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Gun Control Requires Our Willing Compliance

I think one aspect of gun control that is all too often overlooked by those who advocate for it is that for gun control to really work, it requires the willing compliance of the gun community. Push too far, and compliance and respect for the law will disappear, and most of the benefits proponents advocate will as well. Not only will the supposed benefits of any new law not materialize, but perceived benefits of current gun control will as well. New York is about to become an example of this, as millions of New Yorkers defy Cuomo’s draconian gun ban and registration law. There’s an old saying that if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns, but the unsaid corollary to that is always that we’re all going to become outlaws. Is a situation where millions of people are suddenly made criminals conducive to a health relationship with the law and law enforcement? Is it conductive to people remaining law abiding? Let me provide some examples.

Some of the proposed laws at the federal level would make it a crime to own an AR-15, and would subject to the same scrutiny as the National Firearms Act. At some point, an AR-15 owner who is defying the law is going to find himself answering an important question “If the penalties are the same or similar for having an AR-15 as having an M4, why the hell don’t I convert this thing?” Currently what prevents this is that most people simply lack the skill, and most people who have machining ability, machine equipment, or gun smithing skills won’t do this kind of work. But in a world where the vast majority of semi-auto owners are outlaws the same as someone who has an illegal machine gun, will that hold? Remember, once you destroy respect for the law, a lot of things that currently would never be on the table will suddenly be on it.

Now we also have a number of states and local jurisdictions preparing to jump on the nullification bandwagon, and a lot of these local jurisdictions aren’t just speaking of nullification of new laws, but of gun laws in general. Compliance not only requires our respect, it also requires the respect of local law enforcement, and in many areas of the country, that’s not going to be forthcoming. What’s going to happen when local authorities refuse to investigate or prosecute people for dealing in guns without federal licenses? What are sheriffs and police chiefs going to do when they know almost half the families in their towns are criminals? The federal government does not have the resources, absent willing compliance, to put everyone in jail, and neither does the State of New York.

I will submit to you that if draconian federal gun control laws go through, all respect for gun control that exists now will disappear. There will be massive amounts of non-compliance, both out of outright defiance and out of ignorance. There were people prosecuted in the first wave of assault weapons bans for having things like Marlin Model 60s in their closets, completely unaware they possessed what was now labeled an “assault weapon,” and which had to be registered or surrendered. We’re about to see widespread defiance in New York, and millions of New Yorkers start to realize what the next step is once they are registered. If they are unsure, they need look no further than the city that torments them and their rights.

Gun control advocates really do not understand the fire they are playing with, with much of what is being proposed. How many millions of Americans are you prepared to imprison? How many are you prepared to kill? What is the count of ruined lives, broken families, and ruin are you willing to inflict to try to achieve your rainbow farting unicorn utopia where every gun turns into a flower? Widespread disrespect for the law by millions of Americans is not going to bring that about, and in fact, may only serve to create larger unregulated markets, and far more willingness to engage in law breaking people would not be willing to engage in under normal circumstances.

36 Responses to “Gun Control Requires Our Willing Compliance”

  1. Wayne Smith says:

    NEW JERSEY is a “Case in point” as NEW YORK will soon find out.

  2. Bill Cyrus says:

    I don’t think they really care at all about the consequences. If they did, they wouldn’t be advocating for gun control at all given the results of what they’ve already done.

  3. Publius says:

    There are two gun-related battles in progress, with only the first getting serious attention: the one regarding firearms. The second battle, in many ways the more important, concerns ammunition.

    Without ammo, a gun is just an awkward club. So if the gun-confiscators lose on the firearms side, you can bet your last primer that they’ll take the longer, slower, but just as sure approach via ammunition.

    So pay hawk-eyed attention to all ammunition-related proposals coming from legislators. The relevant language may be up front or it may be down in the fine print. But make no mistake, they’ll take your ammo too. Or dry up the supply, which amounts to the same thing, just in a longer time frame. After all, if you have to register to buy manufactured ammo, you’ve essentially told them what firearms you have.

