Ned Barnett (courtesy newsobserver.com)

“The growing number of law-abiding Americans who feel compelled to arm themselves is feeding the flow to criminals. Perhaps the phrase should be revised: If guns are outlawed, outlaws would have a harder time finding and affording guns.” – Ned Barnett, Legal guns fuel criminal gunfire [via newsobserver.com]

86 Responses to Quote of the Day: Gun Control Argument, Plan B

  1. And all of those law-abiding Americans will become criminals at the stroke of a pen.
    It’d be funny if that wasn’t the plan all along.

  2. Criminals buy guns from law abiding citizens? Damn. I always thought they stole them or bought them from the black market or got them from friends/family.

  3. Dear Ned: It’s worse now because more people are arming themselves?

    There are 310 million guns in America. You idiot.

    • And, in addition, lookit that: Crime has been on a downswing for 20+ years.

      While correlation does not *equal* causation, you can indeed *use* correlation. The correlation between ever increasing numbers of legally owned guns and decreasing crime is a great argument that legal gun ownership has nothing to do with the crime problem and furthermore may actively work against the crime problem.

      The antithesis, sadly for the grabbers, is ruled out by this correlation.

      They wanna talk stats? Let’s talk stats.

  4. Yes, if guns were outlawed, criminals would have a harder time getting guns. Meanwhile, law-abiding people would be absolutely prevented from having guns, because that’s what it means to say something is outlawed. That’s obviously a losing proposition, and why “trickle down gun control” is such a stupid idea.

    • Because look what a hard time they have getting cocaine, meth, and heroin once they can’t just steal it from the medicine cabinets of you and me.

      • “. . . if guns were outlawed, criminals would have a harder time getting guns.”
        Yes, in theory. Any barrier to commerce will raise the price to purchase. But, by how much?

        And, therein lies the answer to the gun-controller’s proposition. This is an empirical question which – at some cost – could be answered. The NRA could engage researchers in various countries to find black-market prices at which guns are offered for sale. Get enough quotes and the anomalies in pricing should fall-out.

        Compare the quotes in each market vs. the quotes on – say – GunBroker.com. Each black-market quote will have some premium/discount vs. the standard free-market mean. Anomalous prices would have anomalous premiums/discounts. In each market we would see a cluster of percent-of-standard price premiums/discounts.

        OK, so, if various gun-controlling countries’ regimes result in a 10% or 20% price premium, then what does that tell us. Yes, in theory, trickle-down gun-control raises prices. Now, is the voter convinced that the price premium is enough to reduce black-market demand?

        The fact of the matter is that modern machining techniques have reduced the cost of manufacture of an adequate gun to very low levels. (Quality still commands a handsome premium; but it’s not a necessity for a working tool that is seldom discharged). Even if the black-market premium could be coerced to 50% – 100% – 200% it would not push black-market prices out of the range of criminals who can net such an amount from one robbery/burglary.

  5. This is what some anti’s I’ve encountered actually believe. They think after dropping $500 or more on a new firearm, we’re just cruising the street trying to find our neighborhood arms dealer. After that, I think I’m going to go 3D print my nuclear weapon.

    • You’re right. Virtually EVERY day, there’s a police chase in Houston of a stolen vehicle. Typically there’s a crash, occasionally there’s injury or death to a bystander. If only those law abiding car owners would just take the bus, all of it could be prevented. Please.

      These antis….sheesh. I expect partisan, but must they deliver delusion?

      • Um…. Have you been living under a rock? The anti freedom crowd would love it if you couldn’t afford a new car and had to take the bus.

        Look around you, what do you think this whole “Two Steps – One Sticker” farce requiring proof of emissions and safety inspection in order to register you car now that they launched here in Texas is all about? Oh right they are trying to make it easier for everyone wooohoooo… Or maybe they are doing what happened in Cali a decade ago where it is now almost impossible to register and keep registered a car that is over 10 years old. So you are forced to A) break the law B) buy a new car which in case you haven’t noticed is going to cost you close to 30k or more (I couldn’t afford that) C) you take the bus

        • You’re moving into other issues I didn’t really address. The bus thing was what’s known as a toss off line, and not a serious element of the point. The point is one’s legal use of a product can’t be held responsible for someone else’s theft and illegal use of it.

          Nevertheless, I’m ok with the two steps, one sticker approach. It streamlines the process, while making noncompliance more onerous. With one sticker, you’re either good to go, as you should be, or you’re even farther out of compliance for not being registered or inspected (and probably no insurance).

          My wife and I each happen to drive 2016 vehicles in excess of the price range you mentioned. I don’t like our Harris County insurance rates being so high because of so many uninsured/underinsured motorists out there in uninspected vehicles not fit for the road, nor in unregistered vehicles not paying their bridge taxes. So we’re all for cracking down on scofflaws.

