I was recently at a gathering, and had an interesting conversation with one of the other attendees. This person is former law enforcement, and is now involved in politics.
We were talking about guns. He was discussing an interaction he had with a congressman that is pushing a piece of gun control legislation. This person was discussing how this congressman has a number of "procedural loop holes" he can use to get this legislation through congress, but he chooses not to due to the political baggage that gets attached to such a move.
The person I was speaking with has been asked to rubber stamp his support for this legislation as a show of local support for a federal law. He won't do it.
BUT, during our discussion, we got into the arena of my most hated phrase, "reasonable gun control". My stance is that unless a law can GUARANTEE that a gun won't be used in some sort of crime, it is nothing more than window dressing.
Intelligent people understand that some people will break any law that is written. So, with regards to gun laws, any law written will only be followed by the good people who are not inclined to break just laws in the first place. Laws like theft, murder, rape, assault - you know, little things like that.
Writing another gun law won't do a damned thing about reducing crime. It will only make it more difficult for good people to protect themselves from people inclined to break laws in the first place.
Our conversation broke down when he stated he could support a gun law concerning the sale or gifting of guns. His stance was that if you knew or believed that the person you were selling or giving the gun to had an "unstable" personality, and then that person committed a crime with the gun, YOU, the seller/giver should be held at least partially responsible for what happened.
Apparently, my face turned red, and/or my eyes narrowed, as the subject was quickly changed. Not wanting to ruin this gathering, I shut my pie hole.
Before I tear this apart, let me give you my 30,000 foot view on judgement: I ALWAYS trust the judgement of "the people" before I trust the judgement of government. Are there idiotic, unstable and evil individuals in "the people" camp? Oh hell yes! But in a comparison of the citizens versus government employees, the government has a stupendously higher percentage of people I judge as idiots, unstable or evil than is present among "the people".
The collective judgement of "the people" exceeds the judgement of government - at any level of government.
So, back to our "reasonable gun law". Paraphrasing, I'd envision this law would state, "If you sell or give a gun to someone you know or should have known was mentally unstable, you are liable for the acts of that person if they use the gun in a crime".
Really?! For how long am I on the hook? For a year? Forever? What percentage of the crime committed by this person is attributed to me? If they commit a robbery that carries a 5 year prison sentence, do I go away for half that time? 20 percent?
If they commit pre-meditated murder and get the death penalty, then what? Am I executed too, or do I just get the shit kicked out of me?
Maybe the law adds that you are absolved of all liability if you require that the person receiving your gun first submit to a state or federal background check. Hey, that sounds reasonable! It's a proven fact that every person who has a background check will never commit a crime with that gun, right?
But what if the person still commits a crime after a background check? Who is then held criminally liable for the actions of the crazy individual?
Queue the "crickets chirping" sound track.
We all know the answer is, "No one will be held responsible". You see, government is allowed to lie, cheat and generally FUBAR things with no consequences. They pass laws giving immunity to themselves and their ilk - individual government employees, and whole cities, states and the federal governments - who failed miserably in the execution of their duties.
Hell, if there are no consequences, why do the job correctly?
How many government employees went to prison after the mass murderer at Virginia Tech passed his gun background check?
How many government employees went to prison after OK-ing the San Bernardino terrorist entry into this country?
How many government employees went to prison after failing to deport the 9/11 student, tourist and business visa offenders?
How many government employees went to prison after a death at a government certified restaurant?
The answer is: None, none, none, and uh, none.
Government sets standards of conduct and consequences for "the people", then exempts themselves from both.
The samples above show examples of one death, to thousands of deaths, all because government did not do its job. In every example, they had "the law on their side", yet they did not enforce the very laws they wrote, and people died.
Not even a slap on the wrist. I doubt anyone even lost a job or had to endure the humiliation of a "job reassignment".
So I don't put a lot of credibility in the proclamation that another law on the books is going to stop people intent on doing harm, from doing so. Real life has proven otherwise.
In real life, here's how I think this would play out: I've got a gun available. The person interested in it looks nuts, is acting nutty or I know to be nuts. I use my judgement and don't sell or give them the gun.
Well lookee there - no law needed!
You see, no law on the books is able to guarantee compliance with the law. Their only benefit is in meting out punishment after the fact.
Laws written now are nothing more than attempts to control you and eliminate your free will. A crime used to be when you acted, and that act infringed on the rights of another citizen. Now it means you disobeyed an arbitrary act or standard meant to control your actions, regardless of how that action may affect those around you.
Their judgement is better than yours, so obey the law. Or else.
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