How would you go about a (near) complete confiscation of firearms in the US?

As an excercise in curiosity…

If you believe in the idea of an outright gun confiscation in the US - or at least nearly so (that is, extremely reduced gun ownership ala England or some such) - or just want to play the hypothetical, how would you go about achieving your goal of extremely restricted gun ownership in the US, given the current ideological and social climate?

What would be the grand strategy? The specifics? What steps would you take to achieve the goal? The general time line for your plan? How would you sway public opinion? etc.

Even if you don’t believe in such a goal, feel free to take a stab at this purely as a mental excercise.

I’m not sure that you could without a lot of nasty repercussions - I just don’t believe all American gun owners would take it lying down.

I suppose you could start by saying that you wouldn’t take away any existing firearms, but would introduce disincentives (financial and administrative) on purchase of new ones or transfer of ownership.

I think it’d be kinda difficult to say the least, but here goes (in order):

  1. Amnesty - for several months, invite people to drop guns into bins at the local cop-shop. This has been tried in the UK (for all weapons) with surprising results.
  2. Door-to-door collection by cops.
  3. Law making weapon possession punishable by confiscation (no fines) in any circumstances.
  4. Enforcement of this law in all external circumstances by armed cops in all circumstances.
  5. Law making weapon possession punishable by confiscation & fine.
  6. Law making weapon possession punishable by confiscation, fine, and jail sentence.
  7. Door-to-door enforcement of this law by armed cops & troops.

I also think it would lead to a large number of Waco and Ruby Ridge-style sieges and standoffs. Though bear in mind that NATO’s Operation Essential Harvest was quite successful, but it wasn’t dealing with the enraged US public.

Would these cops shoot someone who refused?

Simple. Make gun possession illegal. As can be seen by U.S. crime statistics, we have no murder, no drug traffic, no robberies, ro rape, no crime! That’s because we have laws that forbid things like murder.

Off on a tangent, since England was mentioned…

In the October 20 edition of The British Weekly, a publication that is distributed to pubs and British stores in the L.A. area, page 2 has the article “Murder rate soars to highest for a century”. The murder rate, the article says, is up 4% from last year and is 20% higher than in 1997, the fist year of Tony Blair’s government. Murders in the Metropolitan ploice force area are up 22% from last year. “Murders also rose 10% in Greater Manchester and 13% in West Yorkshire during the financial year.” The number of attempted murders rose 21% over last year, and the number of crimes of violence rose 8% overall on last year.

The article says that the murders in America have fallen 12%, and French and German murders have fallen 29% and 27% repectively since 1995.

Commander Andy Baker, in charge of detectives in London, blames the higher number of murders on drugs and “the increase in the availability of guns”.

Funny, I thought the whole point of banning guns was to decrease their availability. :confused:

Of course, crime has everything to do with guns and not a thing to do with social circumstances.

In Australia we had a fairly large gun buy-back scheme a few years ago, involving most semi-automatic long-barrelled guns. After the incident at my workplace this week (where a student killed some people with registered hand guns) there is talk of doing the same for them.

It’s an expensive business and not all owners felt properly compensated, but it certainly reduced the number of aggreived people. Owners don’t feel that they are being required to bear the whole burden of the change in policy.

It’s hard to speculate on this, because you’d need a massive change in American social attitudes before any ban on guns would be voted into law, let alone enforced. (Well, either that or the conquest of America by a foreign power. Neither seems particularly likely to me.)

But, if it did come to pass, I guess jjimm’s eight-step plan seems as good a way to go as any. Presumably, if the cops/troops making the collection ran into someone who refused, they’d arrest them… same as for anyone else found breaking the law.

Isn’t ‘gun buy-back’ kind of a misnomer?

Since the goverrnment has never owned my pistols, rifles and shotguns, they cannot buy them back, they can only buy them if I’m willing to sell.

The only people who can actually buy my guns ‘back’ are the dealer I bought them from, and the manufacturer of the guns who the dealer bought them from.


To add to the speculation, if you were in charge of a gun control organization or somesuch, what tactics would you use to try to sway public opinion in favor of gun control?

Johnny L.A., read the OP. This isn’t a thread for a gun control argument.

We can’t have an outright gun confiscation. The American people wouldn’t stand for it. The way to do it is to ban “scary” guns. That is, if it looks scary, then ban it. Then outlaw inexpensive guns on the grounds that they are unsafe. Next, limit the capacity of magazines. Perhaps limits could be reduced over time. Discourage people from buying guns in the first place, perhaps by making it more expensive to buy one. (IOW, if the government charges high enough fees, eventually people will stop buying. It seems to be working with cigarettes.) Capitalize on events. For example, if there’s a sniper in the news, demonize “sniper rifles”. You can start by outlawing a “scary” gun that has never been used in any crime, then work your way up to scoped hunting rifles. Get the Media to scare the public at every opportunity.

If you go step by step, eventually the slope will become too slippery for the Pro-Choice movement to offer any resistance and guns will be taken away from everyone (except criminals, of course).

jjimm: Better?

Imagine it in terms of armed cops enforcing any other illegal possession situation. So, in some circumstances, yes.

God knows. Education? Though one thing the SDMB has taught me is there isn’t enough comparative country-by-country research to prove the argument either way.

Yeah! (And I see what you’re up to, but fair enough) :slight_smile:

Wouldn’t education make people less likely to give up their guns? If people were educated on the subject, they would realize what a small percentage of privately owned guns are used to commit crimes. They would also understand that it’s dangerous to invalidate the Constitution. I think that it’s more effective to try to scare people.

As for the OP, unfortunately it would never happen. Banning all guns, or confescating them near completely would completely go against our constitution’s right to bare arms.

Also I do believe most automatic – tech 9 – type guns are illegal and carry stiff penalties if you are caught in posession of them.

One more thing, if the Gov’t ever tried to seriously confescate peoples guns, you’d have a lot of people who believe in – You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands – up in arms in a full fledged revolt.

This is a large reason why it hasn’t been enacted, and most likely never will. Try telling my uncle in Montana your going to take all his guns…:eek: no way!

Wasn’t it the Taliban who forbade people to bare their arms?

Tech-9s are not automatic.

There, you see? You take away the right to bare arms, then you take away the right to watch teevee, then you get bombed by the Republicans. :stuck_out_tongue:

As has been stated, the first need is to swing public opinion away from guns. How to do that?

[ul][li]Eliminate (or severely reduce) violent crime. Or at least the perception of it. A populace doesn’t need guns to protect itself from nonexistant criminals.[]Marginalize hunting and target shooting. If no one cares about these hobbies, then we can end them all together.[]Eliminate the illegal gun trade first. While it would increase again upon a total gun ban, it reduces the “if you out law guns…” line of reasoning.Depopularize revolutionary thinking. Make citizens sure that their government never will devolve into a tyranny necessitating armed rebellion, and that foreign invasion will never happen.[/ul][/li]
If all of these occur, and gun safety is somehow still an issue, then the few remaining guns can be collected rather easily. Except for the parts about eliminate crime, I don’t think any of these items could be forced upon an unwilling populace. It would take years of slow, mostly self-directed, change.