          Now, as for emissions standards themselves and Harris being a “non-attainment zone”, that’s federal, not state, and a different issue, as well.

        • Be advised, the emission checks were required as part of inspections several years ago, I don’t think this changes anything there.

        • Larry- yes emissions testing was several years ago, but up until March of this year they couldn’t hold your registration renewal if you didn’t pass.

          Jonathan Houston… I had assumed this but thanks for confirming, your post reads like a good ole bigoted big government loving RINO, yeah my insurance is expensive because of all them damn illegals and scofflaws, mm hmmm you really love you some government overreach just so long as it accomplishes your ideals right? How’s the boot polish taste?

        • Also I hate to burst your bubble, but I think you would be shocked at how many of the accidents that cause your higher insurance rates are actually caused by ignorant bimbos driving around in “expensive” 2016 year model cars while texting, talking, eating, and just being generally clueless, I would be willing to be that they far outnumber accidents caused by illegals driving around in “un-roadworthy” cars.

        • Hmmmm; this is interesting.

          In a traditional “fault” State I could imagine that the insurance companies could:
          – discriminate in my favor by figuring out that I’m an OFWG, presumably a citizen;
          – discriminate against the young male illegal immigrant.
          This has gone away with “no-fault”. I don’t so much pay an insurance premium based on my probability of incurring a liability due to my driving. Instead, I pay an insurance premium based on my probability of being injured by every other driver on the road – including the young male illegal immigrant.

          Likewise, with no-fault, I pay an insurance premium based on the texting patters of young female drivers with a gossip addiction.

          Here is a fantasy exercise for you: Imagine you are at a range. A shooter is manipulating her loaded gun while texting. How long before an RSO shuts her down and bans her from the range?

          Now, what’s the penalty for that same text-er driving a 2-ton car at 70 mph on a 2-lane road while keyboarding or reading a text?

          I’ll consider gun-control just as soon as society takes texting control seriously.

        • Article linked-to is an interesting read.

          Ultimately, I don’t think that the treatment by the legal system is particularly important. If a threat to legal gun-owners develops we will soon hear about it and adapt our storage practices to manage.

          Ultimately, I don’t think that reducing the number of stolen guns is going to have an impact of guns to criminals. If they can’t get them by stealing they will get them by straw-buying; or some other means.

          What I DO think is likely important to the cause of preserving the RKBA is the ATTITUDE we PotG use in our rhetoric. That attitude is apt to have a constructive or destructive effect on voters whose support we need to curry, not drive away.

          Suppose you were reading remarks by a gun-owner who claimed that it was his God-given right, guaranteed by the 2A, to leave his guns lying about anywhere in his home and leaving the doors to his house unlocked. Similarly, it was his right to leave his handgun on the seat of his car when parked with the windows rolled down. Were anyone to come along and steal his guns the entire moral culpability would fall un the thief’s conscience.

          I don’t care to debate the philosophy of such a hypothetical author. Instead, I ask you to consider what the net impact of such remarks would have on the typical voter who is somewhat sympathetic to the Anti’s arguments for gun-control and not entirely convinced by our arguments about “shall not be infringed”. Do we will more votes than we lose? Or, vice-versa.

          Conversely, suppose you are reading the remarks of a gun-owner who says he keeps his guns – while not being used – locked-up or well hidden in his home. He acknowledges that his safe could be broken into if a burglar comes well prepared and has time to work on the safe. Occasionally, he leaves his handgun on the night-stand; but he strives to either carry it or put it in his handgun safe when he doesn’t carry it.

          This guy says he tries to carry his gun on his person whenever out of his home. Sometimes, he is forced to dis-arm before going to a GFZ. He never leaves his gun in his glove compartment; he puts it in his trunk. He is considering installing a gun safe in his trunk that would be difficult – but not impossible – to remove by a prepared thief.

          In any case, he is concerned with his substantial investment in his guns and does the best he can afford to do to protect them from being stolen.

          Consider the impact of such hypothetical remarks on a voter who might be sympathetic to gun control and not completely convinced by “shall not be infringed”. Is he likely to view the PotG as being as responsible as he might imagine they could be? Or, would he consider this author to be a significant source of supply to criminals.

          Isn’t it in our own interests to be concerned with our own rhetoric on such an issue? Do we want to win support or drive support into the arms of the Moms who Demand Action?

        • Tex3000BLK? And yours reads like that of an Angst-ridden, pimply-faced, bratty teen who took an hour out of his busy self-pleasuring schedule finally to crack a book, and just had his skirt blown up by reading Rand’s “Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal.” Now he thinks he has all the answers, while everyone else is still a deaf, dumb and blind fool. Good F’ing grief, man!

