Here we go again; another mass shooting incident and the cries for “commonsense gun control” come pouring out of the sheeple who yearn for a Utopian paradise where unicorns frolic and rainbows really do end in pots of gold. Can’t we all just get along?
Short of a completely gun-free environment where no one has guns (not even law enforcement) a bad guy with malicious intent will find a way to get one. He (or she) will steal one or buy one from another criminal. Here’s a news flash: they don’t go through a normal commercial purchase channel to get their guns. So, some say that we should require background checks for any gun sale – even between private citizens, even between friends.
But all that would do is inconvenience ordinary law-abiding citizens and would not prevent the bad guys from getting guns – they don’t honor our existing gun laws now – doesn’t anybody get that?
Gun free zones
Anyone who embarks on some murderous plan to kill people is already planning on breaking the granddaddy of all laws – the laws against homicide. How on earth could anyone believe that the bad guy would abandon his nefarious plan when he encounters a gun-free zone sign?
Does anyone really expect that the planned murders will be aborted because of a sign? Get real.
I think that we must take a moment to “think like a criminal.” Answer this question: if I intend to kill someone, or several someone’s, is it logical that I would be stopped by mere words on paper or a gun-free sign in going about my grisly task?
Of course not, and that’s precisely why “gun free” zones won’t work and why adding yet more onerous gun laws won’t work either.
While I’ve tried to make the point logically, we have ample evidence that “gun free” zones don’t work – a quick scan of the mass murders of the past several years show that 92% of mass public shootings between January 2009 and July 2014 took place in “gun free” zones. How much more evidence is needed to illustrate the folly of the whole gun free zone concept?
Since there’s been some confusion regarding the recent Umpqua Community College shooting and whether the UCC campus was a gun free zone, I did some research and found the reason for statements suggesting that it was, and other statements suggesting that it wasn’t were rooted in the college’s code of conduct wording.
The reason for the confusion is that the school’s code of conduct does state that guns are banned from campus. But, the code of conduct also notes that guns are banned “without written authorization”– it doesn’t specify the source of that written authorization – might the source be the state (as in a state-issued CCW)? Or was the intent of the code to require that the authorization must come from college administration?
Until the wording of Umpqua’s code of conduct is legally clarified, it’s open to interpretation and debate.
When I read the code, I presumed that the authorization would have to come from the college – so to me, a CCW holder authorized by the state, the college campus would have been off limits while armed. That was my interpretation.
Nevertheless, I’d like to hear the logic of those who support “gun free zones” and the evidence that leads them to conclude that they prevent criminals and bad guys from carrying and using a handgun on the premises.
Now let’s talk about background checks – that’s another one of the basic tenets in gun control doctrine. Got to have background checks and everyone buying a gun should pass one. That’s fine for the good guys, we submit even though most of us don’t believe that we should be subjected to it, based on the 2nd Amendment’s “shall not be infringed” guarantee. But we do it just to keep peace with the anti-gunners and because we know that we’re “clean.”
But, once again, criminals, gangbangers, and bad guys don’t buy their guns through reputable gun outlets – and therefore, won’t be required to submit to background checks.
Two studies lend credence to the fact that criminals don’t get their guns from gun stores – or even from gun shows – they get them from friends or family or they get them through an illegal source (steal them or buy on black market).
An old study (1997) by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (who interviewed 203,300 state and federal convicts) found that 39.6% of them got their guns from friends or family and 39.2% got them on the street or from another illegal source. Note that fully 78.8% didn’t get their guns from any sort of retailer who would have required a background check.
Only 8.3% bought theirs from a retailer and laws on the books today would have precluded those 8.3% from passing a background check (remember that these are convicts).
But wait you say, that’s an 18 year-old survey – that was back in the dark ages. And yes it is old, but here’s an update (though on a smaller scale). A study was conducted in 2013 with inmates of the Cook County Jail (see Table 2). They interviewed 99 inmates and found that, 1) they do not buy guns in gun stores, 2) they do not get guns at gun shows, and 3) they do not buy them from Internet sources.
They buy them from sources they trust, most often, family, fellow gang members and other criminals.
In other words, criminals do not engage in activities that would make them susceptible to any sort of universal background check. Once again, the anti-gun crowd yells loudly for actions that won’t make a hill of beans difference in how criminals acquire their guns.
While the left depends on background checks as one of their foundational pillars, even the background check system is not perfect. All one has to do is research how many of the firearms used in mass shootings were purchased legally. In other words, the shooter passed a background check, but that didn’t prevent him from using the legally-obtained gun for a sinister purpose.
Finally, those of us who have been watching the anti-gun forces at work for a number of years recognize that their tactics are just like all other left-wingers: they propose and lobby for actions that sound good and make them feel good, not necessarily actions that will actually accomplish real identifiable results.
They’re oriented towards “feelings,” not results.