Thursday, February 27, 2003

Reaction to Sniper Typical of Gun Control Advocates
By Alexander Marriott UNLV Rebel Yell: October 24, 2002

I thought maybe it was over; it hadn't been mentioned for some time, and even liberal law professors like Lawrence Tribe and Alan Dershowitz were conceding defeat until this schmuck with a rifle began shooting people on the Eastern seaboard. Now, it's back and as dumb and pointless as ever: the gun control debate. This time, the issue is whether or not we should have a gun ballistics database so that police can more easily track down the weapons being used in sniper-like crimes.

It sounds harmless, but that's the only time that it is so. Let us consider first of all how effective such a program could be. I'll assume first of all that the government will run this program perfectly, with no problems whatsoever (hold whilst I pick myself up off the floor) and that they get all rifling marks into a catalog. What are my options if I'm a criminal? I could use a handgun instead, oops, slight problem with the plan. There are also more than enough smoothbore and muzzle-loading muskets on the market so that anyone wishing to kill another and avoid being detected by the catalog could succeed. Not to mention I could merely steal someone's rifle and kill someone with it, leaving him to be blamed, keep in mind I'm killing someone, so stealing isn't going to be a problem. The point is, any human being, determined to kill someone will at the least be able to procure the means to do so, catalog or not.

One should now look at the cost of putting together, maintaining, and operating such a system. Here the whole idea that the government will run this thing perfectly and with no problems has to be thrown out the window, because it's not going to happen. First of all the people actually running it will be typical unionized civil servants, inept and virtually unaccountable to anyone as they aren't easily fired (it takes on average 18 months to fire a government employee). Then the government will have to operate a seemingly complex computer database with complex scientific results with millions of people and not screw it up (Social Security or Post Office), see any problems? And of course the taxpayers will be fleeced to pay for the people and the crappy service they are virtually guaranteed of getting.

Does the government therefore have the right to require law-abiding hunters or people who'd like to protect themselves from the government to submit to this system, which is clearly going to be ineffective and costly? No. This is simply because the government has no rights which the citizens of the country haven't delegated to it, and registering or controlling guns in any way isn't among those granted to the government. So legally the government has no authority to do anything whatsoever in this realm of affairs, not to mention a great many others.

But as the emotional and irrational ideas of people get roused up by the heinous acts of this murderer the debate on gun control will continue to grow and become more heated. And it will remain so until cooler, rational heads prevail as they have been ever since the assault weapons ban and Brady Bill seemed to signal the death of reason in this debate. One needs to remember that even if we ban all guns and managed to get them all, there would still be guns, monopolized by one institution, the government. One need only to think of the horrendous death perpetrated during the 20th century by the totalitarian slave states to realize that this is a non-option and a non-idea.

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