          For Christ’s sake: pay your damn taxes, ya dead beat! You get a library fine and the counter clerk’s a Nazi? You drag your aging, rusting, oil-leaking hooptie around the streets that the rest of us paid for, then have the nerve to call us RINOs, saps, slaves, suckers, or whatever, when we ask your cheap butt to chip in? Oh that’s rich! Disenchantment is not disenfranchisement. Civilization is not capitulation. Your bloviating and bellyaching doesn’t make them so.

          And quit playing phony revolutionary and keyboard commando online. You know you don’t even have the stones to send back an undercooked steak, let alone resist real live, life-taking totalitarians. So give the hyperbole, the tough talk and the tired insults a rest, will you? You’re basic.

        • Tex? “Bimbos?” Sounds misogynistic on your part. “Expensive?” Why the doubtful quotes? YOU’RE the one who said you couldn’t afford it. So you’re the one suggesting $30K+ is expensive.

          I can’t argue against your distracted driving point, though. The leading causes of auto accidents are: distracted driving (including texting), drunk driving, driver fatigue, speeding, aggressive driving, and weather. Actual mechanical failures, of a type that would be flagged during a routine vehicle inspection, causing accidents are fairly uncommon.

          That doesn’t imply such causes are fanciful, though. Headlights, brake lights, windshield wipers, and well treaded tires, for example, are very important to safe operation of the vehicle. Rather, such causes are uncommon precisely because such would-be causes are easily detected and violations strictly enforced and rectified.

          If one is so careless and detached from both the present and the future as not to keep the vehicle maintained, then he’s careless as well in ways that will injure me. Best that they’re kept off the road.

          And, no, it isn’t “pre-crime”, either. I’m not advocating ticketing someone for speeding if their inspection is expired, just that they’re ticketed for the expiration or denied a sticker if it can’t pass. That this (in all likelihood) uninsured, speeding, drinking, distracted driver is kept off the road for lack of registration and inspection, well, that’s just a nice plus.

  6. The writer goes on to say…
    “That may be one reason St. Louis homicides are on pace to hit a 20-year high.”
    Really? That’s quite the stretch.

  7. … yeah… but… my grandma won’t be able to afford one either. While it’s disputable whether or not my grandma has a small penis and needs a big gun to feel better about herself, she is in fact quite the ammosexual, I don’t think it’s disputable that she stands any chance against the 16-30 year old males who frequently burgle houses.

    Just a reminder:

    3,713,000 home burglaries per year
    266,500 of them turn violent
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf

    Violent victimization of people in their homes is pretty common and these guys want to make sure that there are at least 266,500 defenseless people each year.

  8. The end game is to mop-up the entire legal civilian inventory. Short of reaching that goal, the only thing that the Antis can hope to achieve is something like Japan where only a very few very determined gun owners will jump through all the barriers to own the last thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of legal guns.

    To counter this argument we need to make it clear to the voters that reducing the inventory to a few hundreds of thousands of legal guns is impossible in American culture. We will not comply; and, the resulting civil war will cost far more lives than are lost to the violence complained about.

    Yet, let’s imagine that the PotG are so law-abiding that we will be led to the gun-confiscation program like sheep. Even under such an unrealistic assumption, the supply of guns to criminals won’t be seriously constrained. Guns will continue to be:

    – stolen from military and police arsenals as well as from individual officers;
    – smuggled from other countries just as drugs and illegal immigrants are smuggled;
    – manufactured in clandestine factories.

    If the criminal class is made up of 1% or 2% of the population, then only 1% or 2% of today’s gun inventory could keep the criminals fully armed.

    Not all criminals arm themselves with guns. So, e.g., if only 1/2 arm with guns then we can assume that only 1/2 prefer to use guns. Therefore, if 2% of the population are criminals then 1% of the existing inventory will satisfy criminal demand. So small a quantity that it will easily be supplied by thefts from government, smuggling and illegal manufacture.

    The genie was out-of-the-bottle when the formula for gunpowder was finally public information. There is no way to force it back in-the-bottle.

    Diddling around the edges of the existing civilian inventory isn’t going to change anything. E.g., reducing the current inventory by 10% would leave: (360 million * .9 = ) 324 million; more than 100 times the supply needed to accommodate 1/2 of 2% of the population we might presume to be criminals.

    Simple arithmetic reveals that the Anti’s mission to reduce the civilian gun supply is futile. Indeed, no attempt to diddle with the supply of guns could possibly have any impact on criminal access. Point-of-sale controls are futile. Only reducing criminal demand for guns has any prayer of working; e.g., reducing from 1/2 to 1/4 the portion of the criminal population willing to risk a charge of felon-in-posession.

      • I don’t understand your question.

        Our fundamental problem is how to explain to un-informed and un-interested voters why it is that the vast array of “common sense” gun control provisions won’t get our society to the point that the Anti’s imagine. They won’t get our society toward that objective by the first few increments; nor would they succeed if carried out to the intended goal of zero/near-zero/or modest inventories of arms in the hands of the most trustworthy denizens of the state.

