Gun control advocates insist that domestic abusers and suspected domestic abusers should be disarmed. That’s just common sense! Exploiting voter empathy for abused women, the antis have been successful in this particular effort to equate disarmament with public safety. In fact, one does not lead to the other. To wit this story from sfgate.com:

According to a police report, officers responded to the 15th Street home and discovered the weapons on June 5, after receiving a call from the mother of [Thomas] Ragsdale’s son. The officers reported finding three rifles — including an AK-47 — as well as a shotgun, five handguns, 46 ammunition magazines and nearly 28,000 rounds of ammunition.

The woman who contacted police said she had grown concerned about statements Ragsdale was making about people plotting to kill him and his son. When officers questioned Ragsdale about the threats, records show, he said he heard voices through his bedroom wall, and believed they belonged to his neighbor’s “gang member friends.”

Ragsdale’s son’s mother, meanwhile, said Ragsdale’s family had a history of mental illness, and that she was worried he was suffering from paranoid delusions. Ragsdale’s son and Alfaro had echoed the concerns, saying they believed he was hearing voices in his head, police said.

The officers placed Ragsdale on an involuntary psychiatric hold, judging that he was a danger to himself or others, and seized his weapons as prescribed by state law.

The sfgate.com story details some back-and-forth between Mr. Ragsdale and the police regarding his “high capacity” magazines and whether or not his AK was “grandfathered-in” before California’s “assault weapons” ban.

More importantly, we also learn that police were “unable to locate six other firearms registered to Ragsdale.” And then there’s this:

The cache seized in June was still in police custody when authorities said Ragsdale shot [and killed] Mrs. Alfaro. He allegedly barricaded himself inside the home at 15th and Beaver streets before shooting himself in the chest and then stumbling into police custody.

So gun confiscation didn’t stop Mr. Ragsdale from murdering his mother with a firearm. Why would it? How could it? After you’ve pondered that, consider this: “Police did not provide details about the alleged murder weapon.”

Did Mr. Ragsdale use a gun the po-po failed to confiscate? Did he use a gun they returned to him? As two-time failed presidential candidate once remarked, at this point, what difference does it make? Gun confiscation doesn’t prevent crime. Period.

24 Responses to Gun Confiscation Doesn’t Prevent Murder

  1. Well the involuntary psychiatric hold did not work either.
    As for the statement “Gun confiscation doesn’t prevent crime. Period.” is like saying laws against drink driving don’t prevent deaths as people are still killed by drunk drivers so why have a law.
    I know, if someone is determined to murder someone, they can do it regardless. The thing is to make it as hard as possible and as costly as possible to commit murder. That has a tendency to reduce it quite a bit.

    • binder,

      Anything that could reduce murder is fine as long as it doesn’t interfere with our rights or insult our inherent human dignity.

      If police could strip-search on-demand anyone and everyone for any reason or no reason, that would definitely remove some criminals from society and thus reduce murder. Nevertheless we will not allow that because it interferes with our right to travel freely and it is degrading.

      Will some tipsters and police have noble intentions and work together to disarm someone and prevent a murder? Sure. Likewise, some “tipsters” and police will act with malice to disarm/imprison innocent people and interfere with their rights. Therefore, we cannot simply give accusers the benefit-of-the-doubt and disarm/imprison people.

    • While the government makes it very costly to commit murder it is making it costly for me to defend my self or stop a tyrannical government seizing control. Freedom is our right but we better ready to fight to keep it

    • I agree with all three posters here. I think the article is glib at best, disingenuous at worst. While it’s hard to prove a negative, I have zero doubt that there are gun confiscations that have prevented murders.

      …but banning cars would also prevent car accidents. Doesn’t mean I want to ban cars.

    • There is no place in the Constitution, or the amendments thereto, that states: “…the right of the people to drive, shall not be infringed.”

      It is entirely appropriate for agents of the government to apprehend someone who is posing an obvious danger to others, as is the case with persons who are “hearing voices through the walls” (or driving while drunk) and other such obvious dangerous behaviors. These people need to be evaluated in a secure environment and their access to arms of any sort restricted until the situation can be evaluated. But while under detention and observation ANY arms they own are no threat to anyone, are they? What is the purpose then of confiscation? And once the person is released from detention/observation it would seem that the government has determined they are no longer or possibly never were an actual threat, so under what pretended authority do they deny him/her their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms? He is either a continuing threat, which needs to be legally addressed for the safety of the community, or he is not, which means his Constitutionally protected rights may not be infringed.

      The Second Amendment is plain on this point; if you feel threatened you have the absolute right to take up arms to defend yourself, your family, your neighbors, your community and your country. You do NOT have the right to call for government agents, ARMED government agents, to deny those rights to others on your behalf, UNLESS THEY POSE A DEFINITE AND IMMINENT THREAT. And while you wait for those agents to arrive, on their own schedule and on their own terms, your personal safety is your own responsibility.

      When the danger is from a person in your own family group, possibly a blood relative, it can be emotionally difficult to contemplate, much less accomplish, shooting them in self-defense, however…

      “When the need arises–and it does–you must be able to shoot your own dog. Don’t farm it out–that doesn’t make it nicer, it makes it worse.” – Robert A. Heinlein, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”

      This is what the Second Amendment was intended for, the ability to “shoot your own dog”, not the right to pull his teeth.

  2. Dealing with dangerous people who have not yet crossed the legal threshold to be locked up or committed, and doing so without trampling the rights of basically everyone else, is a darn tough nut to crack.

    • “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” That’s not really likely, nor is it possible for the head-shrinkers to do it, either. What goes on in somebody else’s mind had always been a mystery – and always will be.

