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If you can’t stop criminals in jail from gaining access to a firearm, what hope is there that gun control will disarm criminals, crazies or terrorists in the wild? None.

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  1. “If you can’t stop criminals in jail from gaining access to a firearm, what hope is there that gun control will disarm criminals, crazies or terrorists in the wild? None.”

    Change a few words around and you get exactly the right argument about the WoD too. Control laws simply don’t work. Laws don’t prevent behavior, they merely assign a punishment for getting caught engaging in that behavior.

    • ah whole harted agree. do away with laws, an’ ya’ do away with criminals. let people sort things out fer thereselves,

        • not sourwhatchamacallit. ifn gun laws don’t work, why would others work? same thaing, ain’t it? cain’t name a law that stops anythin’. jes punish tha ones who get caught. poleese ani’t catchin’ all the law breakers, of enna kind. what good are all them laws?

        • Laws to make harmful behavior illegal are important – its kind of what our society is built on.

          Putting laws ON TOP OF other laws to make something (lets say Murder for example) extra-extra-illegal is just stupid and ineffective.

        • My point here is along the same lines of what Sam I Am is saying.

          Malum prohibitum laws are basically exercises in futility but they have much more caustic effects.

          Look at the WoD. It’s pure grabber logic from the jump. Some people abuse narcotics, let’s make them illegal. Some people misuse guns, let’s make them illegal.

          Same thought process!

          On top of that, most of the people here claim to be big on the Constitution. Well the WoD has basically eviscerated Amendments 4,5,6 and 8. In some states it’s an affront to the 2A as well.

          In a state like Ohio, if you’re even charged with misdemeanor possession of pot you lose your gun rights until the case is over. Pending a trial for a gram of pot and caught with a gun (i.e. you were charged with this)? Felony.

          Ever heard of “Civil Asset Forfeiture”? Basically all they have to do is say “drugs” and bang all your shit belongs to the government. Want it back? Well you have to go to court and if you’re lucky they’ll give you back part of what they took in exchange for you signing an NDA. This applies not just to cash but everything you own that they can “link” to drug use or sale. Just someone selling drugs in the parking lot of your business, when it’s you who called the cops about it, can cost you that business. This isn’t a theory. It’s actually happened to Russell and Patricia Caswell.

          There are other issues as well but I’m not going to get into them because: length.

        • well, now, ya’ got me podner. doan know how i came to be in hungary, but the scenery is right nice, food sometimes good, weather could use some improvin’.

      • We simply need to be more selective in what laws are passed. Laws against acts that actually harm someone (murder, rape, assault, robbery, dumping toxic chemicals into the water supply, etc.) are good to have around. Laws against things that are not inherently harmful (like carrying a gun) are not good to have around.

    • George,

      Read up on the distinction between malum in se and malum prohibitum. The former are laws that are passed to punish crimes that are evil and harmful acts in and of themselves. Murder, rape, theft, battery, etc., are all examples. The latter are to punish behaviors lawmakers would prefer people not engage in. Gun control, drug laws, liquor control laws, etc.

      The crucial difference between the two is in the first case there is a victim, there has been an actual harm, and that harm needs to be redressed. That’s not true in the second case. Before I-594 passed in Washington, a guy could legally sell a gun to his buddy without going to an FFL. After I-594, the same act is now illegal. No one is harmed by Bob selling Joe a gun. People are only harmed if Joe decides to commit violence with the gun, or with some other means, which is already illegal under various malum in se laws.

        • all o’ mah teachers were big on “write like ya’ talk.”

          (oh, yeah. ah did come back here to read all them comments and comebacks.)

      • doan that mean that mos’ traffic laws should be overcome, ‘cuz the ony harm would be ifn someone’s to get hurt or killed? like DUI cases? seems nonsense that someone kin be a crimial fer jes gittin’ drunk and drivin’ home, an’ no one hurt.

        • There’s a case to be made for traffic laws, and also laws against recklessness and negligence. But those, where harm is a very likely outcome of an infraction, and dumb luck is the reason that harm did not ensue, are worlds away from laws such as UBCs, which make ordinary activities that some people might potentially engage in collaterally to committing crimes with actual victims.

          Also, you’re free to do as you want, but the vernacular schtick really is childish.

        • think ah see yer point ’bout the differnce between traffic law an’ the UBC. doan like it much, but ah do git it.

          doan haffa read whacha doan like.

    • This was part of my Post Baccalaureate Study in college. If someone is so predisposed, they will commit a crime, regardless of the consequences. It seems that our society has resorted to punishing the inanimate object through vilification (through hoplophobia) instead of addressing the root causes of said criminal activity. This is how the superstitious societies (of ancient days) conducted their affairs.