        I.e., you can’t get there from here.

        The argument for BCs is superficially appealing. If only we could stop – or even slow-down – the flow of guns to criminals at the point-of-sale then they couldn’t get any/many. What could be clearer? What is more common sense?

        If we lived in a culture such as that of an Islamic country then we could control the sale of alcohol so tightly that minors could not get alcohol.

        If we lived in a culture such as that of Singapore where the sale of chewing gum is outlawed, then we could control the supply of gum to the youth that discard it on the streets.

        We don’t; our culture is different. Here, the prohibition of anything will not work. Alcohol didn’t work. Pot didn’t work. Smuggling and making guns is no harder than that same effort for either alcohol or pot.

        But we HAVE to DO SOMETHING!!! Yes, we do need to address that; else the vacuum of (SOMETHING) will be filled by the Anti’s. We need to emphasize that the criminal justice system is rationing prison cells to crimes it considers more important than felon-in-posession.

        If the criminal justice system is rationing in accordance with societal preferences – a reasonable presupposition in a republic with democratic suffrage – then there are not enough cells to go around. Some crimes get squeezed-out. Now, it’s felon-in-posession and straw-buying. These crimes are prosecuted lightly and hardly-at-all, respectively. More gun controls on point-of-sale are not going to be prosecuted either; unless it is selective prosecution for political purposes.

        These are the ideas that the voters might be made to understand.

        • “If we lived in a culture such as that of Singapore where the sale of chewing gum is outlawed, then we could control the supply of gum to the youth that discard it on the streets.”

          FYI, chewing gum is legal to sell in Singapore again, by prescription from a Dentist-Doctor.

          But you damn sure better not spit it out and make a mess someone could step in…

          “How To Travel In Singapore Without Getting Caned”

          http://www.businessinsider.com/singapore-rules-laws-etiquette-gum-drugs-2012-2?op=1

        • I didn’t know that. Last time I was in Singapore was in December 2014. Didn’t see any gum for sale.
          I stand corrected.

    • Only thing you forgot, is that if law abiding citizens turn in their firearms, there are plenty of police who would sell those guns to criminals, they will be supplied well for 100 years.

      • Yes, that is true.

        Imagine the scenes we have from Australia’s buy-up. Hundreds of millions of guns all destined for the cutting torch. Imagine the cost of inventory control from the point of collection (e.g. police stations) through the points of consolidation and then on to the points of destruction. At each point clerks would have to account for each make+model+serial if there were any realistic attempt made to detect points of leakage.

        Now, of course, eventually many of those guns would turn-up at crime scenes with their make+model+serial intact. There would be no reason to obliterate the serial numbers because possession of any gun by an unlicensed person would be a severe crime; no need to work-out whether the possessor were a burger as well. At that juncture, we would be looking for a pattern of serial numbers that passed through a particular point; e.g.:
        – a police station
        – a common carrier
        – a destruction facility
        If there were to be any serious attempt at tracking down the officer/driver/welder who was pilfering and selling guns the ATF would need to have serial-number details on the crime guns that would be traceable to collection journals, manifests and destruction journals.

        There is considerable suspicion that US guns are being exported under proper licenses to the Mexican military and police; whereupon, many of these guns disappear. The senior officers involved are presumed to be in-on-the-take; therefore, they will ensure that the record-keeping is insufficient to pin-point the individual employees who failed to follow the proper inventory procedures that allowed the guns to leak.

        E.g., periodically a governmental seat – say that of a governor or municipal president – changes hands from the PRI to the PAN party, or vice versa. Thereupon, the police department is “cleaned up” of all the corrupt officials from the previous regime. Well, Corporal Juan in charge of the armory is going to be fired anyway. As will his sergeant and lieutenant. Why not make the best of things and get some money for supplying a third of the new guns purchased by the department from the US? Or, better still, why not sell off 3/4 of the obsolete revolvers turned-in by street cops in exchange for the new departmental standard. Nobody will be especially concerned about tracing the disposition of the obsolete guns.

        The fact of the matter is that the supply of just about anything is a porous sieve. Try as we might to strangle one hole, the other holes will make-up the difference. The only reason there is little evidence of home-made guns or guns stolen from government sources in the US is because the regulated/un-regulated/black markets provide a cheap supply. Choke-off these sources and the price will soar from, e.g., $200 to $300; still well within the price range of a common criminal.

    • MarkPA,

      That is a really, REALLY compelling point. Even if some law/s somehow led to a 99% reduction in the number of firearms, that would still leave well over 3 million firearms in circulation in public. That is more than enough to supply violent criminals who want to use firearms in their crimes. Only a small trickle of additional firearms would be needed any give year to replace lost, worn out, and confiscated “stock”.

