Could Guns Really Be Effectively Banned in America?

by Robert Wenzel Economic Policy Journal

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      In this post, I will not discuss the very strong libertarian philosophical arguments as to why individuals should be allowed to carry guns. Instead, I want to take a look at the practical issue.

Suppose Congress passed legislation that banned all guns. Legislation so strong that it required that all guns be turned in. There are 285 million guns in the United States. I wonder how many of those guns would be turned in.

The most conscientious law abiding citizens might turn them in, but the bad guys won’t. So that means bad guys will have even more of an edge. If they want to rob, they are going to know their upstanding citizen/prospective-victim walking down the street is most likely unarmed.

A ban on guns is really legislation that helps out the bad guys. It is the equivalent of a TSA policy that would allow no one to carry guns on board a plane – other than terrorists. Even the TSA isn’t that nuts.

I wonder, if people, calling for a ban on guns, have really thought out their position. It just doesn’t make sense. Guns won’t be effectively banned – only guns owned by the good people will be turned in.

And, of course, anything less than a full ban will make for even greater problems. Gun control programs won’t stop the determined from getting guns. The shooter, Adam Lanza , in the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, simply grabbed the guns properly registered in his mother’s name. How did that deterrent work out?

If a "full ban" were enacted, it would be as easy to buy guns on the black market in any big city as it is now to buy drugs or for illegals to buy fake IDs.

Are the people calling for bans or more controls actually thinking this out?

The only solution for dealing with guns is not gun controls but gun freedom. The shootings at Sandy Hook were in a "gun free" zone. The only ones that observed that law are the dead teachers, not the bad guy, Adam Lanza.

Chicago bans most from carrying guns and yet gun toting gang-bangers shoot it out nearly every night in Rahmaland.

I’m not calling for any policy that calls for schools, or any other public institutions, to be required to handle protection in any certain way. Let each institution choose for itself.

The smart solution, though, to the gun problem is gun freedom. Those who want to carry guns should be allowed to do so, then the bad guys will have to think twice. Right now, about the only time we hear about a bad guy getting caught in the act of a street robbery is when he attempts to rob an FBI agent. The agents nab them because they are carrying. But street robberies turned bad for the robber are so infrequent that the FBI collars make the news. If robbers ran into gun carriers regularly, robberies would plunge.

Bottom line: Those who want to ban guns, or certain types of guns, really aren’t thinking things out. The fact of the matter is that bad guys will continue to use guns. The solution isn’t screaming at the top of ones lung to ban or control guns. The solution is to find ways to protect oneself against gun carrying bad guys – and that is a lot easier to do if you are free to own and carry any guns you want.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.

2012 Economic Policy Journal