tentative gun debate

I’ve noticed a couple of other gun debates cropping up here in the last couple of days so I figured the climate might be right to post this topic without people going “Another gun debate? :rolleyes:”

My question is to gon control advocates. Let us assume, for the moment, that the pro gun control crowd get all their measures passed, that guns are banned tomorrow,do you genuinely and honestly think that the guns will disappear from America?

I mean I’m sure guns could be smuggled into the country. If thousands of kilo’s of illegal drugs make it through the loop why are you so sure there won’t be the same problem with guns?

Also, why do you think that the police would be so keen to prosecute Joe citizen for this new felony? Given the deeply entrenched gun culture that exists in America I can envision a situation similar to that of prohibition in the '20’s when the cops were more than obliged to point people in the direction of the nearest speakeasy. What gives you reason to believe things will be different with guns?

Put simply, what is the point of supporting your position? Even if you do get guns banned it won’t do much.

Just a slight nitpick: Only a minority of the “pro-control crowd” actually has the desired goal of banning all guns. The rest of the “pro-control crowd” has no idea what their goal is. :smiley:

Anyhoo… the only way we could truly eliminate all guns from society is to… well… stop manufacturing them. Whether it’s for our domestic armed forces (do you really think the cops and the Army are going to give up their weapons?), or whether they’re coming from oversees sources (Gasp! Not all guns are made in America!), there will always be some black-market spillover as long as A: guns are being made somewhere, and B: there’s a demand for them on the black market.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get caught by the idealistic cops, and then no, you wouldn’t get punished. On the other hand, most cops seem to enjoy having a job, and don’t want to get fired… so, most likely, you WILL get prosecuted. However, if you look at the history of the legal system, you can simply plea-bargain the gun charges away and get off with only a slap on the wrist…

Just out of curiosity, where exactly is this measure that coming up for a vote tomorrow that would ban all guns? I’m unaware that any such measure exists, or that anybody is pushing it.

They may simply confiscate the weapon from Joe Citizen. They could use the new felony as a tool to prosecute Chris Crip, Bobby Blood, Guido Mafioso and Ned Nutjob up in Montana.
Or something like that…

There isn’t one, as far as I know. I was just saying it for the sake of argument.
Anyway, carry on…

Hey, it ain’t that hard to figure out: reducing the crimes, injuries, and deaths associated with the use of firearms through reasonable restrictions on private ownership. That, and pissing of Charlton Heston as much as possible.

Anyhoo, SPOOFE is correct that completely eliminating private ownership is only the goal of a relatively small minority of those who support increased gun control–including many firearms owners such as myself. I don’t think anyone believes guns could be completely eliminated through legislation, what with the gigantic arsenal Americans already possess and the potential from smuggling. The idea, I think, is that even a reduction in the number of guns would reduce the body count, and that even most of the weapons hoarded by pissed off guys with Second Amendment tattoos would eventually (emphasis on “eventually”) become inoperable just due to the attrition of time.

As for smuggling, it’s pretty hard to stick a condom over a gun and shove it up your ass before passing through customs. Sure, some guns would get through and some people would pay big bucks for them. But by and large, smuggling is not a big problem in countries that already ban private ownership–think Japan and Europe, for example. It won’t get America anywhere near what it is today in terms of gun ownership.

But it’s a dumb idea, completely impractical, and politically impossible.

Since millions of people are smuggled into the US, how hard could it be to smuggle guns in?

I dunno, december. Feel free to give it a shot, though.

I haven’t found the links (I think they were archived) from a couple of London newspapers that quoted UK law enforcement’s concern over the sharp increase in black market firearms entering the UK in the last eight months. I found an Aussie paper with similar news:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,2676038%5E421,00.html

The NCA’s concerns are echoed by NSW Crime Commission chairman Phillip Bradley, who said gun-smuggling was becoming more financially attractive.

“The mark-up is such that it is more profitable than drugs and less risky because of the penalties involved,” he said.

I didn’t say smuggling wouldn’t get guns into the country. I said “It won’t get America anywhere near what it is today in terms of gun ownership.” To put it in the terms december analogized to, alien smuggling gets a bunch of immigrants into the U.S. If the U.S. were to adopt an open borders policy, a whole hell of a lot more immigrants would enter. Works the same way with guns.

To go with the OP (which I believe is a somewhat extreme side of the debate), let’s say that ownership of guns is forbidden. Allow a few years to pass while all citizens who are willing to surrender thier guns do so. Also, ignore the issue of gun factories closing (or moving), dealerships going out-of-buisness, etc. After all, one can not expect a law to take effect or have effect overnight. A lot of concessions would have to be made in the first years of the bill.

The first imapct I see is a large reduction in the number of guns in the collections of “Joe Citizen”. Mind you, with as with prohibition, I can easily see a few of these guns mysteriously ending back on the streets thanks to corrupt officials. All those who are against the law will retain their guns in private collections while they spend several more years fighting the law at first, and then fighting for exemptions in the law. All those with ‘unmarked’ or ‘stolen’ or ‘illegal’ guns will simply hang on to them, not really giving a rat’s ass about another law that they may be violating.

Undoubtedly, a black market for guns would emerge, or rather, the source of the illegal guns on the street today would move to the cul-de-sacs tomorrow. I do not think that there would be that large a market because (a.) guns are not consumed like drugs are (it’s not like people are going to develop a $300-a-day rifle habit) (b.) most people who were willing to obey the law wouldn’t likely second-guess themselves and want another gun and (c.) the margins on guns are not large enough to make a large-scale smuggling operation worthwhile.