      It is truly amazing how far our society has degenerated into blaming an inanimate object for it’s ills.

      Freud was right.

  2. Not sure I really get this. Advertisement for decriminalizing everything? Are we being disingenuous when we say only gun control don’t work, but all the others do? Are we saying that since anti-alcohol, anti-drug, anti-gun laws are ineffective, no laws are effective? Do we want that logic to be publicized as a hallmark of pro-gun thinking?

    I have always agreed bad guys with guns are not impressed with any law, but this article crystallized for me the problem with trying to convince people that there should be no restrictions on gun ownership…just because gun control laws do not deter criminals. What laws do? We always point out that everything people do when committing a crime is the breaking of some law, or the other, so gun control laws are just added to the pile of crimes. Isn’t that true of all our laws? Maybe uselessness of gun control laws is not a winning position for us.

    • True, which is why we need to frame the debate less generally. Instead of referring to all laws, we should focus solely on malum prohibitum laws. Because, when you really break it down, what is law? Law is not a written code of conduct, but rather consequences for certain actions. Because of that, there is inherently not much deterrent for the taking of an action itself, even if there is a punishment. Thus, the portion of law that actually matters (and is actually relevant to the debate) is not the rule itself, but the consequences for breaking said rule. THAT is the important part.

      In other words, punishing someone for an action that is NOT immoral and has no victim (for example, choosing to buy an unregistered SBR or smoking a joint) is completely absurd. It’s true that criminals don’t follow laws. However, we still agree, of course, that things like robbery, murder, sexual assault, etc should carry punishments. Not because the punishments will stop them from happening, but because the perpetrators of those types of crimes deserve to be punished. THAT is how we can frame the debate while still pointing out the futility of gun control. The distinction between malum prohibitum and malum in se laws is CRITICAL.

      • “The distinction between malum prohibitum and malum in se laws is CRITICAL.”

        Agree, but it is also irrelevant outside academia. The laws passed by legislatures and councils ARE the laws. If the representatives of the majority of voters wants to pass laws that punish otherwise un-harmful acts, those laws become part of the body of laws that don’t work – prevent an undesired act. With the poor level of education and high purpose politics, we can never move the argument to high principles, such as you identified. I am trying to come to grips with the blow back of arguing that only gun control laws are useless as deterrent, thus should be removed or overturned. I think the silver bullet of “gun controls are proven to be ineffective” will only result in a return golden BB of, “then you must also agree all laws are ineffective at preventing violations.”

        The issue remains emotional, not logical, factual, or “legal”.

        • No, this is a crucial distinction for how government and society should work generally.

          Just because a government has passed a law doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. It really matters whether there’s an expansive or narrow conception of what should subject to legal restriction. It’s a basic question of whether or not we’re going to be a fundamentally free society or not.

        • “Legitimate” is in the eye of the courts, and the political process. There is no human, infallible high judge who declares this or that. Mankind has only two ways to determine legitimacy: 100% agreement of all adults; some lesser degree of establishing legitimacy (legislatures, courts, monarchs, etc.) If individuals are to determine for themselves that which is legitimate (a value judgement by every person), chaos and anarchy are lurking. If I am successful in having a law passed that you and your friends declare is “illegitimate”, where do you go to press your case (with any hope of having the law nullified)? To a court? A legislature? A monarch?

          A society (tribe, clan, group, club, etc) is a vehicle where people are bonded by certain shared beliefs. Societies are not composed of totally free agents living in loose proximity, with only geography as the “glue” that holds the society together. Discussing ideals is profitable….for those who care to think of and live their lives contemplatively. Our reality is quite different, and we must navigate that which is put before us, until we means to alter current conditions. Even the constitution does not contemplate people living completely independent lives unfettered by consensus (agreement?). Even in the good old days, mountain men were not the norm, and constituted a vast minority of the populace. The only condition that can allow for complete, individual sovereignty is the law of the jungle.

      • I think the difficulty is drawing the line between the two classes of laws. I’ll use the speed limit as an example.
        The distinction between driving 54 vs. 56 MPH in a 55 zone is functionally meaningless. If there is no accident, then there is no malum in se. So, violating the speed limit appears to be merely a malum prohibitum law. (So it seems to me.)
        So, what’s our argument here? If carrying a gun is malum prohibitum; and, we are against all malum prohibitum laws, then we are against the speed limit? And, we want the general public to agree with our reasoning here?
        I’m looking for someone to articulate a good explanation as to why one malum prohibitum is bad while the other is tolerable.