  4. AH says:

    Many have warned that if these gun banner proceed with confiscation the result will be dead Americans . Both the gun owner and the poor soul sent to confiscate the gun.

    However if confiscation is not going to happen then will be just noncompliance and many will just be quiet about what they own. After all that is what happened in DC from 1975 to today and still happens since most refuse to register their weapons.

    Look at Chicago many have guns and some use them for criminal purpose but many do not.

    Once people feel society is against them, then they prey on society and hence become criminal.

  5. Shawn says:

    “…How many millions of Americans are you prepared to imprison? How many are you prepared to kill? What is the count of ruined lives, broken families, and ruin are you willing to inflict to try to achieve your rainbow farting unicorn utopia where every gun turns into a flower?…”

    90 million. These people have no problem with killing near a third of the entire US population to acheive their dreams. They don’t view us as human, they view us as sub-human animals that needto be controlled and killed if we cannot be.

    In 1918 guns were made illegal in Russia and then the government proceded to kill at least 20 million of their own people. The gun control movement is cut from the same cloth. If they have to bring the full brunt of our own military to kill us all to realize their uptopia they would do it. Without question. All we are to them is an obstacle. They hate us and want us gone. Makes me start to beleive that rumor obama has a new litmus test that unless your willing to kill Americans on American soil and state so you cannot get into a leadership role in the military.

    • Divemedic says:

      Isn’t that what we are doing with the drug laws?

      • Harold says:

        How many people are getting executed in the US just for breaking a drug law?

        OK, more than a few in SWAT raids, but that’s not quite the same thing except when the police go to the wrong location and are mistaken for criminal home invaders. I don’t think very many fight to the death against the police to keep their drug stash.

  6. wizardpc says:

    “If the penalties are the same or similar for having an AR-15 as having an M4, why the hell don’t I convert this thing?”

    This. A thousand times this.

    • J says:

      I assumed that was a rhetorical question but I’ll play. Why not? Because automatic fire is pretty inaccurate. I carried several variants of the M16 in combat and not once… not once… did I put the giggle switch on auto or burst. It wastes ammo and well-aimed semiautomatic fire is much more effective.

      From the legality standpoint I completely get it. From a more pragmatic standpoint I do not personally think it makes much sense.

      • Harold says:

        I assume you’d previously tried out both setting?

        The other reason is that we aren’t governments with big budgets. Full auto consumes a lot of ammo; I might like learning how to use a controllable GPMG, but the cost to obtain proficiency would be prohibitive (travel, too, since there are no ranges in the area big enough for that, plus of course I’d have to buy or rent one).

    • Patrick H says:

      Bingo I’ve had the same thought.

  7. Lucky Forward says:

    This is a brilliant post. If someone believes that he is the target of unjust law in one area, will he be less likely to obey the law in all other areas? Will he not be as scrupulous about traffic laws, or paying taxes, or, say, if he runs a restaurant, some food safety laws.

    European countries have higher tax rates, for example, but often lower levels of compliance. Italians and Greeks are notorious for treating the rule of law as a big game.

    So the happier view is, we’re becoming Greece in more ways than just financially. The darker view is, our betters know they are pushing law-abiding people into a corner, and want to crush them there. When the political party that believes in forced income redistribution, forced medical-insurance participation, and forced fondling at the airport, now pushes for civilian disarmament, I sense there really is something sinister lurking inside that same party.

    • Rob Crawford says:

      When the political party that believes in forced income redistribution, forced medical-insurance participation, and forced fondling at the airport, now pushes for civilian disarmament, I sense there really is something sinister lurking inside that same party.

      You mean the party that has never gotten over having their slaves taken away, and so have created all sorts of ingenious ways to create new ones? The one that ran the longest-running domestic terrorist organization in US history? The one that threatens riots every time someone talks about not increasing their Danegeld?

