Guns, Badges, and Cartels

“Does anyone seriously believe that people who are prepared to defy the laws against murder are going to obey laws against owning guns or large-capacity magazines?” — Thomas Sowell

I have watched the debate over gun control for almost 50 years. I have heard opponents of gun control invoke this argument. I do not recall having heard any gun control advocate respond to it. They ignore it. They pretend that no one has raised the question.

The voters accept this line of non-reasoning.

The voters generally favor some kinds of gun control. They do not favor outright bans. Only the hard-core gun controllers do this in the USA. The degree of gun control that prevails in the English-speaking world outside of the USA is not acceptable in the USA. But there is support for gun controls, although not gun control.

Gun control is like drug control: no one expects drug control to eliminate the use of illegal drugs. But voters do not want to admit that government control over drugs is a pipe dream. They take the same view on gun control. They don’t want to admit that the state’s intervention is making things worse for liberty. Liberty therefore must be sacrificed. The state must be said to have the power to control activities that the public privately accepts but publicly feels compelled to oppose.

I will re-write Sowell’s statement.

“Does anyone seriously believe that people who are prepared to defy the laws against smoking marijuana are going to obey laws against the use of cigarette paper to roll their own joints?”

Defenders of drug laws — who are very often opponents of gun control — respond to this question in the same way that defenders of gun control respond to Sowell’s other question.

Results: more laws, more government intrusion, larger budgets for bureaucrats, less liberty, and more play-pretend argumentation.

Basically, it boils down to this. Drug dealers are not going to obey laws that supposedly control guns.

If you want to get drug dealers to stop buying guns, then you had better vote to de-criminalize drugs. But liberals want to criminalize guns, and conservatives want to criminalize drugs.

If you think this argument makes no sense, then don’t expect liberals to respond to this argument: “People who are prepared to defy the laws against murder aren’t going to obey laws against owning guns or large-capacity magazines.”

Did you ever think about the chronology of drug laws in America? They parallel the licensing of physicians, which created a high-income cartel, which is justified on this basis: “We don’t want the general public to be able to buy drugs. So, we need state licensing of physicians to write prescriptions.”

It’s all about cartels. If you want to promote the creation of a high-income cartel, it’s easy. Get the state to outlaw something that most people want, and then license a group of specialists to sell it. This will also lead to the creation of an unlicensed, outlawed cartel, which also sells the item. That second cartel buys guns to defend its turf. The first cartel gets people with badges to buy guns to defend its turf.

Cartels want above-market income on state-protected turf. This takes guns. The debate is over who gets to carry the guns legally, and who will carry them illegally.