      And I would argue that well under 1% of the people are violent criminals who use firearms as a critical tool of the trade. I imagine it is closer to 0.1%.

      • What the percentage of the population is that is criminal; the portion who use guns; the portion who are philosophically open to using guns are all quite difficult to nail down. Moreover, these figures are not stable. Even if we suppose that the total number of criminals is 2% today it might be 4% in a few years and 40% under really onerous social circumstances some day in the future. Even if only 1/2 of the criminals are using guns today, that fraction could rise or fall depending upon enforcement policies and the balance-of-power between criminal and victim.

        Many criminals today may feel they are safer with a knife, blunt-object or strong-arm. A victim with a gun would be less likely to shoot him. However, if a criminal could be sure his victim couldn’t shoot back and could be confident he wouldn’t be stopped-and-frisked, he might prefer to use a gun to secure a decisive advantage over his victim.

        We PotG think about all these variables; and, whichever way we twist the Rubik’s cube, we arrive at the same conclusion. It’s going to be really tough to use gun-control to keep guns out of the hands of criminals in a society such as the one we find ourselves in (i.e., 21st century America).

        We might become a society like that of Japan; or, like that of Singapore. We could just as easily become a society like that of Afghanistan or Switzerland. Yet, none of these options is open to us. We can’t get to any of those other cultures from the culture we have now.

        We would be much better off looking into the research of Roth (American Homicide) and LeFree (Losing Legitimacy: Street Crime . . . ) to learn what social variables really do seem to correlate with swings in homicide and other violent crime. The path from the society we have now to one that is less violent might be much shorter.

    • Interesting thing about Japan, is that just like criminals everywhere, the Yakuza (and the rest) are well-armed.

      They almost never use guns though, as it would rain down a world of trouble. It’s part of the ‘truce’ with the cops – they are allowed to function, running all the vice necessary for a civilized society. Part of that compact is that gun use is verboten. They allow the guns, but if anybody actually gets shot, that body better disappear. Some corpse shows up with a bullet hole, there will be a thousand cops crashing every Yakuza enterprise in the district.

  9. Allow me to fix that for you, sir.

    “If guns are outlawed, outlaws could have a harder time finding and affording guns, but law abiding citizens would definitely not be able to buy them.” Are you really okay with enforcing victimhood on the masses?

    I really need to try and put together an essay on the democratization of violence and the good it has wrought.

  10. Ah super simplistic thinking. Would we expect anything less?

    If we just gave everyone $1 Billion dollars, no one would be poor.
    If you just give the mugger what he wants he’ll leave you alone.
    If we dismantled all our nuclear weapons, others would stop pursuing development of their own like Iran.

    The triumph of feelings over reason. This guy is Idiocracy in real life.

  11. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    “the more tube socks you buy, the more expensive pork gets.”

    see? i can make up bullshit nonsense, too.

    • LMAO! I think you just wrote a phd in economics. But don’t dismiss his logic. If you apply it to freedom of the press then we only have one state run press so we don’t have to listen to as many opinions. And religion – there is a lot of them! At best only one has hit the bullseye. Let’s have a group of people we don’t know pick the one that is right. Yeah let’s all do what this guy thinks.

    • Curiously, I recently visited some relatives in Mexico. The householder decorated his den with a dozen animal-head trophies and a half-dozen rifles. Among them was an M1 carbine; strictly prohibited as an enumerated model reserved for the military. The possibility that any of these rifles was registered never crossed my mind.

      This is what is characterized as strict gun control south of the border.

  12. Ned stated in the actual opinion piece that last year over 19,000 pistol purchase permits were issued in Wake County, down from 28,000 the year before. These large numbers are in one of the most liberal counties in the state. Obviously not all those permits were used, but this excludes CCW permits, no permit is needed to purchase a long gun in NC, and the permits are only needed for purchase, not possession. Meanwhile on the same web page was a link to video of the Moms Demand “rally” in Raleigh. There were maybe 19 people. So pistol purchase permits beat MDA by a 1,000 to 1 margin. Assuming that the MDA supporters represent the state while the PPP numbers are from one county with approximately 10% of the state’s population, PPP’s beat MDA 10,000 to one. It is sickening that MDA gets any video air play at all, and underscores how out of touch the mainstream media really is on the gun ownership issue.

    • Your discussion brought to mind our (PotG) failure to bypass the MSM and get-the-word-out.

      When we go hunting we are in rural wooded areas where we are hardly visible to the general public.
      When we go to the range we are in secluded areas where we are hardly visible to the general public.
      When we carry concealed we are incognito as representatives of the sacred institution of the militia.

