The thing is… I’ve just never bought into the Liberal’s argument that more gun control laws mean less crime. First of all, as Liberals rightly argue all the time: CRIME stems from MAN Y factors, but primarily socio-economic ones. It’s about POVERTY, not GUNS. If you’re broke? You’re more likely to commit a crime. And your ability to LEGALLY obtain a handgun, for the purpose of committing a crime, is completely irrelevant. And the very idea that if you outlaw handguns, that only outlaws will have them, seems to be proven by the comments of the people interviewed for the NPR segment most of whom were trying to make an argument against the supreme court’s decision and in favor of upholding the ban. One of the comments, from a Chicago resident (and I’m PP’ing because I can’t find a full transcript) was pretty exemplary of the argument:
“We have shootings every other day; people getting killed in gang violence; we need less guns not more!”Now… that’s sounds all well a good, but think about it: If there’s a gang shooting ‘every other day’ in the city, how effective IS that gun ban? Not very, I’d say. In fact, it seems to me that – just as the conservatives usually argue – all that law has done is kept guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens! It was a later comment in the program that, IMHO, spoke more to the heart of the matter. This was from the neighbor of a burglary victim, (again, PP’d)
“We’re not going to go out and shoot anybody, but the criminals had better think twice about coming into our homes and thinking they can do as they please, because some of us will be armed.”(OK – THAT got a fist-pump from me!)
Now… If you’re a liberal and you can’t see why THIS LIBERAL feels this way, and you need a different perspective on this to better understand my point of view, I see a lot of parallels between gun control and immigration reform.
Fist of all, you’ve got to ask yourself: What is the PURPOSE? If the purpose is to know exactly WHO owns a gun (or WHO is coming into the country) then you need people to voluntarily comply with the registration process (or the immigration process.) If your purpose is to LIMIT gun ownership (or immigration) then complying with the system will NOT give many people what they want. So they simply won’t comply.
If registration and licensing was CHEAP, EASY and generally allowed ANYONE (other than, say, convicts and the mentally ill) to legally own a gun, 99% of the population (far more than do now) would gladly register their guns, comply with the system and you’d know exactly who’s armed and who’s not. And you can now MONITOR THE SITUATION, and police can go in prepared, informed and plan according to the situation they’re facing. Likewise, if our immigration system was quick, easy, cheap and generally let anyone (except, say, terror suspects and drug smugglers) into the country, 99% of the incoming immigrants would be happy to comply, and you could successfully MONITOR THE SITUATION. And in BOTH cases, concerns about security are better served by creating a system that, if people complied with it, GAVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED: Either a legally owned gun, or legal entrance to this country.
But arguments about security – in both cases – are either woefully misguided, or outright bullshit:
Misguided: You can’t physically stop people from coming into the country. And any thoughts that you CAN are absurd. What’s more – the very idea that we even SHOULD is, as I’ve said, counterproductive. Also, you can’t use the LAW to stop people who are already predisposed from BREAKING IT from obtaining a gun. Again: We’ve tried and yet we still have a “gang killing every other day [in Chicago.]
Outright Bullshit: Let’s face it: “security” is just a more pleasant sounding term substituted for what the respective agendas REALLY ARE. Liberals want FEWER GUNS, period. Conservatives want FEWER MEXICANS, period. And THAT’S why neither group is buying into my argument that you need to GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT in order to get them to comply with the law. Because they DON’T WANT TO GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. In both cases, each group has agenda designed to take something away from the very people that they expect to comply with their laws! The incentives are completely backwards, and yet we are so quick to comdemn those who do EXACTLY AS WE SHOULD EXPECT THEM TO!
And in every case, we need to stop trying to force our personal agendas on everyone else and focus on the tangible, security issue. And the only way to have true security is to KNOW what the hell is going on! And the only way to do that is to have a legal system that 99% of the population is HAPPY TO COMPLY WITH. And the only way you’ll have that is if you only ever say, “No,” to the smallest, most narrowly defined group as possible. Because then, those groups that DON’T COMPLY will stand out as the exception instead on mixing into the crowd...
...Well, maybe not ‘mixing into the crowd’ so much as BEING the crowd.
It’s very rare indeed that I’ll side with the Wing-Nuts, but this is once instance in which I truly believe the Right got it RIGHT.
Oh yeah, and ClassicLiberal? Again we see a 5-4 decision with Sotomayor siding with the dissenting Liberal block. I totally get (and share) your beef with Kagan, by why are you so down on Sotomayor?