Gun Control Is Dead, And So Is the Debate

Conner Drigotas | connerdrigotas.com

We live in a post gun control world, and most of us don’t even know it. The current debate over gun control is simply a waste of time. The modern gun ownership landscape is misunderstood by the lawmakers, and by most of the media discussing it. We all want to decrease gun violence, but it feels like the solutions are all the same.

In the wake of national tragedy in Texas and Ohio, we have seen more of the same talking points from all the same talking heads: Common sense gun control. Mandatory buyback programs. Red flag laws. Bans on assault weapons.

There are deep flaws in each of these, but more importantly, none of these are realistic. We need to look at other solutions because guns are here, and they are here to stay. 

1. There Are So Many Guns

There are more than 390 million guns in private ownership in the United States of America. That is roughly 40% of all the guns in the world. That is 120.5 guns per 100 people in the United States. American citizens are certainly well-armed.

Attempting to collect by force would be a monumental task. The paranoia surrounding gun confiscation is already significant. It is unlikely a buyback program would work. Data shows they do not work. A mandatory program would likely face massive noncompliance. Mandatory buyback plans have failed in New Jersey, New Zealand, Minnesota, and everywhere else they have been tried. Even stopping the sale of new guns would only result in stemming the number at 390 Million, and watching half of America revolt as their paranoia is realized.

Even a combination of these efforts would have a minimal impact. There are too many people who have no intention of giving up their guns.

2. Ghost Gunning

In 2013, Cody Wilson killed gun control when his company, Defense Distributed, released digital plans for a 3D printed gun (the Liberator).

Despite legal setbacks, the information needed to produce the Liberator and machine key parts for other “do it at home” guns is widely available. Collapsing distribution of these plans in the age of end to end encryption and decentralization is impossible. One can transfer information in so many ways, it would be impossible to shut them down. Companies like Facebook, who had previously banned these plans from being published are now allowing plans to be posted, perhaps seeking to monitor users and control access points.

Ghost gunning is not a definitive end all to gun control, but it is an important piece of the puzzle. Without the ability to create new firearms, the market price for guns may be too high during times of scarcity. The ability to produce new goods will keep the price, and therefore the barrier to entry, low. The right to self-defense should not only be for those who can afford it.

Ghost gunning stretches beyond the gun itself. “Ghost gunning” extends to include other necessary components. One popular proposal by gun-grabbers has been to raise the cost or eliminate the sale of bullets. Like firearms, people can and do make bullets at home. Some people do it for fun now, and they would do it out of necessity after an ammunition ban, or significant price increase.

3. Human Exchange

Everyone has a price. If firearms ownership became illegal, the sheer number of guns in existence suggests that the average American would still be able to purchase a gun – the price would simply be a little higher. Supply and demand. It is entirely likely that owners with multiple firearms would part with them voluntarily, so long as they don’t see the buyer as an enemy. 

Transfer between generations is also more likely in a world of scarcity. If humans pass down gravy from generation to generation, a firearm with the ability to defend friends and family would become an item kept in perfect condition for resale or pass down to children.

4. Resistance to Gun Control

Despite the current reports of buybacks, red flag laws, and other small-time confiscations, anyone wishing to seize firearms from citizens would face stiff resistance.

Ironically, it is the current legislative attempts to limit gun use that have so enraged gun owners in the present day. Those efforts have led to more gun purchases and a greater suspicion of gun-grabbers around every corner. Rest assured, if gun control, buybacks, or confiscations began in earnest, there would be armed resistance. The resistance would come from the people who have stockpiled an estimated several trillion rounds of ammunition.

Some of that ammunition is owned and would be used by militia groups on both the left and right, among the least likely to surrender their guns, ammunition, or peacefully comply with government directives. Militia involvement has swelled in the last few years, and are primarily comprised of former military, current military reserve, and retired police

5. Who Would Do the Taking?

Some of the biggest gun fanatics in the United States of America are those who would be confiscating them. There are roughly 700,000 police officers in America. There are roughly 1.4 million service members in the United States military. How many would actually follow an order to murder civilians who are exercising a fundamental human right to self-defense?

Even if 100% followed orders, what would that 0.6% of the population be able to accomplish? American citizens would lie, kill, and run before giving up their rights.

What Now?

The gun control debate is truly dead, but the threat to you and your family as gun-owning Americans is far from gone. Between today and the day America eliminates gun control measures, you are more vulnerable than ever. You may not know if you are actually in danger. You cannot always trust the police and politicians. The government is listening and seeking to increase their ability to do so. Even corporations are listening in as technology continues to develop. These are odd and confusing times. It is best to trust yourself and those others who are knowledgeable about how to protect themselves.

The biggest danger to your right to self-defense is not in your lifetime. How we raise our children heavily impacts the future prospects of firearm ownership and self-defense. 

The biggest threat to American citizens’ right to personal protection is a slow and incremental seizure through these red flag laws, and cultural pressure through media to conform citizens to an idea that gun ownership is wrong.

If that happens, gun ownership will decline to the point where the numbers I cite here are no longer significant. It could take one generation, it may take ten, but the importance of education and self-reliance must be passed down.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same

Ronald Reagan

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