Monday, June 30, 2008

Second Amendment Individual Right And End Of World

Heller V DC just brought civilization as we know it in these United States to an end. Really, the gun control, gun ban crowd would have you believe the streets will be awash in blood thanks to a finding in favor of an individual right. DC Mayor Fenty states that more guns means more crime, and says it with not only a straight face, he says it with conviction. So now guns will just be everywhere in DC and everybody will have one and just shoot each other to pieces?

Let's just back the train up here. DC has had a draconian handgun ban since 1976 and they still are shooting each other to pieces. DC pols blame VA for this. What they really mean is that despite a gun ban there are guns aplenty in DC. What guns there are not in DC are the ones in law-abiding hands. There can't be because it is against the law. To be sure there are probably ordinarily law-abiding people who violate this one, but is asking for all kinds of trouble. If every law-abiding citizen who wants one buys a gun that will surely result in a net increase of firearms in DC.

There evidently hasn't been much problem with the getting of a gun in DC, there seem to be plenty to go around in criminal circles. Law-abiding citizens having them will result in more crimes for what reason? People who haven't killed their neighbors or spouses will suddenly want to because they can buy a gun? Criminals in search of guns will break into houses to get them? That might actually be a side benefit of a burglary but as a motive it is a rather risky method compared to buying an illegal one. It is surely an aspect of legal ownership that burglary will become a bit more risky in DC. I qualify that statement with reason, I strongly doubt that DC will not put road blocks in the path to private ownership. They're going to have some real problems if it becomes capricious or elitist.

There are a handful of communities in the nation with draconian, capricious, or otherwise questionable firearm regulations. California and Massachusetts may have some difficulties with their laws. One thing is quite certain, owning firearms is not a universal desire in this country. The numbers of lawfully held firearms will increase but where that leads to an increase in mayhem is unclear. Most of the bloodshed pictured by the gun banners is already either a fact - in criminal circles - or accomplished with other means by homicidal bent people. Do I think firearms crimes won't increase? No, I think they will, but I don't think the number of murders will increase. The guy who beats his wife to death may opt for shooting her, the intention is the same and the result the same, simply a different means. I think firearm accidents may well increase as inexperienced people acquire things they should learn about and don't. I'm afraid our culture has mystified and mythologized firearms to the point where that is the common denominator among non-shooters.

Entertainment media and, most unfortunately, news media present inaccurate and frequently completely stupid portrayals of firearms. It is not an easy thing to hit a target with any firearm and handguns are particularly not easy, just pointing isn't likely to achieve good results without a tremendous amount of practice. Firearm lethality is exaggerated in many cases, a handgun is certainly a lethal weapon, but the bullet must hit something lethal and the body isn't that chock full of them. Entertainment depicts things that just flatly don't happen, people are not thrown or even knocked down by bullet impacts. The idea that body parts explode is a fantasy excepting large caliber high velocity bullets, or small caliber hyper-velocity bullets.

There may be some people hurt or killed by firearms that shouldn't have been as a result of this decision and there may well be people hurt or killed who should be, how that will balance I'm unsure. There will be cases where the presence of a firearm will just stop a crime without anyone hurt and there will be crimes uncommitted out of fear of running into an armed victim. These latter cases will not be documented in any meaningful way and thus not appear in the record. Gun banners are fond of citing the lack of such numbers and never bother to note that they aren't really reported.

The world isn't going to end and neither is violent crime going to disappear as a result of this decision.


KISS said...

If the same amount of pressure that is used to ban guns was applied to ending medical mishaps,the purpose would be more meaningful. DC has had a draconian handgun ban since 1976 and they still are shooting each other to pieces. Yet, depending on who you are that ban and consequences of killing someone is never enforced. William Raspberry, the famed gun-grabber columnist with the Washington Post, killed and intruder with a unlawfully owned gun and the authorities looked the other way.
But a normal citizen would have faced many years in durance vile.

Kevin said...

There may be some people hurt or killed by firearms that shouldn't have been as a result of this decision...

That collateral damage will increase is a certainty. When the cops - who train regularly - miss their target in real-life situations more than 80% of the time... How much worse must it be for the average Joe or Jane who doesn't target practice regularly or at all.

But hey... don't worry about the innocents. You've got yours.


Chuck Butcher said...

I'm pretty unsure of your scenario, Kevin. Where are these shootouts Joe and Jane are engaging in occuring? In their home? If that's the case I don't quite get how that is supposed to happen.

If it is the street, why isn't this already going on? CCW has been around for years. Cops try very hard to avoid getting into close range gunfights, most cop shootings happen at a distance and in the setting of law enforcement. Essentially they are looking for trouble and finding it.

With all those cop misses why aren't there piles of bodies? They do one heck of a lot more shooting at people than citizens do. CCWs understand that they are responsible for innocents, financially as well as ethically. That is a bit different from drive by shootings.