        • I don’t think there’s a great case to be made for speed limits, actually. Like you said, it’s fairly arbitrary.

          I think you could make a case for laws such as reckless driving, which side of the street we drive on, what traffic signals are, how to interpret them, and so on. Those aren’t so much about preemptively stopping people from harming others, and more about figuring out how to all use the roads at the same time.

        • Three main reasons, off the top of my head:

          1) Severity of negative outcomes – if someone hits someone with their car past a certain speed (or hits another car, someone’s house, etc), severe injury/death for multiple people is likely.
          Doing drugs will hurt only yourself (arguably; people can walk into traffic or get violent, though I feel that’s not an accident – it’s on them. If this kind of thing is likely, its the same, to me, as firing a gun into traffic).
          Concealed carrying a gun in the very worst scenario could result in a negligent discharge which could injure or kill one person (maybe more if you carry a heavier caliber and some kind of penetrator rounds).

          2) Likelihood of negative outcomes – if someone travels much faster than the speed limit in a suburban area (blind corners, tight spaces) or near a school (children might run out), there is a somewhat high chance (I have no statistics to back this up, though – maybe I’ll look later) that at some point in that person’s life, they will be involved a severe/fatal car accident.
          Someone who takes drugs has a high chance of getting high, probably not much risk of injuring nor killing anyone. I don’t take drugs and am not fond of those who do, so I can’t be sure on this. I respect everyone’s right to do what they want, though, so long as they leave me alone and don’t infringe on my rights.
          Providing that the concealed carrier is not a moron (Glock in a flimsy holster, poorly maintained gun with worn-down safeties, bad holster in general, etc), there is almost no chance of a negligent discharge.

          3) The constitution does not mention nor imply a right to travel at any desired speed on public roads. Perhaps it would if there had been roads and cars back then, but I find it difficult to believe anyone could see it as a natural right. Driving on roads, sure, I could see that – the same way carrying a gun is fine, but walking around pointing it at everyone with your finger on the trigger is not.

          Malum prohibitum laws can be important. Driving on the right side of the road is enforced through malum prohibitum law; without it, it would be exceedingly dangerous to drive on the road. Hopefully no one thinks all laws that are malum prohibitum should be done away with, solely because they are malum prohibitum. But no one should expect that malum prohibitum laws will be obeyed by those already intent on breaking malum in se laws.

          This is the real crux of my argument: speed limits and right-side-drive laws (for example) attempt to reduce injuries/deaths resulting from otherwise law-abiding people’s behavior (people who are not intent on nor attempting to break malum in se laws). Gun control laws attempt to reduce injuries/deaths resulting from non-law-abiding people who are intent on breaking malum in se laws.

          Motor vehicle-related deaths are still greater than the number of firearm-related deaths. The difference is that motor vehicle-related deaths are almost all accidents, with potential for malum prohibitum to further reduce these accidents (since accidents are caused by people without intent to do harm). Gun-related deaths are almost all caused by intent (whether suicide or homicide – accidental deaths number only in the hundreds each year), hence why (for these cases) people often make the point that people intent on breaking malum in se laws will also ignore malum prohibitum laws.

        • Thanks for your input. Good stuff to ponder.

          I would posit that the likelihood of detection/capture is a consideration, maybe the top consideration. If one believes the odds of detection and capture are nil, the other factors would not be part of the calculus at all. Seem to me that factors one and two are actually likelihood of detection/capture, and likelihood after of application of a severe penalty.

        • ya’ll are jes too far into it fer me. i shudda jes ordered anuther beer and plate of nachos, picked up the remote and switched over to watchin’ maverick and bronco.

        • Malum Prohibitum laws are bad (i.e. useless) for the simple reason that has already been stated – they are victimless crimes.

          You reference speed limits and the functional similarity between driving 54, 55, or 56 in a 55 zone. That is correct, there is no meaningful difference and no meaningful crime, and therefore only a useless law that has almost no effect on a persons daily driving habits. People drive the speed that they are comfortable driving which is why you regularly see people driving in the 70-80 range on the freeways regardless of the arbitrarily codified limit. You will recall that the 55 limit was originally imposed during an oil embargo for fuel efficiency reasons, not for safety, that mantra came later.

          The following article notes an interesting paradox:

          Montana: No Speed Limit Safety Paradox

          “This is an obvious call to action. Something must be done. We need more laws, more money for enforcement and more citations written – Speed Kills!

          Not so fast says a follow up study just completed by National Motorists Association. The study shows the safest period on Montana’s Interstate highways was when there were no daytime speed limits or enforceable speed laws.