So, as a result, we get decreased productions of guns in the US (or North America, if Canada follows suit), a decreased supply of guns for the ‘black market’ (less guns in homes mean less guns to steal for resale), and a decrease in the number of guns in homes with which people can (potentially)shoot themselves or others with. All seem pretty positive.

On the flip-side, one might argue, now the crooks have all the guns (or now the police and crooks have all the guns). So what? They have guns now, and the world hasn’t gone to shit. Hopefully they will use them on one-another and eliminate all the unresponsible or dangerous gun owners.

Indeed, this ‘law’ would step on some percieved ‘rights’, but as with any law, a nation must choose what is best for most over the wants of a few. This ‘law’ would have to be passed with the intentions of educating and helping future generations, rather than buying votes from the current one. The effects might not be visible in the short-term, but in the long run I imagine the positives far outweighing the negatives.

I think a lot of parallels can be drawn between gun restrictions and the prohibition movement of the 1920s in the US.

Examples:

1a. People didn’t like the acts commited by some people who got drunk. They thought eliminating alcohol would prevent this.
1b. People don’t like the acts commited by some people who used guns. THey think eliminating guns will prevent this.

2a. When prohibition went into effect, alcohol smuggling and illegal stills became a lucrative enterprise
2b. If gun ownership is outlawed, I predict the same will heppen to gun smuggling.

3a. Bathtub gin and speakeasies financed huge criminal empries, leading to an overall increase in violent crime.
3b. Same with gun smuggling, IMHO.

4a. Because of no regulation or safety checks, the alcohol sold by criminal establishments could often be dangerous or outright deadly.
4b. Gun safety would decrease as a result of banishment. With no “need” for gun safety classes the people who did have them would not use them properly. Smuggled guns would probably be made of cheap parts and not very safe.

A limited parallel is the confiscation and prohibition on gold ownership from 1933-1974 in the U.S.; to prevent hoarding (I guess Ft. Knox isn’t 'hoarding, but I digress) coins without “Recognized collector value” were to be turned into federal reserve banks.

I’m thinking that antique or collector weapons might be allowed to remain in private hands under a complete ban, though I’m not sure. Considering the prices realized, it seems fair to compensate the owners of rare or unusually valuable firearms.

I’ve always loved the sheer irony involved when people gather to use their First Amendment Rights to talk about how their Second Amendment Rights should be restricted and curtailed.

Friedo- You need not “predict” that such smuggling might happen, it will happen, just as it’s happening today in Britain. Come to think of it, haven’t firearms been all but banned in Northern Ireland for decades? Where’d those AK-47s come from? (Sorry, no manufacturer in the US makes an AK variant, let alone a full-auto one.)

As to your ‘dangerous product’ analogy, if one is smuggling illegal weapons anyway, why not smuggle in true machine guns? Hand grenades? Would the criminals have reduced firepower, or increased firepower?

Kylen- Just a nit. I disagree with the mention that the “margins” may not be high enough to sustain a large-scale smuggling operation. While that may not be far off the mark, I’d wager that such margins would easily support a large handful of small scale operations. And, just like the drugs (admittedly a higher-demand substance since it is consumed) a thousand small-time dealers adds up to a major headache.

Arguing the point of your “flip side” for a moment, keep in mind that part of the reason that “the world hasn’t gone to shit” because the “crooks have all the guns” is the simple fact that, right now, more ‘civilians’ than ‘crooks’ are armed.

And Minty… Oh Minty…

In reference to “The idea, I think, is that even a reduction in the number of guns would reduce the body count” perhaps you might check the recent FBI stats (sorry, I’m trying to find a link… bad connection tonight.)

As it stands, crime is at an all-time low (nationwide) and the most recent available figures (I believe they were '99) shows an overall murder rate at it’s lowest point since 1910. The “body count” of which you speak is almost entirely a fabrication, a ghost in the machine formed from the simple fact that murders are reported more and more nationwide, by an ever-larger number of news outlets.

The number that occur is dropping, but the number that get reported is rising.

Plus, I don’t think you have enough emphasis on “eventually”. Short of being left out in the rain or buried unprotected in with the azelias, guns are a very durable product. I know a great deal of people who regularly use 1903-vintage rifles for hunting, and many more who use pre-1880 blackpowder arms (blackpowder was also used in cartridge arms, by the way) in their “cowboy reenactment” games. There are any number of 1770’s-era flint and wheellock arms that could (barring collector’s value) be loaded and fired with no difficulty whatsoever.

Literally millions of Americans own surplused-out 1940’s-era M-1 Garand rifles that the military sold off when they switched to the M1-A in the fifties.

And these are primarily weapons made of steel, prone to rust if not taken care of. Today’s stainless steels, polymer stocks and frames, and even Titanium receivers and parts, will last far, far longer, even under conditions of worse care.

And Spooje… Yes, such a ban could be used to prosecute Ned, Bobby, Guido and Chris… But as I mentioned in other threads, aren’t things like murder, rape, drug-dealing, car theft, trespassing, robbery, breaking and entering, smuggling, assault, kidnapping and a bunch of other things… already illegal? How many of these crimes do Chris, Ned and Guido NOT get prosecuted for already? How many do they plea-bargain down to “aggravated hamster theft” for which they receive minimum or even suspended sentences?

Again, shouldn’t we try to keep up with prosecuting most of the laws we already have, rather than enacting more?