      We need some means of bypassing the MSM. E.g., suppose we all strive to ware 2A-supportive t-shirts. So about 45% of the families in America are gun-owners. If just 1/10 of the members of these households regularly wore a 2A-t-short then most folks would encounter an “impression” on most trips to the public square.

      The “fashion-/political-statement” might catch-on with teenagers who might choose such t-shirts notwithstanding that they are not yet old-enough to bear arms unsupervised. The more such t-shirts irritate adult hoplophobes the more likely the fashion is likely to catch on.

  13. ‘…gun thefts from cars is a perverse effect of so many venues banning guns. If gun owners could carry their handguns into more settings, he argues, they wouldn’t have to leave them in their cars.’

    He seemed to be trying awfully hard to argue against civilian gun ownership but only succeeded in making a great argument for getting rid of ‘gun free zones’.

  14. Do our schools teach anyone to think any more? What does this idiot think would happen if guns were illegal? Has he heard of Prohibition? Or the War on Drugs?

    Can you imagine how happy organized crime would be if guns were illegal in America? The market for smuggled guns would take off like a Saturn V rocket to the moon. We’d be talking guaranteed full employment for criminals for the foreseeable future.

    • I doubt that. What I sure would NOT do is turn in my guns and then go out to buy new ones illegally. I don’t think anyone else would, either. Newly introduced (somewhere) and significantly improved guns, smuggled in? There would be some small demand, but I don’t think it would be real significant. Ammo smuggling, for delivery on streetcorners without taxation? That might be a player, but not guns. I choose to believe that such a law would be almost completely ignored, by gunowners, criminals, and cops.

      • The outcome would depend a great deal on circumstances.

        In those States where there is no requirement for non-dealers to do any paperwork on sales or gifts, gun owners would be relatively free to claim that they had sold most of their guns to private parties over the years. Sorry, didn’t make any records of the sale; I think the guy said his name was Jamal; doubtlessly he was a good-o’l-boy.

        Conversely, some States have laws requiring paperwork on some or all gun transfers by non-dealers.

        In any case, plausible denial isn’t especially practical for purchases from dealers in recent months.

        One possibility I think you overlooked is “laundering” one’s inventory. Suppose you and were neighbors in a State where there was no paperwork requirements. The ATF would have access to the 4473 archives of all the FFLs in our vicinity. When the confiscators came around we would tell them (possibly signing statements) that we had each sold each of the guns they asked us about. Now, we are in acute difficulty should (for whatever reason) we be encountered with one of these guns that we said we had sold.

        Our solution is obvious. As this regime is being put in place we get together and identify our respective inventories that are of equivalent value. We swap guns. Now, when asked, we can testify that we had sold these guns; and, that testimony would be truthful. We would not be vulnerable to a charge of having made a false statement because guns – having 4473 forms matching serial numbers to our respective names – would never be found in our possession.

        We would still be vulnerable to being caught with guns that we were supposed to have turned-in; but, until we were caught “law-abiding-citizen-in-posession” we would still be armed.

        Whether one or another method of circumventing gun controls or confiscation is viable or not, the point we PotG should be conscious of is the rhetoric. We have to convince voters that there are so many ways around gun-control at point-of-sale or gun-control by confiscation that the whole exercise is futile.

        The only gun-control that has any chance of success is enforcing felon-in-posession to the level that criminals become wary of carrying guns or keeping them in their homes. And it is this that the criminal justice system won’t do because they have bigger crimes to prosecute and the prisons are filled.

  15. Well, as we keep seeing in Australia, guns keeps get confiscated from criminals, and the criminals keep getting (or in some cases, making) more.

  16. I remember that anonymous gangster they interviewed in that episode of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit saying he’d prefer if people were disarmed.

  17. If cars are outlawed, drunk drivers would have a harder time finding and affording cars.

    If drugs are outlawed, druggies would have a harder time finding and affording drugs (well, we’ve tried that one and seen the multi-billion dollar illegal drug empire that one caused…)

    If cats are outlawed, crazy cat ladies would have a harder time finding and affording cats (sry, had to go there, heh)

  18. So this guy thinks its preferable that only some criminals have guns because no law-abiders have guns, rather than some criminals have guns because most law-abiders have guns? Notice, only half the equation changes.

  19. “Perhaps the phrase should be revised: If guns are outlawed, outlaws would have a harder time finding and affording guns.” – Ned Barnett

    What is Mr. Barnett’s evidence that outlaws would have a harder time finding and affording guns if they were outlawed?

    Regardless, let us apply the same argument to digital cameras and child pornography. All pedophiles use digital cameras to create child pornography. Therefore we must outlaw digital cameras because pedophiles would have a harder time finding and affording digital cameras and making child porn. In fact many rapists like to use digital cameras to capture images of their heinous crimes as well. Outlawing digital cameras would make their efforts more difficult and expensive as well.

    • Excellent argument.

      Strict licensure would just about wipe-out child porn.

