In this article, I will assume we agree on a premise with which I strongly disagree. I make this assumption because I intend to argue that beyond preferences for what is “best” the practical issues of gun control would be impossible.
Premise: Guns cause many deaths in the US each year, and should not be in civilian hands, but rather only in the government’s hands due to governments’ awesome track record of not killing people. We need legislation to accomplish this. We understand that some people enjoy firearms and they may store and use them at approved shooting range facilities, but they may not be taken off premises. This fact is recognized by 99% of voters and all agree that it is time for a War On Guns.
Ok, let’s imagine that yesterday that legislation passed. It was in the news, and Federal government agencies have begun collecting and destroying firearms.
The first wave of action is for the feds to offer a “buyback” program similar to Australia in which 20% more than market price is given in exchange for firearms. Let’s call this program the Freedom & Safety Program (FSP). Millions of law-abiders take advantage of this offer and 60% of gun owners turn in their guns, leaving only 108 million firearms in civilian hands. Citizens that have not been convicted of felonies, misdemeanors or infractions, and compete in registered firearms competitions at least monthly as well as hunters that prove they have safe storage are allowed to keep their guns so long as they are registered. Failure to turn in a gun to the FSP or register is a misdemeanor.
Meanwhile, local law enforcement is reporting and collecting for the feds any firearms they discover, including the 8 guns owned by a victim that had his 9th gun stolen by a criminal. He called the local cops to take a burglary report. Unfortunately, since he had not turned his guns in during the FSP, he was not compensated for the 8 guns that were confiscated. This type of seizure would likely remove at least 100,000 guns from the street each year.
A new law passes that requires all Federal Firearm Licensed dealers and gunsmith to make two photocopies of all the 4473 forms they have. One copy is given to state local law enforcement, who is given a mandate and the funding to ensure that all listed guns be confiscated and that surprise searches be done of the homes and businesses of the transferees listed. An additional 40 million guns are seized, leaving only 57,900,000 in private hands.
A new law is introduced that makes possession of non-registered firearms a felony punishable by 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each firearm. The legislation includes a 20% annual tax increase on all people listed by the IRS as members of the felons households. This law is called the Constitutional Liberty & Safety Act (CLSA). A 90-day window is given in which these undiscovered felons may turn in their firearms without penalty, but also without compensation. It is made very clear that after the 90 days expire, there will be no more excuses and people will be jailed. This is enough to compel many more gun owners to turn in their guns. Now, in July of 2020 only 27,000,000 firearms remain in private hands.
Why do I say 27 million? 27 million is 10% of the original 270 million estimated firearms. I examine the success that governments have had with other Wars on Stuff. These include wars on poverty, terror, drugs, illiteracy etc. Meth is a good example. Like a firearm, it can be made in a garage with the right tools and supplies, none of which are specific to making that thing, and therefor impossible to control 100%.
With the strong focus on meth eradication, how are things going? How much success have we had. Is the 90% success rate at controlling gun possession reasonable? In truth, the success rate would probably be even lower, but I am willing to be generous. As a matter of fact, how about I round down by 63% just in case technology developed through private sources as well as Bush’s Patriot Act have far more success.
These 10 million firearms are in the hands of people who are NOT willing to follow the law. Perhaps 50% of them are “bad guys” that would be willing to rob, burglarize, murder and threaten. The other half are comprised of stubborn libertarian-types we refer to as “Dangerous Illegal Mentally Ill Terrorist Insurgents.” (DIMITI)