Buzz Paths

Common Sense For Common People

The President’s 23 Point Plan: A Righty’s Non-Extremist Viewpoint

January 18th, 2013 by Ted Silberstein

A few thoughts on President Obama’s 23 point gun control proposal.  It is a natural reflex of gun rights advocates to perceive any attempt at gun control to be an intentional attack by liberals on the 2nd Amendment with the ultimate goal to abolish it.  While this is no doubt true of many gun control advocates, there is also no doubt that many of these folks are driven by the altruistic heartfelt need to “do something” when acts of violence like Sandy Hook and Columbine shock our country.   Who wouldn’t want to do something to stop such violence?

Tiring of the rancor over this subject, for a change I prefer to opine on the President’s proposals from a simple and detached aspect of the practicality and cost of applying them rather than engage in the usual duel of wills between pro and anti-gun control proponents.   The non-extremist tone of this opinion may seem droll, but it is intended and hopefully appreciated.

In general without going point by point though all 23 of the President’s proposals, there should be no objection to any proposal that seeks to expand or enhance background checks to keep convicted felons and persons with mental and emotional instability from owning guns whether the sale if the guns occur in gun stores or at gun shows.  Enhancing background checks is not an attack on the 2nd Amendment and it is madness not to endorse that.  Background checks in the course of person-to-person sales of privately owned guns is far trickier to accomplish, and I wish nothing but luck and success to the person who is intelligent enough to come up with an effective and efficient way to do it.  This increasingly hypothetical someone would certainly not be me. 

When it comes to the actual hardware, so much emphasis is placed on the guns themselves and their ammunition capacity, including legally limiting the amount of bullets a gun or magazine can hold.  Because there are clearly so many ways that a person bent on carrying a high volume of ammunition to commit mayhem can do so regardless of how the hardware is regulated or changed, the only people who are ultimately regulated, are the law abiding responsible gun owners who don’t need to be regulated.  From a cop’s perspective, our worst fear is encountering violent criminals armed with more ammunition than we have, but again the reality is that these criminals cannot be expected to abide by rules that regulate ammunition capacity.  The uncomfortable conclusion therefore, is that to truly eliminate violent criminals’ access to high capacity magazines, it would be necessary to embark on a total mass confiscation of these magazines from everyone, even if it takes a house-to-house, car-to-car, building-to-building search across America.  I am not being facetious – this is literally what would have to be undertaken in order to truly accomplish this goal.  I don’t think even the most anti-gun person would find such a sweeping intrusion on freedom tolerable.  It won’t happen.

Let’s ponder a scary analogy to the above.  I have long wondered how long it would take for Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-like enemies of America to up the ante in their jihad, and get around to employing their most insidious terror techniques here in America that they have used with alacrity and great success overseas – the car bomb.   By comparison, as shocking and terrifying as the mass school shootings in our country were, all things considered, there have not been a great number them.  Yet as we are seeing now, it doesn’t take very many of them to bring the demand for regulation, if not outright ban of weapons by those who truly believe that doing so would prevent the violence.  It begs the thought, if America experienced a few car bombings in the heartland with typical body counts of 50 to 80 dead, would there be the same type of hue and cry for the regulation or banning of car ownership?

Here’s the point of the analogy.  Although it would certainly be hoped for, there can be no certainty, no assurance, or evidence to show there is even a mere likelihood that the strict gun control measures on hardware sought by gun control advocates would have any effect on gun violence.  Even so, the President and gun control advocates would implement these measures based on nothing more than the hope and a possibility that they might.  But if we were to compare this to the mass casualty causing car bombings, we would absolutely know with certainty that by banning car ownership we would eliminate car bombings.  Yet the President, and the same folks who would impose strict gun controls or bans with an uncertain result, would never think of banning or regulating car ownership even though doing so would bring an absolute certainty of ending the carnage of car bombs.  They would never think of it, nor would I, for good reason, because attempting such an undertaking and upheaval to our society would be ridiculous.  And that is the point and the question posed by the analogy.  Why would we visit such an upheaval on our society with no certainty of positive results on one hand, but then never think of visiting an upheaval on our society with a certainty of positive results.   I’m Just provoking thought.

The next conundrum is that the emotionally charged demand for immediate hard line gun control measures stemming from tragedies like Sandy Hook actually causes the opposite effect of what those measures are intended to accomplish.  The fevered threat of impending strict gun controls results in a bonanza of gun buying and selling by people who believe they need to beat the implementation of the controls.  The result is more guns out in the populace than before, exactly the opposite effect of the goal.

Finally, we come to the price tag, the bean counting.  Initial reports put the cost of the President’s gun control plan at $500 million.  As we know, no program ever proposed by a politician on the left or the right ever comes close to an original estimate, and if I were to make a prediction, to accomplish everything in the President’s plan would likely run into billions.  We’re talking about 50 states here.  When it comes to spending this much money the bean counters like to see more certainty, and if not certainty, at least some evidence of probability.  It is true that you can’t put a price on a life, and whether you’re on the right or the left politically, we all want to put a stop to violence.  But with our country’s economy circling the drain, purely speaking in terms of economics and not 2nd Amendment debates, it’s just not the time to pour billions into a plan with so much uncertainty and lack of expectation of positive results. 

The parts of the President’s plan that focus on background checks, education and the like are much more important and have better promise for a positive impact than the parts that focus on the guns and ammunition.    The best hope for curbing gun violence is a plan that focuses on the people, not the hardware.

Sphere: Related Content

Stumble it!

This entry was posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 5:26 pm and is filed under Gun Control. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.