          The doubling of fatal accidents occurred after Montana implemented its new safety program; complete with federal funding, artificially low speed limits and full enforcement.”

          People refrain from driving the wrong way on a freeway, not because its against the law, they refuse to drive on the wrong side of the road because they are aware of the likely outcome. Where I live, in a semi-rural community largely comprised of dirt roads, I regularly drive on the wrong side of the road depending on where the ruts are most pronounced, of course, I return to the appropriate side of the road when opposing traffic is coming. Should that be a crime, perhaps it already is.

          Similarly, it has been posited that traumatic head injury in the NFL might be substantially reduced if you took away the helmets, the currently mandated “safety equipment”.

          You see, malum prohibitum laws provide nothing more than the “feelz” and thereby give a false sense of security that encourages foolish and reckless behavior, because what I am doing might be “legal”. This absolves a person from the now not so “common sense” of yesteryear.

          If you do not value the lives and safety of others as well as that of your own, then sooner or later you will violate a prohibitum per se law at which time a punishment of sufficient severity ought to be applied so as to cause an individual to reevaluate their approach to life.

          In sum, malum prohibitum laws accomplish nothing of any value, but indeed come with a seemingly never ending cascade of unintended side effects (i.e. the unfair, unjust, misapplication of laws in a variety of ways, not the least of which are those made manifest in the racial tensions so prominently displayed on the media of late, though their are numerous other examples that one could site.)


          The way to deal with anti-gun laws is not the courts or the legislature, both of which have failed utterly in this regard, but rather, the answer is jury nullification. Start showing up for jury duty and refuse convictions for victimless crimes. I’m willing to bet, given the number of gun owners in this country, that there either is or could be a gun owner on virtually every jury. FWIW.

  3. … what hope is there that gun control will disarm criminals, crazies or terrorists in the wild? None.

    Incorrect. There’s a lot of hope. What there’s none of is evidence that gun control will disarm the baddies.

  4. Speaking of gun control the news is reporting that a dude in China killed his parents and 17 of his neighbors.

    Where’s concerned american troll when you need him?

  5. Meanwhile the civilized world seems to be doing fine without gun “rights”.

    I don’t see Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia going to hell.

    I don’t see Norway going into anarchy due to strict gun control.

    I don’t see even again see Australia going into total chaos.

    I don’t even see any of these countries turning into nightmarish dictatorships.

    Apparently saving human lives is tyrannical and unpatriotic.

    And TTAG still hasn’t taken my challenge of proving the number of mass killings that happen in America versus the numbers that happen in Europe, Asia or Oceania continents.

    I’m waiting.

      • You’re right, it’s been hardly covered in the mainstream media, interesting snippet here though from Huffington Post Canada:-

        “The deaths are one of the bloodiest mass slayings in recent years in China, where deadly random attacks on schools and public transport have been blamed on people bearing grudges against their families, neighbours or society in general.

        Because firearms are tightly controlled in China, mass killings are usually carried out with knives, poison, homemade explosives or by arson.”

        Not a single comment on the article though, had this been in the US and the murderer used a firearm, the braying and bloody shirt waving would have been intense!

    • “And TTAG still hasn’t taken my challenge of proving the number of mass killings that happen in America versus the numbers that happen in Europe, Asia or Oceania continents.”

      Why would they take you up on something that you can Google for yourself in a matter of moments?

      Here I’ll do some of your homework for you:

    • Japan has as many people killing themselves as we have gun deaths in total. They’re also culturally homogeneous.

      Norway is culturally homogeneous.

      Canada doesn’t have a culture that glorifies crime and violence that is pervasive among it’s minorities. Also, they’re arresting people in Canada and charging them for harassment for disagreeing with women on the internet (see Greg Elliot).

      Australia likewise does not have a violent culture present among it’s minority population. Also, it it illegal to troll in Australia, so like Canada I’d say that free speech is certainly under attack there too.

      Seriously, could you be anymore of a try-hard? I highly doubt anyone here’s every argued that a country will instantly transform into some tyrannical hell overnight after guns are removed.

      Also, explain why more gun-restrictive states routinely feature at the high end of violent crime?

    • ah doan wanna be like none o’ them countries, noway. Whut’s any of ’em done fer the world in tha lass two hunnert years, or so?

    • Order a copy of Democide by Rummel. Read it; get back to me when you are done. I’ll wait; I’m of German extraction and have a lot of patience.

  6. “Where no harm is caused to another individual no crime is committed” should be the yardstick. But that’s just the libertarian in me… not to be confused with Libertaritard Johnson who in no way reflects the Libertarian Party I once knew.


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