    • This is the problem with gun control, and always will be. Whatever benefits it may have (and I concede that there are some), it ALWAYS comes at the expense of treating innocent people like criminals and placing undue burdens on the law-abiding.

  3. If a person is determined — truly determined — to murder a spouse or family member, they are almost guaranteed to succeed whether or not they have a firearm.

    Success is as simple as casually approaching the victim with a backpack/satchel/purse/toolbox, inquiring about the weather, then nonchalantly pulling out a hammer and bashing the victim in the head when he/she turns around for something.

    • Unfortunately, it is all too often easier than that: this was a case of domestic violence, one family member killing another. Most normal folks would be understandably reluctant to use deadly force against an aggressive relative and would be equally reluctant to flee their own home… it’s hard wired into our tribal nature. No easy solution to this one. When a family member is dangerously unstable, the only ones who can effectively deal with it are the people who don’t have to live with the consequences of fixing the problem. Damn tough call…

    • True. But there is a significant set of people for whom killing with a firearm is much easier than bashing someone’s head in, for various reasons. Physical capability is one, but so is the psychological ease of pulling a trigger instead of bashing someone, stabbing them, or strangling. There’s a reason that one scene in Saving Private Ryan is so rough.

      • For those who find pulling a trigger easier than bashing in someone’s head with a hammer (I’m with that group, myself), getting a gun is relatively easy. At least in most states. Go to a gun show, buy a gun from a private seller. While many will at least ask to see a DL, not all do that.
        I’m not recommending this, by any means. But if a several-time convicted felon can buy a gun, it really can’t be all that hard.

  4. At the risk of a severe flaming, what are the options in a case like this? Do nothing? Hope for the best? Take the guns, and leave the guy at home to think about things? Do a temporary mental-health hold on him, leave the guns at home, and hope that the ‘Mental Health Professionals’ are right for a change when they let him out as cured, completely cured, and ABsoLUTEly cleared, as they are going to do eventually?
    The cops are always, apparently, damned if they DO, and damned if they DON’T do something exactly right. The law in most jurisdictions empowers cops to take mentally-ill-and-dangerous people into custody and get them before a ‘mental health professional”/sarc ASAP, and a judge within 24 to 48 hours. In Alaska, it’s Title 47 (AS47.30.700). They also MUST take the guns.
    Now, they don’t take the toilet plungers, sharp knives, chainsaws, aspirin tablets, sharp spoons, ping-pong balls, pointy sticks, or other sundry articles about the house (although ANY of those things could be lethal) because there is neither time or storage space to take ever’ blessed thing that someone could use as a lethal weapon.
    So, the ‘mental health professionals” (it’s hard not to laugh at those three words) let the guy out. Obviously, he was cured, completely cured, and ABsoLUTEly cured or else they wouldn’t have DONE that, right? And he found another gun–with which, as his mother hadn’t moved away and left no forwarding address, believing that her maniac son was cured, completely cured and ABsoLUTEly cured because ‘they’ told her that he was, he used when she let him back into the house (and ended up daid).
    Now, hear me out: In MOST cases, taking guns slows things down. Not every looney is adroit at finding MORE guns, and the only-moderately-looney won’t bother trying. The REALLY looney may be just TOO looney to figure out how to go about it.
    THIS particular looney was one of the exceptions. A smart, dedicated, determined looney is a nasty thing to deal with.
    Most of them are Liberals.
    The lesson? Some looneys are especially smart. Some looneys are NOT curable, and must be locked away forever or just executed mercifully. NO ‘mental health professional’ is capable of curing a real, bona fide, died-in-the-wool looney. ALL ”mental health professionals’ claim that they can ‘cure’ or at least ‘help’ the seriously looney.
    They are ALL lying.

    • John in AK,

      See my comment above that explains why we must not disarm and imprison someone based on accusations. (That is exactly what police do right now and it is reprehensible.)

      The unfortunate reality is that people and life are unpredictable. THAT is the quintessential reason to be armed at home and in public.

      And before anyone claims that it is better to err on the side of caution and continue to direct police to disarm and imprison someone based on nothing more than unfounded accusations, please tell me why that is okay if the person is wearing a police uniform and why it is a crime if the person is wearing gang colors?

    • John in AK,

      Your concerns with “mental health professionals” are well-founded. That is why we should not accuse and try someone until they actually attack someone.

      • In an attempt to be fair…
        If someone makes a credible threat against someone else, shouldn’t the one making the threat be somehow deterred from carrying out the threat? And, no, a law against the act the threat precedes isn’t a deterrent. Laws define acts, they don’t stop them.

        • The way to deal with that “credible threat”, IMHO the only way, is a restraining order commanding the person to stay away, followed by shooting him to death the first time he’s close enough. If I read the blurb correctly, the person he killed was his mother. That sure makes it tough, but the answer is still the same, she should have shot him on sight. No innocent/uninvolved person affected, no rights violated, no one imprisoned without cause or trial.

    • Release from an involuntary mental health hold does not require that a person be “cured,” only that that person is not an immediate threat of harm to himself or others. In California, this lasts no more than 72 hours, and is for the purpose of assessment, not necessarily treatment. A court proceeding is required to extend the hold involuntarily beyond 72 hours, although many (suicidal) patients agree to a voluntary commitment (which preserves their firearms rights). Many schizophrenics believe that they can control their hallucinations without drugs. The drugs have nasty side effects, and since patients are feeling otherwise normal, they stop taking them, and the circle starts anew.

    • For the same reason I would not ask a man who had been married 6 times about affairs of the heart, I don’t deal with someone with a certificate certifying he is sane.

  5. just like Sandy Hook if someone kills their own mother why are we acting like they are the poster child for the general population????

  6. There’s only one thing to do with such a crazy bastard — elect him to the Senate where he’ll fit right in.

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