      OK, now, try to implement that plan! It would be far more difficult to make digital cameras in clandestine factories than revolvers.

  20. I guess I’m the only one here that agrees with Barnett. If we ban guns, the criminals will have a harder time getting guns. Isn’t that what he is trying to say and isn’t that an accurate statement?

    • Maybe so, essentially all guns started out as “legally owned”. But so what? Criminals would have a (marginally) harder time getting guns, but the law-abiding would, by definition, not have any guns at all. So the original statement, “if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns” remains just as true. Not to mention that outlaws without guns, but with big beefy arms and knives and ball bats and hunks of lead pipe would have a much easier time preying on the now-disarmed weaker members of society.

      • I agree except for the marginally hard to acquire part. Many countries have demonstrated effective enforcement of gun bans.

        • Absolutely! Now, tease out the intertwined effects of:
          – deterrence effect of really harsh punishment; vs.
          – reduction in recidivism occasioned by capital punishment

          Explain to Mamma that Jr. really needs to go to prison for life without hope of parole to serve as a deterrent; or, how it is that Jr. needs to be hanged by the neck until dead to reduce the recidivism rate.

          Then, ask Mamma to go to the polls: vote early; vote often! For Gun Control; it’s for the children!

      • I tell people “watch a episode of scared straight and look at the criminals in the prison and ask yourself how many of them would need a gun to harm or kill you. Then ask yourself how many of them you could stop without a gun.”

        • I am not disagreeing that guns are effective for self defense. Guns can be very effective. What I am saying is, like what Barnett is saying, if we ban guns, criminals will have a harder access to guns. It’s common sense. Limited supply means limited availability. And that means limited use. Will criminals still possess guns? Yes. But they will have fewer guns and this country will see fewer gun related deaths/crimes. Doesn’t that make sense that a limited supply of guns will lead to a limited use of guns in crime?

        • You don’t get it.

          Reduce the civilian inventory of guns by: 10%; 20%; 50%; 80% even 95%. There will still be plenty of guns to meed criminal demand. What you CAN’T do – in the US – is make any reduction whatsoever in the stock of guns. The more the Anti’s call for gun control the more sales go up. Look at the charts. Obama has done more to increase the civilian inventory of guns than anyone in history; including Messrs. Colt, Smith & Wesson.

          If you want to taper-off the increasing inventory of guns in America you have to stop promoting gun-control. It’s the only avenue open to you.

          As for guns in the hands of criminals, the only viable gun control I recognize is to enforce the felon-in-posession law. That might include consideration of Stop & Frisk; a measure which has few fans among the PotG. However, you have more flexibility. The 4A prohibits “unreasonable” searches; but, there is some latitude introduced by the root word “reasonable”. There is little – if any – latitude to be construed from the root word “infringe”.

          Criminals will still keep arms illegally. However, while on parole or probation, they lose their 4A rights. Therefore, they are subject to unwarranted searches.

          The difficulty with enforcing felon-in-posession is that our prisons are full. Our incarceration rate is at the top of world statistics. There is little tolerance among the Progressives and minorities for building more prisons or lengthening sentences served. Unless-and-until America’s priorities shift prison priorities away from significant classes of other crimes toward incarcerating felon-in-posession, this gun-control measure offers little promise.

          Putting tax-paying OFWGs in prison for violating gun-control laws is a recipe for reducing government revenues and raising a shooting rebellion. Is that what you really want? If so, just say so. Or, explain to me why putting OFWGs in prison for non-violent gun-control crimes isn’t likely to reduce tax revenues or spark a rebellion?

    • Well, he is correct. The real issues are:
      – can he ban guns; and,
      – to what degree will it raise the price.

      Sure, ABSOLUTELY, he can ban guns; or, tighten the licensure of guns until only the very few can own them legally. It absolutely works! Take, e.g., Singapore. Guns are legal and licensed. All you have to do is spend thousands of dollars per year to join the 1 gun club in the country and obtain a license. The rate of gun ownership, both licit and illicit, is 0.5/100 population.

      And how does Singapore maintain this blessed state of gun control? They have strict punishments for illegal possession. 2 guns creates the presumption of trafficking; the penalty for which is hanging. Sure, America can do the same thing! All we have to do is prepare to hang hundreds of thousand criminal gun-keepers; it’s theoretically easy. It’s always the politics that stand in the way of reaching Utopia. Moreover, war is politics by another means; and, political power emirates from the muzzle of a gun.

      Can he ban guns? Game on!

      Now, to whatever extent that he can constrain the available inventory of guns, to what degree will that raise the black-market price to levels that will begin to exceed the budgets of criminals? This is a complex economical problem to solve.

