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?