The Real "Gun Nuts"

The term “gun nuts” is often tossed around as a pejorative against those who believe in the 2nd Amendment, and the free exercise thereof. But of late, it seems that the real nuttiness is happening on the sides of the anti-2nd-Amendment crowd (the “gun-grabbers”).

Bob Owens, the blogger of Confederate Yankee fame, is in the middle of a three-part series on just how nigh-criminally inept the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (of the Great Waco Barbecue infamy) literally can’t tell a real gun from a toy gun — even when shown in excruciating detail the differences. (Here are Parts I and II).

With all the gun crimes going on, one would think that the BATF would have far more important things to do than to take away other people’s toys (that, it must be noted, also have tremendous use in combat training, as they look and feel very much like the real weapons they simulate — but are utterly useless as actual weapons).

Even more inept than the BATF, though, have to be the public school systems. A few weeks ago, a Staten Island school nearly suspended a student for bringing a gun to school.

A plastic gun.

Two inches long.

That came with his Lego toy policeman.

It gets worse. Three years ago, a New Jersey student was suspended because he drew a picture of a gun. And it wasn’t even that good a picture.

And it gets worse still. Last week in Michigan a six-year-old boy was suspended for pointing a gun at classmates.

A gun made of flesh and bone.

That’s right. He was kicked out of school for making the “bang! bang!” gesture.

While all this is tremendously amusing, it’s symptomatic of a bigger problem. The same kinds of idiocy that generates the above entertaining stories lends itself to larger problems. Little absurdities, left unchecked, grow up to large obscenities.

Such as the mentality behind such groups as the Brady people or — as regular detractor “john” likes to cite — the Violence Policy Center.

There is a remarkably simple logic behind their reasoning: if there are no guns, then no one will get shot.

Unfortunately, it’s a flawed logic. Anyone who knows the slightest bit about science can tell you that reality always trumps theory, no matter how elegant or seductive that theory might be. And the reality of the situation is that the worst places for violent crime are often the places where there are the tightest constraints on firearms. For example, until recently it was essentially impossible to legally own a handgun in Washington, DC, and it consistently had some of the highest murder rates in the nation.

The standard counterargument is to say that the gun control laws are not a cause of the problem, but a reaction to them. There are two lines of attack to this theory.

The first is to simply ask them “how’s that working out for you?” A good way to test a theory is to try it and measure the results. In the case of gun control laws, they don’t exactly have the best record of achieving their stated goals. DC is still a murder capitol. And for those who say “it’s because of the guns being brought in from outside,” point to Great Britain. They outlawed guns entirely — on an island nation, with no land borders to smuggle across — and their violent crime rates continued to rise.

The second is to point out the problems of violent crime in places that, historically, didn’t have a problem with violence. These are the so-called “gun-free zones” declared by many public places. Shopping malls, schools, college campuses, restaurants, and the like.

These, coincidentally enough, are also the places where mass shootings tend to take place. Malls like the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. Schools like Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. College campuses like Virginia Tech. Restaurants like Luby’s in Killeen, Texas.

What does seem to work to curb violent crime is not new laws that restrict the behavior of all citizens, but rigorous enforcement of existing laws. Not criminalizing people who have no desire to break the law, but coming down hard on those who actually do intend to do harm.

But that requires something virtually unthinkable among liberals: holding people responsible for their actions. And not conservatives (who are all responsible for each others’ actions anyway, and aren’t really “people,” so that’s OK), but most often people of lower socioeconomic strata who’ve had rough lives with very little opportunity to escape that. They are victims, they are reliable Democratic voters, so they have to be excused.

They didn’t commit those violent crimes. It was the guns’ fault. The guns, and the evil big companies that made them and the evil right-wingers who keep it legal to own them.

That’s a much easier selling point to the left and their target demographics.

As long as no one lets pesky reality get in the way. The pesky reality that insists on pointing out that it has never worked before, and shows no indications of working now.

It almost makes one wonder if “reducing violent crime” is the real objective here, and instead it’s something like “make people less independent and more reliant on the government for everything” is the real agenda…

Nah. That’s just crazy talk.

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