U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- A view of firearms as a zero-sum game, where the destruction of a firearm means there will be one less firearm in the world, is a simplistic and childish view of reality.
Firearms are a manufactured product. They were first manufactured with 14th century technology. Manufacturing them today is much easier.
The idea that removing a few firearms from society makes society safer is a delusional view of reality. It is widely held by true believers in population disarmament.
Police Chief Kerr Putney has the authority to sell 18,000 firearms held in storage, under his control. Instead of selling them and bringing needed funds into his department, he insists on storing them, simply to make a bizarre statement that guns are bad. From wbtv.com:
In an interview with WBTV anchor Molly Grantham, Putney explained why the department is keeping the confiscated guns locked behind closed doors when some of the firearms could be sold to vendors.
“I don’t want to be responsible for having one of those weapons take a life here in Charlotte when we could have done something that’s within our purview because of a law enforcement reason to keep that from happening and that’s what I stand by,” said Putney.
The police chief said his department currently has around 18,000 guns safely stored in CMPD facilities.
Note: “one of those weapons take a life”. Granting volition and motive to inanimate objects is a common characteristic of those who wish us disarmed. It is magical thinking.
At prices typically achieved at sales of impounded guns, the value of the 18,000 firearms is two to three million dollars.
The firearms would be sold to federally licensed dealers. People who purchase them would go through exactly the same background checks they would for new firearms. If a person would be able to purchase one of the firearms now held by Chief Putney, they would be able to purchase a new firearm.
Chief Putney is increasing the profits of gun manufacturers. He does this by artificially reducing the supply of guns.
“The law is pretty clear. They want vendors to be able to resell guns,” said Putney. “I think it’s wrong-headed. I’m never gonna break the law, but I am gonna say we have a law enforcement reason where we shouldn’t be adding more weapons to the hands of young people.”
This is nonsense, a weird illusion. If a person can buy one of the firearms stored by Chief Putney, they can buy a new firearm. Chief Putney is not keeping guns out of the hands of young people. He is taking money out of the hands of taxpayers, to indulge in his childish, magical thinking.
The people who I have talked to who think this way have a strange belief that the supply of firearms is fixed, a number that is not dynamic or growing. Thus, if you destroy a firearm, or keep one locked up, there is one less firearm to cause problems. This is pure delusion.
We are increasing the number of firearms in the United States by tens of millions every year. Destroying a firearm, or storing it in a police lockup, does nothing to reduce the demand for firearms. It only re-directs the demand from used guns to new guns. It only means people who make guns will make one more gun.
To reduce the number of guns in society, you need to stop the manufacture of new guns, and apply draconian controls to confiscate the guns in existence, while preventing the clandestine manufacture and smuggling of guns in the black market.
It has been tried. It has failed everywhere it has been tried. Look at the numbers for India, China, Brazil, and the United States. Legal gun numbers have no relationship to illegal gun numbers. After 165 years of modern gun control, there are more guns than ever in places that instituted heavily restrictive laws against gun possession and use. Legal gun numbers have no relationship to the crime rate. Gun control has been tested and failed.
The measures put into place in the attempt, create far worse problems than they solve.
It is easy for people to make their own guns, or for small, illicit shops to make them for them. Guns have sufficient utility to be highly desired, creating the demand that fuels the manufacture.
Societies with high numbers of guns, and societies with low numbers of guns, have been both violent and peaceful. The number of guns in a society has almost nothing to do with the level of homicide in a society.
Police Chief Putney will be retiring in a few months.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.