Gun Laws Fail Again..and People Die

By Rob Morse: Opinion

Police Lights and Crime Tape
Police Lights and Crime Tape

Slow FactsUSA –-(  I have a point of view. I used to think that gun laws stopped crime and made us safer.  I would read about some violent attack and think that more regulation would stop the next criminal. Now, I’ve studied some of our 23 thousand firearms regulations. That is when I changed my mind. Now I see a violent crime as another failure of the many gun control laws we already have. Gun laws don’t work, and we can’t achieve safety by piling more regulations on honest people.

Recent events are clear examples. We had a mass murderer in Las Vegas, Nevada.  We had another one in Edgewood, Maryland. Though the events are wildly different, our gun laws failed in both cases. They did not protect us from these attacks. As Senator Diane Feinstein admitted, no law would have stopped the Las Vegas gunman. The Senator is so right.

Gun Laws Fail Again..and People Die
Gun Laws Fail Again..and People Die

The Las Vegas murderer broke the rules as is usually the case. Let’s face it, if you’re going to murder scores of people you’re not going to be bothered by breaking a few hotel regulations. The Mandalay Bay Casino where the murderer stayed was a gun free zone. It was such a gun free zone that that even the hotel security guards were unarmed. The result was that the murderer had guns while the honest gun owners left their guns at home.  Those gun-control restrictions left us less safe rather than making us safer.

The Las Vegas murderer also bought his guns legally.  He passed the background checks for every one of his gun purchases. His only brush with the law was a traffic violation. Gun control failed to stop mass murder..again. We can’t reach perfect safety by regulating the honest people.

The Maryland murderer also broke the rules. He went to his employer and shot five people. Three of them died. Before he was captured, the murderer drove to Delaware and shot another person at whom he was mad.  The Maryland murderer had a very long record of criminal activity.

The murderer had been arrested 42 times. He had 15 felony convictions for burglary. He had four misdemeanor convictions. Charges included theft, sale of stolen goods and conspiracy to sell stolen goods, parole violations, possession of drug paraphernalia, shoplifting, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, four separate charges of assault and assault and battery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and unlawfully carrying a handgun in a vehicle. There were plenty of laws that should have kept this murderer in jail. We certainly don’t need more gun control to do that.

Felons aren’t supposed to have guns. In theory, our gun laws stop them. That isn’t true in practice. None other than the Washington Post lists Maryland as one of the top six states for gun control laws. One of Maryland’s laws is a ban on gun possession “for those convicted of a felony.”  Maryland goes farther than that. Maryland does not issue concealed carry permits to ordinary law-abiding citizens. The murderer’s victims were disarmed. I’m noticing a pattern here.

Ordinary citizens with a gun stop violent criminals thousands of times every day. These good guys protect themselves and their family until the police arrive. These good guys are people just like you. You don’t read those stories in the mainstream media, but they happen. I cover them, and I talk about them every week. It is dangerous to disarm these good men and women.

Gun control disarms honest people who follow our laws, but gun control doesn’t stop convicted felons or mass murderers.

About Rob Morse

The original article is here.  Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor

  • 13 thoughts on “Gun Laws Fail Again..and People Die

    1. The argument always comes back to the simple answer that criminals do not care about gun laws. These laws, in reality, only serve to disarm those who are law abiding citizens. So nothing changes. The bad guys have guns, the good guys don’t .

    2. I think it is obvious that much of the firearm regulations in the USA are largely ineffective. This is because they do not address the criminal side of the equation and instead affect only those that respectfully follow laws (non-criminals by definition).

      But to ignore the ridiculously low per-capita gun violence rates of other modern societies is to ignore what may actually benefit our society. Something works. Something explains the low gun violence in the UK, Germany and Australia.

      The common denominator seems to be large mandatory minimum sentences for gun related crimes. This addresses ONLY the criminal side of the equation. While in the USA a convicted felon found with a gun might only get 18 months… And might get out earlier or plea a charge down to something even LESS, places like the UK have a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years for ANY illegal firearm possession, felon or not, and this is typically without the option of parole. The ability to plea down a charge is also quite different in other nations. It is almost absurd that we even allow it here. It is basically ignoring what crime ACTUALLY happened to go easy on the criminal just because they might do something beneficial like snitch or offer a guilty plea when the evidence is not 100% sufficient. This is ridiculous and makes little sense.

