends to exceed the speed limit ever.

IV: Keeping with the automobile theme--more folks are maimed or killed by improperly used cars than improperly used guns in any given time reference in the last 75or so years.

Nextly: The issue about the hinderance of interstate commerce crops up, especially with respect to CA, but I have to develop that issue more than I want to now.

Sincerely,

The door knob adulterator (sp?)

ZCOL

11:40 AM  

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