Over the past several blog posts I have been talking about a variety of gun laws in different states and around the country that are either being considered or have passed to become law. This will continue and will probably only accelerate with the upcoming years of elections…it is always a hot topic in an election year. After all, how can you vote against someone that claims to know how to keep you safe?
But the real issue isn’t being addressed in any measurable way…keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. As we have all heard, if we outlaw guns, the only ones that will have guns are the criminals. This has more truth to it than most politicians would like to believe. Because at the end of the day, passing a bunch of background check laws, longer waiting periods, stricter registration laws, or a variety of other measures from local governments won’t fix the problem. The bottom line is that criminals simply don’t care about any of these laws…they will get the guns they need to perform the criminal act they want to perform.
There was a good article in The Tampa Tribune recently that talked specifically about this very issue, “Why criminals continue to carry guns.” There were some great quotes from the article I wanted to share that further prove the point…
“Anti-gun-law groups like the National Rifle Association can be stubborn, but they are right about one thing: The criminals we fear most aren’t deterred by things like registration requirements, background checks, waiting periods or, in this case, going back to jail.”
“The sad truth is that most of your common street thugs — dope dealers, gang members, carjackers and armed robbers — don’t shop at gun shows or sporting goods stores. They acquire their weapons through burglaries, from “straw buyers” who buy guns legally then turn them over to felons, on the streets from illegal dealers, and numerous other ways. There are simply too many guns out there, and way too many ways for them to get into the wrong hands.”
All the laws might help put the criminals away easier, faster, or longer, but they will still get guns. These deterrents simply aren’t impacting their ability to acquire a gun if they want one for their crime. They aren’t making decisions to not do the crime because of these factors, which makes the laws only impact the more responsible population, not the criminal population. To me our law makers are acting like the typical physician, treating a symptom rather than diving into the root cause.
Solving the “root cause” of the problem takes a lot of time and money and for most lawmakers, their terms end before any real action can take place so it isn’t as important as other initiatives. It’s much easier to pass a background check law and then stand on the platform and say you have helped get more guns off the streets…nothing could be farther from the truth. Short term symptom solutions will never address the big issue, how do you really keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Wouldn’t it be great if we could take all the time, money, and resources being spent on “symptom solutions” and put it towards “root cause” solutions? That actually might have an impact on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. One can only hope…