I can think of two major reasons why gun control laws will not work. First is emotional and the second is practical. We Americans have had a love affair with guns since the beginning of the country. The Pilgrims had blunderbuss guns. They used for hunting and self defense. The Puritans who were pacifist had guns. They have been a symbol of freedom and liberty since the beginning. This is the emotional reason.
The practical reason is more functional. There are too many unregistered weapons floating around. Old WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam war souvenirs brought back and forgotten in an attic or basement. Weapons given or sold to friends over the years. These are untraceable and readily available.
But lets say for the sake of argument the Government was able to find and confiscate all of the firearms in the country. That would not be enough. My reason for this is the materials and tools to make a good quality firearm would cost around $10,000. After the cost of the equipment is taken into account the owner of the equipment could make and unlimited number of weapons: full auto, semi auto, bolt action, breech loader. The actions being taken to limit ammunition would also be nullified by similar equipment. Casing can be made by relatively simple machines available in many machine shops. Bullets can be made from many different soft metals. The profit potential would prove irresistible to many people.
With machine shops and home metal working equipment there will always be firearms available in the US. In the markets in Pakistan there are gun merchants that hand make AK-47 replicas that fire on full auto. A quick search online or in many readily available printed publications a person could find the plans for a full auto or semi auto firearm.
To prove my point I went to a couple of different hardware stores and a large big box store and was able to buy without any issues the materials necessary to build a breach loader 12 gauge shotgun. Using #7 bird shot it was adequate for hunting small game. I would be hesitant to fire a riffled slug as the barrel may not be up to the stress of that type of round. I later destroyed the weapon as I do not want to own a firearm with small children around. It took some simple hand tools to fashion the necessary parts and some time but I was able to make the weapon in my garage in a weekend.
A milling machine is the expensive way to go. A 3D printer and a moderate power computer and you have a decent throwaway gun. Single shot or breech loaders are a perfect type of fire arm for a 3D printer. For around $4000 you have all that is necessary to print a small caliber weapon. A person could print everything but the primer for the cartridge. It is a case of a little knowledge, skill, and hand tools to make a weapon. It takes longer and much more skill but it is possible to make a firearm with simple tools and supplies. The original matchlock and flintlock weapons were all hand made with simple tools.
Many people will contend the homemade weapons would be inferior to the Factory made weapons, and not reliable. I have to point out that a skilled craftsman in a machine shop or a home hobbyist can create very high quality weapons. That is how the original weapons were manufactured. Many craftsmen would work making the parts and assembling the weapons. The industrial revolution made making weapons more efficient. If all major weapons companies were put out of business a significant cottage industry of weapons makers would flourish. These weapons would not be registered or have serial numbers. In effect they would be untraceable by any government agency.
It is reasonable to believe that if a universal gun law is passed and enforced there will be many weapons that are not confiscated. I recall in New Jersey when they outlawed nearly 100,000 weapons based on how dangerous they looked only about 30,000 were turned in. That made nearly 70,000 people felons. Another example of failed strict gun control laws is Chicago. There are hundreds of shooting every month. Law abiding citizens are unprotected. The criminal gangs out number the police and are better armed in most cases. Last year 2018 there were 2962 shooting resulting in 495 deaths by guns in Chicago. It is illegal to own a firearm in Chicago. Baltimore is another city with strict gun control laws in 2018 there were 274 gun related homicides. As we look at other cities with strict gun control laws we see similar results. The law abiding citizens do not have guns; criminals have guns and are obviously not shy about using them. The law abiding citizens are caught in the crossfire with no way to protect themselves.
In 1768 through 1776 the British government feared the colonial militias could become as regulated and fearsome as the British Regulars. This lead to gun control laws. In Boston where most of the weapons were confiscated the British soldiers became tyrannical by looting and raping at will. The Khmer Rough, The Nazi SS, the Soviet Military, the Chinese Red Guard all committed atrocities. All of these groups were able to commit these atrocities because the citizens were not able to fight back. Revolution is the only response that works. It costs the people dearly. When the citizens are armed they are able to keep the government in check preventing an authoritarian government from forming. Many quotes attributed to the founding fathers of the US give the spirit of the government being in fear of the people not the people in fear of the government.
For those who think Socialism or communism is a good answer with it complete gun control philosophy I point out that Stalin killed twice as many people as Hitler. Chairman Mao Tse-Tung killed over 40 million people Pol Pot murdered 2.5 million people in the Killing Fields of Cambodia That was 21% of the population. Hitler and these three communist dictators all enacted strict gun control laws before they went on their murderous sprees that lasted for years.
Given the track record of unrestricted mass murders caused by the state when the populace is disarmed; I believe we need to keep our weapons. As George Mason stated “To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them” An enslaved populace will at first feel secure believing the state will protect them. But as had been said in the past “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. A friend of mine added a commentary I believe is appropriate; it is the people who are corrupt by nature that are attracted to power. The power will lead to a sense of entitlement which will lead to an authoritarian government. This government will act to consolidate more power and control the populace. Any dissent will be dealt with harshly. This is the history of gun control. To quote President Kennedy “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
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