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The Criminals Will Get Them Anyways

Among other opponents of gun control, Marco Rubio has been in the news stating that additional regulation is counter productive, because criminals will get guns anyways.

What does the evidence tell us?

Chicago, with strict gun control laws and among the nation’s highest rate of gun fatalities, is interpreted by some as evidence that gun control fails. But a Newsweek article points out that New York City has similarly strict gun control laws, and a far lower rate of gun fatalities. The singular difference is that New York is surrounded by states with similarly strict gun control laws, while the states around Illinois have among the most permissive gun sale controls.

It is for this reason that Walter O’Malley says that gun control should be brought under federal regulation. This is the same rationale used for environmental control: when lax state regulation allowed dumping of industrial waste into major rivers, it affected the citizens of other states. When the clean water and air acts were passed, it was because all across the country rivers were toxic (or flammable) and the air was raining down acid. Federal regulation was required to protect the people and ecosystems downstream from polluters.

In failing to respond the evidence that lax gun regulations bring death across borders, what Carlo Rubio is really indicating is his favor for policies that facilitate the acquisition of weapons by criminal gangs that dominate their communities by murdering anyone that stands up to them.

O’Malley is also echoing others who have recommended that the industry be held to strict safety guidelines. For example, gun “enthusiasts” used to put about that many semi-automatic weapons could be converted to full automatic by taping a penny behind the trigger. This is a design defect that could be remedied. Similarly, microstamping would enable police to trace guns from factory to crime scene, and by identifying corrupt sellers to prevent rearming of criminals when they abandon a gun after a crime.

Rather than supporting measures to prevent criminal use of guns, Congress has passed legislation that protects the gun industry from product liability lawsuits, thus shielding them from the need to reduce the threat to police and law-abiding citizens represented by their products.

What astonishes me is that these common-sense measures are interpreted as an leading to the confiscation of guns. I have yet to figure out what it is that drives that concern. Nobody is talking about taking away guns lawfully purchased and managed – what we want to do is reduce the fear that drives people to believe that they need a gun. Rather than walking about the world in suspicion, we want people to focus on caring for one another.

To be without fear is the foremost exhortation in the Bible. Jesus demonstrated the power that comes from a commitment to peace. To be blunt, politicians that facilitate the spread of fear through violence are simply anti-Christ.

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