America's law abiding gun owners... stupid or evil?

Ah, a nice provocative blog title.

That's a HK-417, by the way.

One thing which gun owners and 2nd amendment lovers fail to understand is expressed in one of their better known arguments.

Banning or restricting guns, they say, will have no impact upon their misuse by criminals. The criminals, they say, will always have access to guns. Banning or restricting the sale or guns will only ever affect the law abiding gun owners. Is this what you want, they say? Less guns in the hands of those unlikely to misuse them while the criminal element still has theirs?

This reasoning is specious for a number of reasons.

The first is that one of the best policies for reducing illegal gun ownership is to have a gun-buyback scheme, whereby guns are turned in to police stations - with no questions asked - and those who turn them in are compensated with money. This sort of policy would work very well amongst the criminal and near-criminal class of people, as they will then have to weigh up their ownership of a weapon with the potential for financial rewards. Any successful gun-reduction policy requires a scheme that would remove illegal firearms from the people who own them, and a no-questions-asked gun buyback scheme is a proven policy used by other countries.

The second reason, however, is more sinister because it casts doubt upon the so called "law abiding" gun owners. The fact is that very few guns are manufactured illegally. There may be some people somewhere who can turn scrap metal and chemicals into a rudimentary firearm and bullet but the mass-production of firearms is conducted legally. This is important, because when manufacturers sell their goods, they sell them legally. Therefore it is logical to assume that every single firearm in America started its life off in the hands of a legal owner. So how did they end up in the hands of criminals? Why are millions of guns owned illegally when every single gun started its life off being owned legally? Simple: The legal gun community is providing the illegal gun community with the weapons that they demand, and are making money out of it. Certainly some guns are stolen by criminals, but the vast majority of illegally owned guns were sold by their legal owners to the illegal owners. So what happens if you restrict gun sales to legal owners? Eventually the illegal owners will have less weapons. Simple as that.

So are law-abiding gun owners stupid or evil?

If all of America's millions of illegal guns have come from criminals stealing them from legal gun owners, then this indicates that there are a huge amount of very stupid legal gun owners out there who just can't seem to keep their weapons secure.

Personally I don't buy that. I think it is far more likely that there exists a substantial amount of legal gun owners who make money from selling their guns onto the black market. By the way If you're a legal gun owner reading this, I'm not saying that this is you.

And also: I am not calling for the removal of all guns. I am calling for much tighter restrictions than there already are, as well as the banning of certain weapons from sale.

And such an attitude is not against the 2nd amendment. The US Constitution allows citizens the freedom to travel throughout the US, but this doesn't mean that planes, trains and automobiles aren't subject to government legislation. In the same way the 2nd amendment allows citizens the right to own firearms to defend themselves, but the government still has the power to regulate what sort of firearms can be used for this freedom. Otherwise people can own their own nukes.