    • UTLaw says:

      The thing one must understand is that the goal is control and power as ends in and of themselves, not as tools to accomplish any particular goal. One of the things Ayn Rand got so frighteningly correct in Atlas Shrugged was the idea that this non-compliance, and the resulting game you talk about that occurs in Greece and Italy, was not a bug in their plans. It’s a feature.

      The controllers WANT a system that is so Byzantine that compliance is impossible, or so onerous that people don’t bother with it. This way, they have a steady supply of offenders who can be pressured to do whatever they want to make them do.

      If we lose our franchise because we keep our guns, they don’t have to worry about us voting them out of office. If we import wood that hasn’t been planed down thin enough, they can raid our guitar factory, confiscate the wood to sell for the government’s profit, and force us to donate money to “green” initiatives–all simply as a way of rubbing our nose in the fact that THEY have the power and WE don’t.

      Like the villains in Rand’s book, these power mongers don’t ever consider that the victims will stop giving their consent to and compliance with the plan. Whether people here will resist or will just play the avoidance game has yet to be seen. Hopefully we still remember the sweet taste of freedom enough to demand it.

  8. Steve says:

    If the .gov is going to make me a criminal with the stroke of a pen, I am going to be a criminal with a fun switch.

  9. Bryan S. says:

    Federal government had the resources multiple times in our history to round up German and Japanese born citizens. We would just give them a bit more trouble, but I doubt that most would actively participate.

    Those that do… I hear Waco is lovely this time of year.

    But I agree, and know, that even local politicians in NY are saying “F them, dont register anything”.

    • Harold says:

      We aren’t all in the Waco situation, there’s no reason for more than a handful of us to be surprised and be faced with the possibility of conducting a point defense against the government.

      Otherwise, we don’t have to play by the other side’s rules.

    • Patrick H says:

      Yeah, but how many of them were armed? How many understood what was happening? How many of them were committed to the idea of personal freedom?

      • Harold says:

        How many of them were pretty sure, and correct, that they weren’t being taken to death camps?

        In some ways, the property losses were the worst thing, and more than a few suspect that was as much of a driver of the WWII Japanese internment—which did not extent to Hawaii except for 1,200 to 1,800 people—as the spying threat.

        • Alpheus says:

          We have seen enough internment camps, however, that it is not a reasonable thing to suppose that an internment camp won’t become a death camp.

          I, for one, will be resisting any efforts to reinstate internment camps of any sort in the future, for this very reason.

          • Harold says:

            That was back in 1941; I don’t think anyone who has a clue would be sanguine about internment camps today. For just one reason why, our President launched his political career in the home of a couple who called for the liquidation of the 10% or so of Americans who would be resistant to reeducation after the revolution.

  10. aerodawg says:

    The bigger issue is that a significant portion of the population losing respect for law and institutions is part and parcel to that portion of the population viewing the governmental authority as illegitimate. Once that happens, a shooting war isn’t far behind….

  11. Stacy says:

    I think that, aside from a few politicians who may have more sinister thoughts in their hearts, the folks pushing gun control really believe that all but a couple of Turner Diaries-reading holdouts will say “ah, guess the game’s up” and register/turn in their guns once the government tells them to.

    This may be where the drug war has its worst side effect: we have a couple generations of public officials now who are conditioned to operate in a world where everyone just averts their eyes from the unintended consequences, no matter how awful they are. Much as I’d like to think that most police and soldiers are 2A supporters who won’t turn on their fellow citizens, the last 30 years of drug prohibition don’t give me a warm fuzzy on that score. Maybe (hopefully) I’m wrong and the social snobbery that keeps people attacking drug users will operate in favor of upstanding citizen gun owners.

    • Sebastian says:

      Very good points.

    • Harold says:

      You’re forgetting a vital function the drug war is now providing because of the sharp declines in “real” crimes, e.g. violent ones. The latter is a result of demographics and getting serious again about crime, which bulked up the size of what I now call the police-judicial complex.

