ALLAN JEFFERYS: The Simple Fact: Gun Control Doesn't Work
Wouldn't it be wonderful if all we had to do to combat evil was pass another law?
It doesn't work, of course, because evil ignores laws. That has always been the case, but that doesn't stop well-meaning souls from coming up with new ways to turn their backs on facts and history.
A perfect example is gun control. It never works. And even though the Supreme Court last year reaffirmed the Second Amendment's protection of an individual's right to possess a firearm, diehards are gathering forces again to ban guns.
Look at the record: Australia confiscated personal firearms and saw homicide and assault rates rise. Detroit and the District of Columbia have long had severe penalties for possession of guns and share soaring crime rates.
This is the pattern wherever heavy gun laws prevail. Crime rises. The fact remains: Gun control does not deter crime. What it does do is tell the government which law-abiding citizens have weapons, thus making the government more powerful. Of course, the criminal doesn't turn in his gun, so gun control helps him.
It is understandable why good people want to do something to prevent reoccurrences of Columbine, Virginia Tech and the more recent killing spree in nearby Carthage. These good people feel that, if nothing else, we should ban assault weapons that have nothing to do with target shooting or hunting. After all, they argue, the Founding Fathers would never have approved of an AK-47.
The problem with that theory is that, once that foot gets in the door, it is only a step more to banning all handguns and semi-automatic shotguns. But even that will neither stop nor deter the twisted minds that cause mass murder.
Back when I belonged to a well-known shooting club, I knew some famous international bench-rest champions. This highly accurate competition called for such precision that a moving paper was used behind a target to prove five shots hit the bull's-eye when only four were visible. The fifth went through the same hole in the X-ring as another.
These shooters weighed bullets and powder down to a tenth of a grain as they tailored their skills. None of it involved shooting human beings. To do that, any gun will do. And making that kind of gun is relatively easy, compared to the artistry involved in highly competitive target shooting.
Even if the gun is too difficult to make in your basement, a bomb is a cinch. All the ingredients are readily available. No gunpowder is needed. Fertilizer and crankcase oil will do. And no law will ever ban them. The point is, gun control may make it a little more difficult, but it will not stop the bad guys from doing the bad things.
Gun control does not work. The lawmakers know that, so why do they constantly try to circumvent our Second Amendment? To provide a sop and pretend to be doing something about crime. In other words, to get more votes.
Switzerland issues a gun to every one of its citizens and has a very low crime rate. This is not to suggest that I believe every American should walk the streets packing iron; I prefer that most people do not carry a gun at all. I do, however, like the thought that the criminal is not sure who is and who isn't. It may just give him pause.
Congress keeps trying to kill the Second Amendment. The latest effort is HR 45 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sales Act of 2009, which demands stringent registration under penalty of prison and loss of your firearm. Check this one out. It is most dangerous.
The current crowd in Washington continues to ignore our civil rights and wants to pass laws that just won't work. They need to be reminded that we are paying attention and that the 2010 elections are just around the corner.
Allan Jefferys, a former New York theater critic, entertainment editor and newsman, lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at email@example.com.
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