The Evil of Creeping Gun Control & The Slippery Slope

Creeping Gun Control & The Slippery Slope
Creeping Gun Control & The Slippery Slope

Fayetteville, AR –-( Those of us who support gun rights often get accused of committing the fallacy of the slippery slope, the assertion without evidence that if we take one step in a given direction, we’ll inevitably end up in disaster. Assuming the angle and viscosity of the slope is at best lazy thinking and at worst a denial of the reality that most of the time, we muddle through, arriving neither in heaven or hell.

This is not to say that there are no genuinely slippery slopes. The opioid crisis in this country illustrates the fact that at times, the chain of causation is real and demonstrable. So what about gun control?

In this subject, there is good evidence to show that politicians seek to impose more and more control on the ability of good people to own and carry firearms legally. Australia is one example. The AU 1997 laws are well known in the gun community here, though we have to recognize that they were an agreement between the federal government and the states since the latter have considerable power. The timeline of gun laws provided by the Shooters Union Western Australia gives a good lesson of how things get worse over time. The same lesson is on display in the timeline of gun laws in Britain.

And as with Australia, Britain is cited repeatedly by gun control advocates as an example of what they want here in the United States.

What gets left out of such citations is an acknowledgment of the failure of each new law to reduce the homicide rate [the laws do not fix what they were supposed to fix].

When confronted with either of those nations as good guides for how we should change our laws here, it’s worth bringing up the facts that Britain’s homicide rate has been effectively constant since the latter half of the eighteenth century and that Australia’s rate also remained basically flat over the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. In Australia, murders rose with the rest of the world in the sixties through the eighties and then began a minor decline—a decline that started almost ten years before the 1997 laws that supposedly did so much.

The ratcheting up of gun controls can also be illustrated here, California coming immediately to mind. Supporters of more restrictions like to point out that it was Ronald Reagan who endorsed limits on carrying in that state in response to members of the Black Panthers carrying their firearms openly.

That might bother me if I labored under the belief that Reagan was infallible, but raising this case undermines the argument for control, since it reminds us that so much about these laws comes from a racist motivation.

To return to the point above, it’s not a fallacy to say, on the basis of evidence, that a particular outcome is the predictable result of taking steps in the advocated direction. In other words, when we can show that in multiple examples, gun controls have moved to the point of making legal gun ownership and carry so tricky as to be akin to impossible, we can’t logically be dismissed as having errors in our thinking.

The good news is that we don’t have to accept this kind of creeping accumulation. Washington State played with the imposition of an “assault weapons” ban and “high capacity” magazine ban, only to have the bills stopped—in part by the opposition of a Democrat.

While some may suggest that this is the Californication of Washington State, things aren’t so simple. There’s a move afoot to split the former state in two, the desired separation that shows the divide between the rural bulk of California’s geography and the densely populated coastal cities. The merits of such a change should be debated elsewhere, but the movement suggests to me that even in the state with some of the worst gun laws in this nation, there is hope.

And the larger point is that observing the slippery character of the slope does not mean that we must accept it as inevitable. We can dig in our crampons, take a hardy swing with our ice axes, tie ourselves together as a group, and climb out of the abyss. The facts and logic are on our side, and we don’t have to surrender to the accretion of violations of rights.

Greg Camp
Greg Camp

About Greg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

  • 10 thoughts on “The Evil of Creeping Gun Control & The Slippery Slope

    1. I’d say the “British firearms law timeline” link in the article is a serious hypocrisy about firearms rights of individuals that shows against a couple of features of firearms, “Conceal-ability” and the other “firearms cartridge power” but really also a third “tactical value”.
      Also any “official” part of a monarchy such as the “Shooters Union Western Australia” is no place to collect AKA data because of its general problem of askew results whether the data collection were manipulated or simply disallowed and non categorized or not present for the problems of “decreed value”(by an official legal categorized) (alike or the same as pervert the course of justice)
      The 1903 decree (by queen Victoria’s son whom ruled alongside her known as “the peace maker” for that decree and the decree that a license must be granted and held for a pistol) on pistol or barrel length is “purely related conceal-ability”, well known to assist as a deterrent too, common sense by Britain’s legislators was to leave the point of firearms being able to be possessed inside the home, until “firearms technological power” and “physical output power” grew to a much more efficient ability.
      The fastest way to learn that any of “Britain’s lawmakers are liars and hypocrites bent on nothing more than re-installing old world values of monarchy behind a facade of laws that are pretext of being excused as conforming to human right draft and resolution while realizing they will never be physically policed or accessible to be held to account” is to watch a 1915 SMLE Lee Enfield in use.
      The very weapons design and conception by its designers is “a confession by Britain’s authorities” of the “minimum it requires” to contest attack whether war or internal dispute such as mere criminals and certainly in modern times now, how little they care what a result on anyone will be to be defenseless, yet must work for the first world loot and suffer the poverty of the 19th century along with stigma if they don’t work(employment or self employment) !
      The old cliche’ “message received understood and ignored” at the international level.
      ( If you listen to the UN on firearms “rights” they are no different because 95 percent of the countries participating in it are either monarchy or fascist – a bizzare stumbling block against human rights safety! )

    2. reading the piece on England’s firearms laws history is informatiove.. EVERY ONE of them was drafted and enacted as a kneejerk response to a specific situation, and none of them appear to have been enacted as a comprehensive system of laws to see to the safety and security of the general population. So a bunch of Latvians holed up in East London and had a shootemup. How does THAT indict the rest of Britain? And what attempts had ever been made to prepare and equip the citizens of England to bear their rightful burden of “the security of a free state” (that last term meaning simply any political aggregation of society)? I will posit that had there been at the time of the aforementioned armed melee a few thousand armed, trained, and motivated, citizens of London and surrounds, the incident would have been nipped even before coming to the bud. Much like some of the “mass shootings” that were attempted here in the USA but never were effected because of a private citizen, equiped, skilled, motivated, to see to “the security of a free state” maade it HIS business to put stop to the attempt to kill multiple innocents.

    3. The NRA seems help very much at times to help GREASE that slope. While making it higher by piling more crap on top of it. I’ll also agree that there may be an opioid crisis of abuse (and hype) in some areas of the nation but many forget that the “Baby Boomers” hit retiring age a few years back. Some of the supposed increase in use is due in fact to increase in the number of elderly people. Which will continue for two more decades.

    4. Do you stay in Fayetteville Arkanas or Australia? How about everyone learning the power of the JURY and utilizing it for our benefit?

    5. “The same lesson is on display in the timeline of gun laws in Britain.”
      Except that the statement of British laws in the linked article is wrong. Does anyone but me care for factual accuracy?

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