Logic and Gun ‘Control’ – Part 1


Summer's End. Lexington Green, 11 September 20...

Summer’s End. Lexington Green, 11 September 2002. Photo taken in Minute Man National Historical Park. Sculpture : “Minuteman” by sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson (1863-1947), dedicated April 19, 1900. Erected 1899 : SIRIS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s see if a little logic can be injected into the current debate concerning so-called ‘gun control.’ What is the stated goal of the anti-gun, aka ‘gun control,’ crowd? Is it not to reduce the level of gun crime? Let’s ignore for the moment that the actual reason for the Second Amendment is far more than simply protection from personal attacks. If we take the gun control advocates at their word, a small problem immediately presents itself.


Logic dictates that if there is a problem one wishes to solve, and the remedy which has so far been tried is not successful in solving that problem, trying even more of the same won’t help. Further if the solution implemented in the past has not only failed to help but has actually increased the size of the problem, would it not be reasonable to abandon that solution? If that is the case, what would the motivation be to continue to apply that same solution which has demonstrably failed?

Specifically, I am referring to the one application of ‘gun control’ proposed as a key part of the solution to an increase in gun crime, as highlighted in the recent terrible mass shootings in Connecticut, Colorado, Arizona and various other places. It is the proposal for a strengthening of background checks. Here is a recent quote from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service:

“According to a National Criminal Justice Reference Service study, of more than 76,000 people failing to pass their instant background checks when attempting to purchase a gun in 2010, only 4,700 investigations ensued, resulting in only 44 prosecutions.”

If the numbers are run here we find the following to be true. In 2010, only 1 of every 16 people who fail an instant background check were even investigated, and only 1 of every 1,727 people were prosecuted! In the case of a law where 15 out of 16 offenders are not even investigated it is reasonable to conclude that enforcement is seriously lacking. There are three likely explanations for such a lack of enforcement of already existing laws.

One is that the government is simply overwhelmed.

Two is that the government is incompetent.

Three is that the government does not desire to actually reduce gun crime.

Of those choices, number one is the most unlikely considering the large number of employees the government currently has to do the job. The second choice, incompetence, is indeed a likely choice given the record the government has running, well…just about anything! The third choice, deception, is the least palatable choice, yet it is unfortunately one that also could easily apply. After all, everyone knows that our government does not tell us everything they do or are planning to do, and deception has been found to be a strong factor in government operations in the past.

If all these alternatives are examined and analyzed with logic and reason, perhaps a truly workable solution to the grave problem of gun crime can be found.

The first alternative of the government being overwhelmed is worthy of examination even if it is the least likely of the causes for lax enforcement. It still remains in the area of possibility. Whether or not this potential cause of the problem could be adequately addressed by our government is very unlikely at this point. However, even if enforcement could be improved by increasing the amount of people working on it, the real question remains. How is adding more laws to this area going to reduce the problem especially if there are severe difficulties addressing enforcement of the laws we already have?

The second alternative cause for the lack of enforcement problem is government incompetence. As I have noted, this seems far more likely to be the case than the government being overwhelmed by the size of the task. Incompetence can take many forms. Waste, duplication, and miscommunication are all traits our government has exhibited before in more areas than I can count. Worse, it wouldn’t be the first time negligence and plain fraud and theft have been involved in tasks the government was charged with accomplishing, whatever the department or branch of government involved.

In the concluding article we will continue on to the third alternative cause for lack of enforcement concerning the proposed “strengthening” of background checks, and what possibly might be done to actually make headway against rampant gun crime in our land.


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