Solutions We Know Won’t Work

There’s one thing I really don’t understand about many in the gun control movement.  I’m baffled when I read things that show just how unserious they are about pursuing policies that might address problems they perceive in society.  I’m not just talking about the organized political folks in DC whose job it is to tie every criminal use of a gun to their top policy item of the day.  I mean the few out there who still support serious gun control and who aren’t paid to promote a specific policy agenda.

I thought of this because of a foreign newspaper editorial that spends 6 of 11 paragraphs talking about a specific drive-by shooting that resulted in the death of a child.  So, considering the death of this child has caught their attention so deeply, one might assume they would be interested in suggesting specific solutions that would result in fewer child deaths and drive-bys. But no. In fact, they actually admit that their solutions won’t solve the problems illustrated by the case they highlighted.

It would also help in reducing the number of homicide cases associated with the use of licensed firearms. Of course, this measure will not work against those who seek out illegal firearms, as was the case with the Prasongsil brothers.

Also worth considering in a public debate would be the issue of whether the number of guns of a certain calibre permissible for each individual, should be limited or not.

They don’t even pretend that the last suggestion has anything to do with the case of drive-bys!

I also think back to a conversation my grandmother and I had at dinner while Sebastian and I were out in Hawaii. Here’s the cliffnotes version:

Grandmother: So is Sebastian into your little gun hobby?
Bitter: Yes. He’s a competitive shooter, he’s active in a gun club, and he even bought me a gun for Christmas one year.
Grandmother: [attempts to mask her disappointment in having a libertarian gun nut granddaughter] Oh, well that’s good that you have that in common.
Bitter: [probably enjoys breaking stereotypes a little too much] Yeah, we enjoy it quite a bit. He got me into a new shooting sport for a while, but lately things have been so busy that we haven’t had the time.
Grandmother: Well, you know, it wouldn’t be such a problem if we could just fix a few things – like closing the gun shows.
Bitter: [looks at Sebastian] Um, do they even have gun shows in Hawaii?
Sebastian: [recalling what he did know about Hawaii gun laws] I’m not sure that’s an issue out here.
Bitter: [knowing where this is going] I’m pretty sure you guys don’t have a “gun show loophole” out here in Hawaii. In fact, I’m pretty sure your laws are so strict they have put a big damper on lawful gun ownership.
Grandmother: Well, there was this shooting recently, and the gun came from a gun show.
Bitter: You’re sure about that?
Grandmother: Well, I think he may have robbed someone.
Bitter: So, wait, he bought it lawfully at a gun show or he stole it from someone who may or may not have had anything to do with a gun show?
Grandmother: I think he stole it from someone’s house.
Bitter: Wait, you want to close down gun shows and ban private sales which may not even be legal in this state – I can’t remember off the top of my head – based on a crime that appears to have nothing to do with gun shows?
Grandmother: Well, there may have been a gun show involved. But it’s a problem that needs to be solved anyway.
Bitter: [restraining all efforts to keep from beating her head against the table]
Grandmother: If we could just limit the number of guns out there, that would help.
Bitter: [morbidly curious] Just how would you do that?
Grandmother: Well, if we could make sure they are only sold to good people, like you and Sebastian.
Bitter: We’ve passed the same background checks as other people who buy guns from dealers and get concealed carry licenses.
Grandmother: Then don’t you have enough guns.
Bitter: [chuckles] Uh, no. We still have some room to fill in the safe.
Grandmother: [horrified at the notion we’d like to own more guns]

Her solution to a crime that bothered her isn’t to address the criminal who was out on the streets, how he was able to continue his crime spree and steal a gun, or even how to address the details of the killing (which she didn’t explain, and I knew better than to ask). She just parroted the nearest talking point she could find.

I am interested in solving problems. If there’s a crime that bothers me, I want to address the roots of the problem so we don’t have to deal with that problem again, or at least minimize the number of instances in which we have to deal with it. It’s such a waste of energy and, potentially, political capital to focus on non-solutions to specific problems. I can’t comprehend the people who go on believing that ignoring the fundamental problems is the best way to truly reduce violence. How many rap sheets have we posted the show the problem in Philly isn’t about guns, it’s about why these scum of the earth are even walking the streets when they have 10, 15, and 20 page criminal records? At least the professional gun controllers are simply pushing a political agenda. It’s the non-professional ones that really baffle me.

8 thoughts on “Solutions We Know Won’t Work”

  1. Unfortunately, I think it’s a form of laziness. Taking the time and effort to learn about a problem and consider applicable solutions takes, well, time and effort. Rather than expend that energy themselves, most people will simply defer to the “experts” who (claim to) have spent that time and effort learning about the problem and coming up with possible solutions. They don’t realize it won’t work because they haven’t thought about it themselves, they’re only parroting what they’ve heard the “experts” say.

  2. It boils down, no matter what they say the reason they want to ban guns, it is really because they think they are icky. Anything they don’t like, they want legislated away. For way to many people, this includes speech that they disagree with.

  3. Conclusion reached: We should limit gun control by making it more difficult for good people to legally acquire firearms.
    Conclusion is similar to: We should limit drunk driving by making it more difficult for sober people to buy cars.

  4. The drunk driving analogy is good. But to drive the point home to her, it would have better to suggest that senor citizens shouldn’t be allowed to buy cars since some of them are dangerous on the road. Sometimes making it personal gets people to think.

  5. “Enough guns”? A woman can never have enough hats, enough earrings, or enough guns.

  6. I have had some small success in combating this way of thinking in my liberal (anti-gun) friends. It takes very gentle guidance, absolutely no argument (argument is counter productive), and a solid understanding of the relevant firearms laws and issues in your area (and theirs). To truely change someones mind is a game of inches. Patient, hard won, unsung inches. But it is well worth it. Of course I’m preaching to the choir here.


  7. You all should take Granny to the range. One of the biggest obstacles I’ve had in changing perceptions among guns in my crowd is with the grandmothers who tend to see guns primarily as tools used to kill their grandchildren. The defensive side of the equation never enters their minds. It’s a tough sell to them, but we have to keep trying.

  8. I’ve long been an advocate of using education and outreach to convert. It’s a big reason I became an instructor myself. But, I can assure you, my grandmother will not change her mind with a range trip. First, she’d never do it. Scratch that, first, it would require a second trip to Hawaii, and that takes a bit more planning than the normal range outing. Then, she’d never do it. Even if she would agree to it, most of the rental places there appear to cater to the Japanese market – never shot a gun, not learning for the purposes of learning to shoot, but just to pull a trigger on something.

    This is a woman who is still disappointed that I’m a conservative because she’s convinced I did something wrong if I lived in a place like Massachusetts for so long and didn’t go liberal. (Of course, when I try to bridge the gap on social issues, suddenly she’s the uptight conservative and I’m on the wrong side – again.) For some people, a range trip just won’t work. My grandmother is one of them. And I don’t throw in the towel easily on something like this. She’s just that stubborn.

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