Like the cancerous growth on American society that it is, a mass shooting occurred again, this time in Odessa, Texas. Everyone in the country is sick of this, horrified by this, and wants this to stop. Nobody has a good answer. As a pro-Second Amendment conservative who does not own a gun, I want to be swayed into believing that there is a magical piece of legislation that will end this epidemic. Unfortunately, there is no legislation, but that will not stop the left from claiming that it exists.
There must be an understanding amongst those who want to have an honest conversation about this issue that the right to defend yourself is constitutionally protected, and those that have not committed crimes or gone through a due process should not have that right taken away from them. Like nearly every other right enumerated in the Constitution, the Second Amendment already has many limits. Automatic guns were banned in 1934. Advanced weaponry, like tanks or missiles, are illegal. There are countless pieces of gun control legislation on the books, but there were still 35 people shot in Chicago this weekend and a 17-month old killed in Odessa.
While the left calls for total gun bans, everyone knows that will not happen. Not because Republicans are “owned by the NRA”, and many like to claim, but because gun control would not be an effective solution to these issues. Here are the top five arguments for Gun Control and why they won’t work.
Universal Background Checks
The crux of this argument is predicated on two premises. First, that the federal government has the authority to enact such legislation, and what that means. Second, that there are states that do not have background checks.
Regarding the federal authority, it is highly questionable if a federal law regarding universal background checks would be constitutional, as it would be a violation of the 10th amendment. The moral argument is that this is a national emergency, and much like the segregationist south before the Civil Rights Act, the federal government must step in when state government won’t do “the right thing”. However, gun rights are not as clear-cut an issue as segregation, which is why there has never been a strong consensus about it.
Regarding background checks, the talking point spouted is that 33 states do not have universal background checks, and the majority of those polled want it. Most people, however, do not know what that means, because those people don’t buy guns. To buy a gun from a dealer anywhere in the country, that dealer needs to have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). FFL dealers are required to give background checks. The issue at hand, that 33 states have not done, is whether to require background checks in private transactions. Most states did not do this because there is no enforcement mechanism for such a law. Under that law, guns couldn’t even be passed as inheritance without a background check. This is unrealistic and will only criminalize law-abiding Americans.
Lower Capacity Magazines
“You don’t need that many bullets to hunt” is a ridiculous contention in multiple ways. First, it’s always an argument used by people who don’t hunt. Second, the Second Amendment was never intended for hunting. Third, mass shooters don’t need high capacity magazines to commit shootings. Blaming the number of bullets a magazine can hold is simply redirecting from other issues. Joe Biden recently said that guns shouldn’t even have “multiple bullets”, which is literally every gun, so he is effectively calling for a full gun ban.
Assault Weapons Ban
Politicians love to say there should be an Assault Weapons ban, even though nobody can define what that means. Scary looking black rifles such as the AR-15 use a lower caliber bullet and malfunction more frequently than boring, wooden rifles that wouldn’t be affected by proposed bans. The reason the AR-15 is so popular among gun enthusiasts (there are millions in circulation) is the same reason why Ferrari’s are popular among car enthusiasts; they look cool. They don’t handle better, they are not more efficient, they have a certain look that people like. Banning them will have no effect, and we know this because they were banned from 1994-2004. The findings after that Assault Weapons Ban was that there was no effect.
The Second Amendment Was Never Meant For Current Weaponry
There are two problems with this argument. First, the founders were aware of technological advances and automatic machine guns (The Puckle Gun, for example, was invented in 1718 and could shoot 3 times faster than standard muskets). They also allowed for more advanced weaponry, such as privately owned cannons attached to ships.
Second, that logic train leads to dangerous places. It is much more likely that the founders could imagine a gun that could fire faster than the internet or an iPhone. If the Second Amendment wasn’t meant for current weaponry, does the First Amendment cover twitter? The same people who would scoff at this, because they don’t believe there is an inherent danger to tweeting, are also the people who think that President Trump’s tweets will start a nuclear war. These are the same people who think Jordan Peterson’s and Ben Shapiro’s words are violence.
Less Guns Will Mean Less Gun Deaths
As any resident of Chicago or Baltimore will tell you, this is simply not true. In fact, there is no correlation between gun murders and gun ownership. 2014 FBI Statistics did not show a statistical increase in homicides per 100,000 residents in states that had a high percentage of gun owners versus a low percentage of gun owners
What did rise was that amount of suicides, which gives weight to the argument that there is a mental illness issue in the country that is scarcely being discussed. The left doesn’t want to face the challenge of mental illness because that is not an issue that can rally voters.
Guns are scary, and people who live on the coastal Democratic strongholds don’t understand them. The importance of guns in a free and democratic republic could not be more apparent than when million of Hong Kong residents are flooding the streets, yearning for freedom. They wave the American flag and sing our anthem while leftist teachers in America urge elementary school students to listen to Colin Kaepernick and take a knee. Those who say that guns will be useless against the American military are, in actuality, making an argument for less gun regulation, not more. Americans need to protect their freedom. In 2014, cattle rancher Cliven Bundy literally has a standoff with the U.S. military. Bundy only had rifles. The details notwithstanding, that case proved the need for an armed citizenry is as important today at it was in the 18th century.
These mass shootings need to stop. Death and destruction are truly terrible, and the loss of life is a tragedy. I want to be swayed into believing that there is a proposal out there for this, but there isn’t. Like with any cancerous outbreak, incremental changes can be made until eventually there is a semblance of a cure. There must first be an understanding that obfuscating the issue by blaming guns will accomplish nothing.
Moshe Hill is a political analyst who has written for The Daily Wire, The Queens Jewish Link, The Jewish Link of New Jersey and JNS.org. He is regularly featured on ‘The Josh M Show’ podcast. Subscribe to aHillwithaview.com for more content from Moshe Hill. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/ahillwithaview and follow on Twitter @TheMoHill.