      The price of a gun can’t exceed – by very much – the cost of production. What would it cost to make a Sten gun in your basement? Maybe a couple of hundred dollars. What would it cost to build a high-quality 1911 in a machine shop? Maybe a couple of thousands of dollars. Are these prices far enough outside the range of American criminals’ budgets? This hardly seems a plausible proposition.

      Doubtlessly, 100+ countries will remain open to the legal manufacture and export of guns. Accordingly, there will be supplies from these countries from factories that enjoy the normal economies-of-scale in their production. I.e., wholesale prices will be more or less unchanged. Once these guns are exported to other countries without proper gun controls, these guns enter the smuggling market. Enjoying economies of scale in smuggling, these guns can move into the US black market at distribution costs likely comparable to costs added by licensed distributers and FFLs today. Less cost in paperwork, excise taxes and sales taxes would make for higher gross profit margins for smugglers and traffickers.

      I can’t call odds on what volume might be supplied by smuggling nor on clandestine manufacturing or cottage industry. Nevertheless, if the Antis succeeded in eliminating the legal US civilian inventory then these outlets exemplify the cost of supplying the criminal market. Would prices go up? Perhaps; but not by more than the greater of $100 or 10% of the current black-market cost.

      • I had a friend who was a recovering heroine addict, a long time clean, and a cancer patient. She was prescribed morphine or something similar (opiate/oid) in pull firm for the pain. And she had a bigger hassle filling hey prescription for those legal drugs than she had being illegal drugs as an addict.

        She’s now cancer free.

  21. “If guns were out lawed” … only out laws would have guns … by definition! AND THAT’S THE PROBLEM no matter which way you look at it.

  22. Ned Barnett, pardon the expression, but this guy has got shit for brains. Guns are not the problem! Criminals are the problem!
    Violent crime needs to be addressed more seriously. If your caught in a criminal act with a gun in your possession, 10 years in the slammer! second offense, 15 years in the slammer. Shoot somebody while in the act of committing a crime, 20 years in the slammer! Kill some while in the act, life!
    Use of any weapon in the act, same sentence.
    No plea bargaining. And while your doing the time, no TV, no sports, no fancy hair do’s, everyone’s head is shaved!

    The US needs to get tough on criminal acts of violence! Too many folks a maimed, shot, cut, their lives ruined by punks too lazy to work for a living!

    I have a CCW permit, and in my mind I have absolutely have no doubt that I would not hesitate to shoot a person would would physically harm my family!

  23. AAauuuggghhh.

    There are 100 million more guns in private ownership today compared to 1994. Violent crime and criminal homicide is down by 50% in the same time frame.

    The only thing we’re feeding is the families of those gainfully employed in the firearms and ammunition industry. The rest seems to be working out just fine.

  24. Hey Ned, guess what: Gun owners enjoy having their guns stolen just the same way women enjoy being raped. While we’re at it, let’s tell women to stop providing sex to rapists.

    • That’s pushing it a bit.
      None of us wants our stuff stolen. That said, it’s not free to protect our property.
      I have an alarm system with central-station monitoring.
      I have a gun safe for my handguns. I haven’t gotten around to bolting it to the floor or wall; and, I’m reluctant to do so because I live in a rented house.
      I have an iron chest for my long-guns. It’s hard to find in my basement. I haven’t gotten around to having hasps welded onto it so I could lock it. And, then, I’d have to chain or bolt it down.

      I could do marginally better than I have done. Most of us could do marginally better. What difference would it make?

      In terms of reducing the flow of guns to criminals, not much. Whatever guns are not stolen from those of us to improve our security, criminals would have to pay up to buy guns from FFLs, tip to the girlfriend.

      The impact will be slightly improved PR to the voters who are apt to vote for politicians who want to adopt safe-storage laws. If our rhetoric can switch from cavalier to sincere expression of concern for protecting our valuable property, that might help. We ought to be saying that we are spending as much as makes sense because we don’t want our guns stolen any more than our wives want their jewelry stolen. Moreover, if a criminal commits a crime with a gun we don’t want them to do it with “my” gun.

      Do we care about the impact of our rhetoric? Each of us has to decide for ourselves; our individual decisions will have some impact – for better or for worse – on everyone else’s subjugation to gun control.

  25. Quite a gem here:
    “Long prison sentences for breaking into a car would be expensive and unfair, especially because there’s no serious penalty for someone who leaves their Glock in the glove compartment and it gets into a criminal’s hands.”

    Yep. It isn’t fair to put the burglar in jail because the theft victim isn’t getting punished for having something worth stealing.
    Friggin’ idiot. My head hurts.

  26. Pick a caliber and load up. I think good choices are 223, 270, 308, 762, 12 gauge, 9 and 10 mm, 22, 357 and 44mag. The MOST important thing is hitting your target. In the throat would sever the spinal column coming out of the back of the neck, they would be dead before they hit the ground. mrpresident2016.com

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