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Thursday, February 22, 2018

We have had gun control for 50 years

From the president on down, Washington and the media tell is we have to prevent another school tragedy.

They are wrong. Preventing tragedy is not the role of government. Government is not God.

Oh, we can do things to reduce the odds. Stop signs have saved easily a million lives. The federal government did not invent them. Detroit did. In 1915. They were black on white, then yellow, and now red. The hexagonal shape makes them distinct and effective.

And surely water treatment and sewage has saved lives by the millions as well. Billions even.

But preventing the occasional shooting spree? Congress and the presidency have a terrible track record.

They came up with the gun-free zones that resulted in good old boys in West Virginia getting suspended for having a hunting rifle in their pickup in the school parking lot.

However, the gun-free zones failed at Columbine, Sandy Hook, and this latest tragedy.

Oh, and the FBI failed to follow up on all those tips about the latest whack-o. I already said, report it to the local police, not the FBI,

Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, called for repealing the gun-free zones.

"Repealing gun-free zones and lifting the restrictions that keep good people from carrying guns for self-defense — that will make a huge difference," he wrote in USA Today.

Certainly the recent proliferation of concealed weapons permits has shown that the problem is not guns.

Nor is gun control the answer.

We have had gun control for 50 years. There are no loopholes. You must have a federal license to sell guns, and if you have a federal license, you must do a background check. It doesn't matter where you sell a gun -- gun show or a garage sale -- you must do a background check before selling the gun.

The FBI checks to make sure the buyer isn't a mental case or a felon. Domestic violence offenders also are barred, as well as those dishonorably discharged from the military.

The problem is, government agencies often fail to file the paperwork on less-than-honorable discharges.

The law has had mixed results. Gun homicides rose immediately following its passage, and stayed high until 20 years ago when states began lifting

I do not know if the relationship is causal or casual. But the fact is we do have gun control. My guess is it reduces the odds of felons shooting people by forcing them to acquire weapons illegally.

Debating gun control is like debating whether we should repeal Prohibition -- or Betamax versus VHS.

Everybody should know better, but they don't. We get a lot of heat and smoke, but no light from this senseless debate.


From Leslie Eastman's review at Legal Insurrection:
Surber, a recovering journalist with over 30 years of experience, has been cataloging the #FakeNews that has been regularly offered as serious analysis of President Donald Trump’s actions, policies, and opinions. He has brought his enormous collection together in the longest, most serious book he has yet written: Fake News Follies of 2017.
Fake News Follies of 2017 is available on Kindle and in paperback.

Autographed copies are available. Email me at for details. I am including a "director's cut." I will give you the original Chapter 1 that I cut because while the chapter was amusing, it really had nothing to do with the Fake News Follies of 2017.


  1. Don, you need a Damned Right button in reactions.

  2. Actually, we've had gun control for 55 years.

    But who's counting?

  3. They want me to have to do a background check on my kid if I want to give her one of my guns (if I owned one). They want to have a way to register all guns. None of this will keep criminals from getting what they want.

  4. For over thirty years I had to work in a signed and posted "gun-free zone" (a major medical center). On many occasions I've told my co-workers that I have a bad attitude about that. Since I would be fired in a heartbeat for carrying concealed if caught, I've said "If there's an active shooter situation, don't count on me for help. I'm GONE. I will vanish so fast you won't even know." With CCW, I would do everything possible to defend myself, my family, and my friends. But it is not my responsibility to "die a hero" unarmed, trying to stop a maniac.

  5. Lets do MORE of what's not working for us now! That's the ticket!

  6. "Government is not God."

    Modern Progressives threw off Christianity in favor of Marxism as dogma but retained the mid-19th century Radical Pietist use of government to impose morality upon all as a means to their own salvation. Having denied God, the human desire to align with something greater than themselves caused them to adopt government as their god.

    "Most pietists took the following view: Since we can't gauge an individual's morality by his following rituals or even by his professed adherence to creed, we must watch his actions and see if he is really moral.

    "From there the pietists concluded that it was everyone's moral duty to his own salvation to see to it that his fellow men as well as himself are kept out of temptation's path. That is, it was supposed to be the State's business to enforce compulsory morality, to create the proper moral climate for maximizing salvation. In short, instead of an individualist, the pietist now tended to become a pest, a busybody, a moral watchdog for his fellow man, and a compulsory moralist using the State to outlaw "vice" as well as crime."
    --Murray Rothbard

  7. Yes, we have laws, and those laws already define "prohibited persons" precluded from legally buying firearms. The reported behaviors demonstrated by young Master Cruz apparently included assault, battery, initiating fights, making threats, cruelty to animals, and (yes) hunting without a license. Had these behaviors been appropriately handled by referral to the criminal justice system in accordance with sane policy then Master Cruz would have been declared a prohibited person by virtue of conviction for his felonies and been unable to legally purchase firearms.

    Policies such as used in the affected school (and in many other school systems across the USA) which protect young offenders from actual justice and actual correction by handling illegal behaviors as in-school matters place the rest of us in danger, and such policies also clearly do an actual disservice to the individuals so handled.

    In this case, it is those policies which are to blame and not the tool used by this killer. Other tools such as an automobile, driven across a crowded schoolyard, might have resulted in a much larger number of deaths and injuries. In my opinion, policies similar to those used in the affected school contribute to the general lack of discipline and the general increase in significant illegal behaviors we see today.

  8. It would help a great deal if we could eliminate the "shooting fish in a barrel" effect of the gun-free school zones. Over 98% of school shootings take place where the shooter is the only one with a weapon. This case is no different; the murderer was able to freely shoot whoever he wanted with no opposition.

    He killed until he apparently got tired of killing, then got rid of his gear & blended in with students. His murder toll could have been much, much higher- as no one interfered with his killing spree. As the NRA says, "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun."

  9. "You must have a federal license to sell guns, and if you have a federal license, you must do a background check."

    Which does exactly nothing, nada, zip, unless bureaucrats report the appropriate things to the NCIC. Then there are people who exhibit all the signs of being violent sociopaths. The law should give cops and schools the option to bring that person before a judge after evaluation by no less than three medical psychiatrists, and let the judge decide if that person should have access to firearms.

    Finally, gun-free zones may as well have a sign out from front that says "Homicidal Maniacs Welcome".

  10. “The hexagonal shape makes them distinct and effective.”

    Octagonal shape, I think you’ll find, Don.

    That is, unless you’re rebooting the 007 franchise, starting with “Hexapussy”.


  12. See Jack Cashill's article today on Florida schools and The Consertive treehouse on the same.

  13. Keep up the good work.

    -C List