Prohibitive Arguments

No Guns LogoEvery time there is a well-publicized shooting certain elements residing within America – mostly, but not entirely, Liberals – starting frothing at the mouth and jabbering about how we “need” to ban or, at a bare minimum, severely restrict gun ownership and availability in America.

It’s predictable to the point of being pass, with the same sorts ranting or whining the same baseless arguments.

Leaving those arguments aside for now on the grounds that they’ve been addressed and refuted time and time again, let us, instead, look to the hypocrisy or stupidity of their arguments themselves.

No Marijuana LogoThere’s a strong overlap between the groups who want to ban firearms and who want to legalize marijuana and other illicit recreational drugs. It’s not a 100% overlap, but the majority of those who are vocal in calling for legalization of drugs are also vocal in calling for tighter gun control.

On this issue they also tend towards using the same argument repeatedly.

The argument, which borders upon mantra amongst them, is that the War on Drugs is not only a wasteful failure but has actually caused the various gang-related crimes associated with the drug culture. They liken it to Prohibition aka the 18th Amendment which arguably led to the rise of organized crime in America in the early parts of the 20th century.

I’m forced to admit that this isn’t a completely baseless argument. While a lot of the problems were and are problems of lax enforcement and weak punishments, there’s no denying that anytime that a high profit margin, easily portable commodity is outlawed a black market for that commodity will develop. There’s also no denying that more organized and violent criminal groups will eventually, unless mercilessly quashed, gain control of that market.

The question roiling through my mind is why do these people believe that it would be any different with firearms?

Related Reading:

Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior
Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity
Comfortable Christianity: Examining Hypocrisy Through the Eyes of a Hypocrite
Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America
Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

5 Responses to “Prohibitive Arguments”

  1. Paradigm Says:

    Well, anyone can grow weed in their basement but it’s not so easy to make guns. But generally speaking there is no clear evidence that gun control laws lead to less crime so I agree with that. I guess both guns and drugs should be allowed. Teens in Portugal are less into drugs after they were legalized. I guess buying drugs from a social worker takes the excitement out of it.

  2. jonolan Says:

    It is, however, relatively easy to get guns illegally. There’s already a thriving market in weapons for felons who cannot legally purchase or own them in America. In fact, the majority of “gun crimes” are committed by people who have illegally obtained their weaponry.

  3. Merl Values Says:

    Jonolan, i agree that many gun grabbers are on the side of decriminalising weed, but equally many shooters also support decriminalising weed.

    Admittedly I live out in the sticks, but almost everyone i know smokes weed (it is decriminalised in parts of Australia) and all of these people own at least a couple of firearms. (myself included)

    An interesting thing though jono, here in Oz our conservative government banned semi automatic rifles and automatic shotguns about ten years ago, and handgun ownership is limited to security officers, police and pistol club shooters.

    We have a homicide rate of 1.57 per 100,000 in Oz, compared to 7.55 in the US.

    Of these murders only 16% are committed with a gun, compared with 78% in the US.

    Keep in mind that our country was founded by Britain as a prison colony.

    Is the answer to this discrepancy as simple as easy access to guns, or is it perhaps a deeper cultural problem that exists in the US?

  4. jonolan Says:

    Merl,

    Don’t make the mistake of equating Australians with Americans; we’re two very different peoples who “recovered” from British rule in different ways. Our cultures and societal outlooks on life are quite different these days.

    There may be more overlap between the “legalize drugs” crowd and the “gun grabbers” here than in Oz. Then again, there may not be. I’m not sure, but lean towards believing the former because your people are more libertarian than most Americans when it comes to personal freedoms.

    I also lean more towards it being a deeper cultural problem when it comes to violent crime but do not believe for a moment that banning guns will address that.

    Go to the link in the post above (or use this one) and look at the violent crimes rates and gun control levels per state in the US. It will show no correlation whatsoever.

  5. Merl Values Says:

    “I also lean more towards it being a deeper cultural problem when it comes to violent crime but do not believe for a moment that banning guns will address that.”

    Lower rates of gun ownership do NOT change the overall homicide rate. They do, however, change the way people commit their crimes.

    Using the UK, Canada and Australia as examples.

    In the UK, the country with the tightest gun laws of the three, about 8% of homicides were committed with a firearm.

    In Australia, with the next tightest gun control laws, about 16% of homicides were committed with a firearm.

    In Canada, who i think have about half the level of gun ownership as in the US, about 38% of homicides were committed with a firearm, and in the US, where gun ownership is highest of the three, about 70% of murders were committed with a firearm.

    The interesting thing about this is that while the rate of homicide by firearm goes up along with gun ownership, the actual rate of homicide stay exactly the same.

    So why is the murder rate so high in the US? (approx 5 times that of Canada, UK or Oz)

    A couple of ideas i am bouncing around..

    One, is that you yanks are just violent by design.

    Being brought up in an in a violent, intolerant culture with no social values creates violent, intolerant people with no social values. Iran is a great example, just a different kind of bloody minded, intolerant fundamentalist 😉

    Two, that while Canada, Oz and UK have comparable levels of hunting rifles and shotguns, the US is awash in handguns.

    Perhaps easier access to handguns means that people are more likely to use them. If some one gets pissed and tries to kill someone in a bar fight with their fists or a broken bottle or a knife, they are far less likely to kill someone than if they pulled a gun in the same situation.

    If you walk in on your wife in bed with another man, and you try to kill them. You are far more likely to succeed with the pistol in your bedside table than with your fists or a lamp or whatever comes to hand.

    So perhaps the discrepancy is in the number of altercations that escalate from assaults to murders because every man and his dog is packing a sidearm?

    I’m right into guns BTW, i just don’t see why people think they need an automatic rifle for hunting, or need to carry a pistol around everywhere they go.

Leave a Reply