Guns or Abortion, Where There Is A Demand, There Will Be A Supply


Supply and Demand Example Chart Graph
Guns or Abortion, Where There Is A Demand, There Will Be A Supply

Fayetteville, AR – -( One of the primary claims made by gun control advocates is that guns are bought by criminals in states with “lax” gun laws and are then transported to states with strict laws, thereby undermining the effectiveness of such measures. In their view, we must impose the most stringent laws nationwide to overcome this traffic of firearms. This approach, of course, runs afoul of the Constitution, but it also fails on pragmatic grounds, particularly the economic reality that where demand exists for a readily available product—or a product that can be smuggled easily or can be made in machine shops—there will always be a supply.

There is a parallel case, one that involves efforts to curtail a legally protected right: abortion.

This will not be either a defense or an attack on abortion. My point here is to observe similarities between two aspects of contemporary political and social culture. The impetus for this article was a report that I saw recently about a trend among residents of states surrounding Illinois to travel to Chicago to seek abortions. This is a three-year trend, going from prior numbers around 3,000 per annum before 2015 to 3,210 in that year, 4,543 in 2016, and 5,528 in 2017. This matches a recent increase in restrictions on abortion in neighboring states.

Sound familiar? I am frequently told that guns flow from those same states into Illinois. The direction of flow is the reverse, from states that respect rights to one that has imposed a lot of violations, but both of these situations illustrate what happens when an artificial restriction on the supply is written into the law—and yes, I realize that the source of the guns used in crimes in states like Illinois is debated. For the sake of argument let us assume the claim of gun control advocates, as a given, since their claim undermines the usefulness of their proposed solutions.

At this point, I’m told that if we apply the laws of the most restrictive states across the nation, that will stop the flow. Australia tried that answer, and the result was the equivalent of back-alley abortions—as illustrated by the example of a jeweler near Sydney who supplied that city’s gangs some one hundred copies of the MAC 10. He was by no means alone in supplying firearms to criminals in that country.

I’d like to think that we’d all like to see many fewer abortions and many fewer gun crimes. Whatever view we take on the questions of gun and abortion rights, reducing the number of people who are killed or injured in crimes and the number of times that they need medical procedures of any kind is an improvement.

Attempts to control supply have a long history of failure. Prohibition was a failure, except for rum runners, our War on Drugs has put many Americans in prison for possession of a small amount of marijuana and made buying sinus medicine tedious. Telling people to “just say no,” whether we’re talking about drugs or sex, doesn’t work. One thing that does succeed, in those areas and in reducing violence is education. This sounds like a cliché, but along with access to jobs and a government that works for all the people, rather than only a few, still works.

Which is to say, dealing with what creates demand, rather than sniping at the supply, is the sensible approach—if sensible means based on evidence and sound reasoning. To a gun control advocate, sensible is another word for less freedom.

To quote Paul Harrell, you decide.

About Greg CampGreg 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.

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Look at all you men talking about a woman’s right? If your 13 year old girl was raped would you want her to go through the pregnancy, birth and horrible affect it has on her mentally and physically? How dare you spout off. If you don’t have a uterus you don’t get a voice in abortion. Go clean your guns and shut up. And pray that the women don’t take away your guns. It’s on the docket for the next law to pass. How can you righteous pricks say it’s ok to kill with guns but shithowdy ya have to… Read more »


42 million prospective lives ended by abortion worldwide in 2018 … kinda pales by comparison with the number of lives taken by legitamate gun owners in the US.

Patrick H

42 million abortions in one year? What else am I supposed to put on the bar-b-q this weekend? Nom nom nom!

Geary Mcdevitt

Good example of what we have been trying to tell the left for years. When we show them this evidence, they will just go off on abortion rights, like most in these comments.

Concerned citizen

It always amazes me when the gun banners claim that people go to gun shops and buy a 100 or more handguns to resell in other states. Do they have any idea how much this amount of guns would cost? And no gun shop would sell that many to one person. If you think about it , it just isn’t logical. Bloomberg tried to prove this by having people go to out of state gun shops to buy a 100 handguns, it didn’t work. The stores reported them to the ATF not sure if the atf ever did anything about… Read more »

bill knight

As I read through the comments I have come to the conclusion, reading and comprehension are no longer required for graduation from school in this country!


GUN rights DO NOT result in deaths; ABORTION KILLERS have MURDERED MILLIONS of INNOCENT UNBORN persons to put money in their own pockets. DO get some common sense and intelligence.
Perhaps you would have loved Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other killers in history.

bill knight

Did you read the article or were you just triggered by a certain pattern of letters? This was a simple discussion of the laws of supply and demand.

Paul O.

Your analogy doesn’t quite work. Gun rights are protected by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The killing of the unborn in the womb is not protected in the constitution. The abortion procedure is authorized by a decision by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. That’s not the same level of the law. The Supreme Court decision was made in a time when the science of embryology was far less advanced. Now we know that at the moment of conception that a unique human being is made that has DNA that is separate from the parents. Often the baby… Read more »

Your Worst Nightmare

You missed the point of the article. He is not comparing abortion rights(you have none) to gun rights, he is comparing how when you ban something that people will do whatever they can to get around the ban. The abortion ban is just used as an example and not a comparison to gun rights.


Yet another example of missing the point of the article. This is an article on economics (supply and demand) and not about rights. Nowhere was he trying to “equate gun rights with abortion rights”.

Mark Baird

We hold these truths to be self evident, that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among those are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…….If government will not protect the Right to Life, it will and has failed to protect any of the rest. if a citizen wishes to murder their unborn child, or worse to practice birth control by pregnancy, and infanticide, they can shoulder the burden and responsibility of that conduct without my tax dollars. Governmental genocide of the unborn falls squarely outside of the unalienable Right to Life!


Well, that was a predictable, knee-jerk, reaction.
Clue: You missed the entire point of the article.

Mark Baird

Perhaps your comparison between abortion and gun running was a pretty poor choice. Drug running and gun running comparisons make sense. Prohibition and gun running comparisons make sense, even cigarette smuggling would have worked……but to compare infanticide to smuggling unlawful weapons across county or state lines is weak logic. Predictable…knee-jerk? One of the other unalienable is the Right to speak freely. Can’t take the heat, snowflake? Walmart is always hiring.


Hi Greg, Your article is spot on with your use of economic theory and the classical supply/demand curve. However, your arguments are all around the constriction of supply via regulation. Therefore, your D1->D2 curves should be replaced by S1->S2 curves where S2 is to the left of S1. The resulting price change is similar (it goes up), but the reasons are very different from an increase of demand. In the demand increase scenario, inventory depletes and factories must make up for the new demand level. In the short term, price will increase owing the the scarcity of the product. Conversely,… Read more »


Thank you.
That is probably the single most, well written, and reasoned comment that I have ever read on AmmoLand

Clark Kent

You must not read much.