The New York Times reports on the re-direction of the gun control movement (and at the same time lends its diminished influence towards driving public policy in the same direction as well)… all the while being politically correct in ignoring the biggest problem leading to murderous violence and here’s a hint: it isn’t good guys and their guns.
We won’t provide a link (and drive traffic) to the NY Times because of their paywall, but we will provide a teaser to their story.
OVER the past two decades, the majority of Americans in a country deeply divided over gun control have coalesced behind a single proposition: The sale of assault weapons should be banned.
That idea was one of the pillars of the Obama administration’s plan to curb gun violence, and it remains popular with the public. In a poll last December, 59 percent of likely voters said they favor a ban.
But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.
It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.
In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.
Aside from spree-killing incidents, where social misfits and/or islamic terrorists try to slaughter as many defenseless innocents as possible, scary black rifles and shotguns aren’t typically used to murder others in America.
For politicians wishing to distract people from their failed policies though, these guns do make nice “targets” to scare those who don’t know any better into action. In reality, America’s favorite rifle for recreation, self-defense and competition isn’t favored by criminals because of its size and maintenance needs if you want to keep it running reliably. Even though it’s about as easy to maintain as an Easy Bake oven, criminal thugs aren’t known for their rocket science.
Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker points out another uncomfortable statistic the gun control community is quick to ignore or avoid:
About 5,000 black men are murdered with guns annually, nearly all by other black men — roughly half of all murders — but the percentage of the population they represent is six percent, give or take one or two.
A significant number of those black on black murders take place right in our fair state in Chicago. Ouch, that’s uncomfortable, but most Illinoisans do a pretty good job of ignoring that. Some of those who do focus on it frequently cast the blame everywhere – except into the mirror where it likely belongs thanks to the popularity of the hip-hop, ghetto lifestyle and the “no snitch” culture.
Here’s something else uncomfortable to many that Denninger points out:
If you want to be serious about putting a dent in homicides you need to look at who’s dying on an outsized representation compared against their population share and why. The “who’s dying” is young black men. The “why” is mostly related to violent gangs, and those are mostly related to the illegal drug trade.
That trade is a wholesale creation of our political process that has criminalized people wanting to get high on something the government disapproves of — while leaving other things (e.g. alcohol) legal and taxed.
If you legalize and regulate drugs — all of them with the exception of those that really have no “high” purpose (such as krokodyl) and sell them over the counter with ID checks the outcome would be profound.
The funding source for these gangs would be eliminated as would the reason for them to engage in violence; beefs they cannot take to a courtroom because their activity is illegal. Yes, people would get high, but people get high now. We’d dramatically shrink the prison population, eliminate all the “civil forfeiture” games that often catch innocent people and steal their property without recourse, and with all the money that was being spent on that enforcement and incarceration we could fund addiction treatment for those who want and seek it.
Frankly, today’s “war on drugs” is akin to Prohibition in too many ways.
Personally, my concern is that money-grubbing politicians might someday legalize many intoxicating drugs currently prohibited (including narcotics), yet tax them to such an incredibly high degree that the illegal drug trade would continue as “street pharmacists” would continue to ply their trade as untaxed dope would sell for less than the state-regulated (and taxed) “dispensary” prices.
We don’t have to look far to see this. The legalization of marijuana seems to be a first-step in this process and while dispensary prices are currently less than street prices (and depress street prices slightly – supply and demand, you know), how long that will remain is unknown as politicians see drug taxes as a panacea to their deficit problems.
Sure, drugs are destructive and not something that contributes to good health. They will always be that way, but other currently “legal” drugs (tobacco and alcohol) aren’t without health and social costs we accommodate.