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Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:11 AM

"Criminals Will Always Get Guns" is a Poor Argument [View all]

"Criminals will always get guns," is one of the most touted little pieces of wisdom the gun-rights crowd has. They repeat it incessantly. If you propose gun restrictions in the hope of thwarting criminal gun abuse, they trot out the old tried and true dictum, "criminals will always get guns."

I suppose what they mean is "since criminals will always get guns no matter what gun control laws we try, we shouldn't try any at all." Of course, this is false for two reasons.

Number one, criminals will not ALWAYS get guns. If guns are harder to come by, many criminals will not make the extra effort necessary to find alternate means of acquiring them. With proper gun control laws in place, private sales with no background check will not be an option. Theft will be harder due to safe storage law enforcement. Straw purchasing will all but cease to exist with licensing and registration. What's left is buying from other criminals, but even this will be more difficult due to the other restrictions. Guns on the black market will become more scarce. What we have to remember is that criminals are like everybody else, they seek the path of least resistance. If guns are harder to come by many will do without.

Number two, even if criminals would always be able to get guns anyway, that does not justify making it easier for them to do so.

One thing the pro-gun crowd likes to overlook is that almost every single gun used in crime in the US started out the lawful property of some gun owner. That's why, as much as they hate the idea, it makes sense that most gun control laws focus on them, the law abiding. Everyone knows that criminals won't obey laws, so by constraining gun owners to act more responsibly, access to guns by the bad guys is diminished.

I reject the other argument too which says all this would put undue hardship in those law-abiding gun owners. There would be additional requirements but I don't see them as excessive. Even Second Amendment adherents, who I think are completely wrong in their thinking, have to admit that "reasonable restrictions" are allowed. So says Justice Antonin Scalia, one of their own heroes.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.
Cross posted at Mikeb302000

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graham4anything Oct 2012 #1
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