Clyde H. Spencer
who promote so-called “gun buy-back” programs, or who advocate other ways of
attempting to reduce the number of guns in the public’s hands, rationalize
their actions by claiming that for each gun destroyed, a life is potentially
saved. The implicit assumption is
that guns are only used to take innocent lives, which is demonstrably wrong.
there are an estimated 200 million guns in the U.S. – at least one in nearly
every other household – and fewer than 12,000 murderers, one can easily see
that the availability of guns is such that even several thousand guns taken out
of general circulation would not impact homicide rates unless they were the guns
owned by murderers. Unfortunately,
the “gun buy-back” programs rarely take in guns that are typical of the
kinds used by murderers. Therefore,
it is obvious that the murderers are not being disarmed.
Like most programs associated with gun control, those who are potentially
victims are being disarmed and being deprived of their best means for protecting
themselves and their family.
fallacy of the efficacy of small reductions in gun ownership might best be
illustrated with the problem of the overpopulation of unwanted cats.
It obviously takes a fertile male and female cat to produce offspring,
just as it takes a gun in the hands of a killer to result in a firearm murder.
Now, if a conscientious effort were made to sterilize all the male cats
by passing a law that all male cats had to be licensed and neutered, it would
appear that the problem of unwanted kittens would be solved.
One might righteously claim that for each male cat that was neutered
there would potentially be one less unwanted litter of kittens.
The problem, however, is that some owners of male cats would not comply
with the law, and that there would be feral cats with no owners to take them to
the vet. So, as long as all the
females remained fertile, there would be an adequate number of unneutered males
cats to impregnate all the female cats, male cats being what they are!
situation is very similar with criminals. As
long as the criminals remain on the streets, there are more than enough guns
available to meet their needs, even if tens of thousands are willingly bought by
well-meaning, but misguided, prohibitionists.
Only if there were far fewer guns available than criminals, would any
effect be noticeable. While some
people are actually working to ban
guns entirely, it is highly debatable whether a country without guns would be
desirable; as long as there are criminals, people will need a means to defend
themselves against knives, baseball bats, or an assailant’s hands –
particularly women and elderly people of both genders.
most effective solution for reducing the number of unwanted cats is to spay the
females, because every spayed female is unable to have kittens regardless of how
many fertile males are available. Similarly,
the most effective solution to reduce murder rates is to take the criminals off
the streets and change the social conditions that cause people to adopt a life
of crime. Without a criminal, guns
are an inanimate object, incapable of murdering anyone. A criminal without a gun can still kill and rob people,
all our efforts at buying guns from law-abiding citizens, pressing for licensing
and registration of law-abiding citizens and other misnamed “common sense
laws,” such as requiring trigger locks be sold with guns, are misdirected! They may give the appearance of doing something, and give
politicians a claim to fame to get them re-elected, but all that is really being
done is neutering the domesticated male cats.
Meanwhile, the criminals are purring all the way to their next heist.