      Addressing gun control is tricky. But addressing only the criminal side of the equation is trickier. Another problem is the huge black market of firearms in the USA that renders our restrictions on legal gun stores sort of moot. If we don’t severely impact the black market, very little will stop a criminal from getting a gun.

      But let us not pretend regulations have no effect. In 2015, over 400 mentally ill people were declined using background checks that integrate mental health. Now, could those rejected individuals THEN gone to the black market and got a gun anyways? Maybe. Not everyone knows how to navigate the black market of firearms. But nonetheless, these individuals did not easily obtain a gun through an FFL, complicating any potential plans they might have had to do harm.

      1. Redo your arguments and use violent crime, not just gun crimes. Obviously an island, especially one with a small homogeneous society relative to the US can ban guns and have some success doing so. However their violent crime rate is higher than the US and using any weapon in self defense often results in trial and incarceration for someone we would deem as in the right.
        However I completely agree with your prescription. Gun crimes must must must be prosecuted with much more frequency and severity of sentencing especially for repeat offenders. Chicago is a case study in how to generate gun deaths by its disarmament of the law abiding and the failure to even modestly prosecute the offenders.

      2. The jails are too full of non-violent drug offenders. Much violence with firearms is a direct result of the “war on drugs.” We know, but refuse to admit, how futile prohibition is. Except for the violence, most drug problems are medical issues, not criminal matters. I hear stories all the time about the over-prescribing of pain killers– as recently as two days ago; doctors have a role in this.

        It may or may not be true that the “Australian solution” has eliminated or seriously reduced violence, even violence with firearms. I’ve read letters from Australian citizens online that allege the opposite effect. Criminals still have guns while law-abiding citizens usually do not. This is not a utopian solution.

        Last is the recidivism problem. There are people who can’t be rehabilitated, but nothing in our prison system seems to recognize and reward the ones who can. A major part of the problem is the fact that it is difficult, nearly impossible, for someone with a criminal record to find a good honest job. Non-violent non-repeat offenders should not be locked out of the job market. Educating them during their incarceration would probably help.

        1. My solution to illegal drugs is MANDATORY prison time for DRUG USERS! ALSO, if an illegal drug user overdoses LET THE USER DIE!!!
          As for recidivism, what about those prisoners who get their GED during their incarceration?

      3. The U.S. also has FAR more cities greater than 250,000 people, where the vast majority of violent crimes occur, as well as a unique gang culture of violence. You don’t compare different nations with countless differences. But within the U.S., gun laws have not been effective. For example, when looking at mass shootings, guns had very few restrictions 100 years ago. A child could purchase a fully automatic machine gun, and guns were in schools, yet we didnt see the mass shootings we have now, or violence like we do now. Violence is in the mind, not objects. What changed? We need to address things like the breakdown of the family, that leads to violence and gangs. Bullying. Mental health. Lack of morality education. lessened prison sentences, etc. These gun laws are only feel-good regulations that make us feel like we’re doing something, when in fact we’re doing nothing at all except disarming the good guys. Gun laws allow the politicians to ignore the real issues and take the easy way out.

      4. Greg, there already is a federal law that mandates a 5 year mandatory sentence in a federal penitentiary for the use is f a firearm in the commission of a crime. It was used effectively in Richmond, VA, until the Leftists complained it was racist because the largest criminal group in Richmond was the black “minority”. They also complained that it was an undue burden on the criminals’ families to travel to visit their relatives in the federal facilities.

      5. “… low per-capita gun violence in the UK, Germany and Australia…”??
        The US is only 26th in the world in PER CAPITA violent crime… far lower than those three countries!!

        While it is true that increased gun control measures in those three countries has very slightly reduced the murder rate, all other violent crimes – rape, armed robbery, armed assault, home invasion, arson, etc – have more than quadrupled(!) in the same time period. Each of those country’s citizens does stand a (statistically irrelevant) smaller likelihood of being murdered, but they are FOUR times more likely to be victims of violent crime. That is absolutely NOT an acceptable trade-off.

    3. Uhhhh why in the world was that thug ghetto rat in MD not behind bars? Arrested 42 times, come on – it is so clear the system does NOT work clearly!!

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