Wishful thinking



There’s an old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Right now there are a lot of people wishing for a ban on assault rifles, and some would like to see a ban on all guns.

Let’s look at how well bans work. We had the example of Prohibition in the 1920s. It led to an increase in organized crime as these syndicates became the purveyors of alcohol. We are now in the grip of an opioid epidemic. Heroin has been illegal for decades and use has increased. Deaths have also increased because the illegal supplies are of varying concentrations and we have Fentanyl added to the mix, killing even more.

So what would be the unintended consequences of banning the dreaded “assault rifle”? It’s impossible to say for sure, but here’s a likely scenario. The market for these weapons among criminal gangs and crazed mass murderers would not go away; it would go underground.

This black market for weapons would first deal in whatever semiautomatic weapons could be found, but would eventually be forced to deal in stolen military weapons. Tens of thousands of military weapons “disappear” every year, and if this market ramped up, that number would certainly climb.

What that would mean is that school shootings and other mass murder would then be committed with fully automatic weapons. Some of these weapons are belt-fed, eliminating the need to stop and reload. A shooter could fire a thousand rounds or more non-stop.

Until governments are willing to give up their weapons, guns can never be eliminated and will find their way into criminals’ hands. Doesn’t it make sense that law abiding citizens have the means to defend themselves?