      Arrest-Proof Yourself: An Ex-Cop Reveals How Easy It Is for Anyone to Get Arrested, How Even a Single Arrest Could Ruin Your Life, and What to Do If the Police Get in Your Face is worth reading if for no other reason than the authors’ exposition of their thesis that the above complex needs a steady stream of the “clueless” as they put it to process through the system. Otherwise they’d be facing massive layoffs.

      Although not everywhere. Sometimes living in a high crime city is not entirely bad because the police are so busy suppressing real crime that they don’t have to manufacture ones to make their stats. I found that true of Cambridge, Massachusetts when I lived and/or worked in it in the early ’80s.

    • aerodawg says:

      I think the difference lies in the fact that even from it’s infancy, the drug war was prosecuted against a relatively small portion of the population. A war on gun owners is essentially a war on fully 1/3 of the population.

      Things change a lot when you’re being asked to kick in the doors of your friends and neighbors.

      Nearly 75% of the combat power of the US army resides in the National Guard, the definition of citizen soldier. That a concious post-vietnam choice to ensure that when the Army went to war, almost everyone knew someone fighting, keeping the public broadly supporting the troops. I think an unintended consequence is that they’re less likely to mobilize against the civilians they know…

      • Watchman says:

        ” a concious post-vietnam choice to ensure that when the Army went to war, almost everyone knew someone fighting. . .”

        I question your premise, or theirs, if that was really it.

        In four months of 1965, I and everyone else I had graduated from high school with, were conscripted, unless they were in college or had a medical or criminal deferment. If you were a working dude, you were just GONE. It was impossible not to know literally dozens of people who were serving.

        There certainly is a vast generational turnover since then, but in the Gulf Wars (I and II) and Afghanistan eras I have known almost no one who served, and the same is true for my (adult) kids. I doubt the military has ever been more isolated from the American population, since the beginning of the last century.

    • BikerDad says:

      It’s not “social snobbery” that keeps people attacking drug users, it’s the persistent and obvious deletrious effects of drug use on users. I would venture that most people who post here WANT their children to be gun owners, to be competent with guns, etc.

      How many people, even drug users want their children to be drug users?

      That’s not snobbery, it’s common sense. A similar situation arises with prostitution. While there’s certainly a libertarian case to be made for decriminalizing it, very few if any adults want their children to become prostitutes. It comes under the heading of “recognizing a bad life choice” not “social snobbery.”

      • Patrick H says:

        Right, but the way they are recognizing it is causing all sorts of issues.

        I don’t think we have a gun problem, we have a drug war problem. That’s the solution to ending all the murder in cities.

  12. jerry says:

    Attacking drug users? Really? Whatever, I hope u don’t attempt to fire or clean your weapon while u are high on your crack or whatever it is u ingest.

  13. Scotty says:

    You know, Tam said something the other day that stuck with me. A felon is currently not allowed to legally possess a firearm. A registry amounts to, basically, admitting what firearms you possess. Therefore, under the 5th amendment, a felon owning firearms can’t be forced to register their firearms, as it would be providing witness against themselves. I’d have a hard, hard time voluntarily registering my guns if felons didn’t have to. Especially since said registry could be used for confiscation. No way.

    I suppose, once you don’t immediately comply with registry, you’d be a felon if you admitted having it, so you wouldn’t have to register. Ugh. Not sure my mind can keep up with the circular logic.

    • Harold says:

      And there’s case law, see e.g. this paper by Clayton on it.

      Unfortunately it looks like you have to be disbarred from owning guns in the first place to take advantage of it.

      • Alpheus says:

        Although, if you own a gun during the “grace registration period”, I would expect that you wouldn’t have to register your gun during this time, because you are just procrastinating. If, after the registration period ends, you still have the gun, and you refuse to register it–well then, you can’t be forced to so much as confess that you own that gun, because the 5th Amendment forbids self-incrimination.

        And that should be true, whether owning the gun were a felony or a mistemeanor or even just an infraction.

        I don’t know if this would hold up in court (even if it were appealed to the Supreme Court), but if it can be, we might very well have legal grounds to defeat any form of registration!

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