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Whether banning firearms here is or is not a good idea...
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:02am
2601:1c2:1a80:d49:8dd:84c1:ec8:f59, perhaps surprisingly, irrelevant. Regardless of any such law, it is a near certainty that a very high percentage of American gun owners would refuse to comply. That's based on officially estimated compliance rates with bans on weapon types, large-capacity magazines, and so forth in several states. In no case have those compliance rates reached double-figure percentages.

This non-compliance is a critical factor. Firearms are exceptionally durable goods, so non-compliance means that existing guns in civilian hands will remain functional for potentially centuries. This in turn means that even apart from illicit manufacture (increasingly simple given rapid advances in 3D printing) and smuggling, the supply of firearms to those who want them is unlikely in the extreme to be effectively interdicted. Think: the War on Drugs...and there are vastly more gun owners than non-marijuana drug users: c. 80-100 million, in possession of at least 350 million firearms.

Given a lack of voluntary compliance, there would, I suppose, remain the option of forced confiscation. This, however, runs up against some powerful barriers. Those begin (and end, really) with violent resistance to any such attempts, which would be considerable. While I'm sure a fair few gun owners wo talk of such resistance are nothing but bluster, I have zero doubt a very significant number are not. Among the many problems with that are easily seen in the above numbers: the number of resisting gun owners would dwarf the entire count of armed law enforcement officers in this a ridiculous amount (there are c. 800,000 such officers in the entire country). Moreover, many rank-and-file officers are staunchly pro-gun, and it is likely many would refuse such orders. The military might be equal to the task, but runs up against the same problem: refusal to obey such orders, and I consider this more likely than for law enforcement. Such law enforcement use of the military would also require a constitutional amendment...

There's also the not-so-little matter of the government not knowing precisely where the majority of those firearms are. Most states don't have mandatory registration, and those that do don't see anywhere near 100% compliance. It's hard to confiscate something you don't know the location of.

The bottom line is that prohibition virtually always fails when there is a significant demand for the prohibited item...and the demand for firearms in the US is enormous. A ban on firearms wouldn't reduce the presence of firearms much....but would create a barrier between tens of millions of (armed) Americans and law enforcement. Aggressive enforcement would lead to civil unrest and possibly even civil war. We simply have to find another way of reducing violent crime (which, in large part, we have been doing for the better part of three decades: the trend lines are rather unequivocal on this).

  • The US have banned him.woodbine, Fri Jun 15 12:56am
    Tommy Robinson is a criminal banned from entering the US.; He is currently serving a 13-month prison sentence for contempt of court after publishing a Facebook Live video of defendants entering a law ... more
    • Whether banning firearms here is or is not a good idea... — Poppet, Fri Jun 15 7:02am
      • the number of persons in the USA. Trying to collect 350 million guns from gun owners who are determined to resist such collection is a recipe for guaranteed insurrection. The day such a law is passed ... more
        • It is indeed practically impossible to get all Americans to relinquish their guns immediately. What I am suggesting is a long term series of incremental legal and production restrictions that over a... more
          • Cultural shift.Poppet, Sat Jun 16 4:10pm
            One thing I didn't get into in my previous, over-long post (that only David replied to, citing stuff I'd already stated...good ol' message boards!) was my belief that the only thing that will reduce... more
            • Interesting insight.Anonymous, Sun Jun 17 5:10am
              Culture is the key but it will be a long haul. It seems the first hurdle would be to convince people that fewer guns makes for a safer society. One common response to the last school shooting (at the ... more
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