In this article, I will assume we agree on a premise with which I strongly disagree. I will assume that most folks want to get guns off the streets. 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 to achieve within 50 years absent total tyranny.
Premise: Guns cause many deaths in the US each year, and should not be in civilian hands. 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 to #endgunviolence.
Ok, so in this story we will say 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. Lets call this program the Freedom & Safety Program (FSP). Millions of law-abiders take advantage of this offer and 70% 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 “South Africa” type of seizure would likely remove at least 100,000 guns from the street each year.
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.
A new law passes that requires all Federal Firearm Licensed dealers and gunsmiths to make two photocopies of all the 4473 forms they have on file. One copy is given to state local law enforcement, who is given a mandate and the funding to ensure that all listed guns that were not registered int he CLSA be confiscated and that surprise searches called “compliance checks” be done of the homes and businesses of the transferees listed. An additional 40 million guns are seized. Due to the national emergency nature of this noble gun seizure campaign, insurgents with tin foil hats that claim the searches are not “constitutional” will be mocked and silenced.
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 270-300 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 therefore impossible to control 100%. With the strong focus on meth eradication, how are things going? How much success has the government had? Even giving the drug warriors a generous “win” by assuming there is a 50% reduction of the meth made and used due to their endeavors, that is not a very big success. 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 rates than past wars.
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, shoot up schools and malls and threaten others. The other half are comprised of stubborn libertarian-types the government and main stream media refer to as “Dangerous Illegal Mentally Ill Terrorist Insurgents.” (DIMITI)
I challenge you, the reader, to contemplate my above predictions, calculations and assumptions. Please correct me. If my calculations ARE correct, it would seem that we would have to conclude that “getting guns off the streets” is not a doable thing. The 5 million firearms currently in circulation among violent criminal circles will mostly remain there. These guns are used in making problems, not the other 265,000,000 guns.
What are YOUR conclusions?