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Original Chapter 20: Gun Rights & Common Sense

See a expansion of this chapter here:  Guns

“Expecting a carjacker or rapist or drug pusher to care that his possession or use of a gun is unlawful is like expecting a terrorist to care that his car bomb is taking up two parking spaces.” —American author Joseph T. Chew 

What’s wrong with

America’s debate about guns

  • Extremism. Many people on both sides of the gun control issue are overly extreme in their positions. On the one side are people who want everybody to be free to possess firearms, without any government control whatsoever, to prevent governments from creating “victim zones” composed of unarmed law-abiding citizens. On the other side are people who want to deny firearms to everybody except the government’s military and police forces, as they incorrectly believe banning firearms will dramatically lower the violent crime rate.
  • Unrealistic expectations. Government doesn’t do anything very well. But even if the government could do a good job with gun control, murderers will always find a way to commit murder just as thieves will always find a way to steal. Once guns are banned, will government ban razor blades, bricks, stones, and kitchen knives?
  • Tragic outcomes. We don’t seem to be able to keep guns out of the hands of fanatics and the mentally ill. When sane people are unarmed, mass murders can be carried out in schools, shopping malls, and even military bases because there’s nobody in the crowd who can stop the murderer. And when it is seconds that count, the police are minutes away.

How to fix what’s wrong

with America’s gun policies

  • Reaffirm our right to bear arms. Citizens who have no record of felonies, substance abuse, or mental illness should have the right to own and carry firearms (including concealed firearms) without the government’s permission and with only minimal regulatory requirements (described below).
  • Sensible gun control. It should be illegal for felons, drug users, and the mentally ill to possess firearms. It should also be illegal for any company or individual to provide a weapon to anybody without a background check. This would require that the government maintain a database of known felons, drug users, and the mentally ill.  A high standard of licensing should be required for the sale or possession of assault weapons.
  • Tasers as an alternative. For many citizens, Tasers may provide an effective—and less lethal—alternative to using firearms for self-defense. If more citizens carried them, some mass murders, thefts, and other assaults might be stopped without the danger of killing innocent bystanders.

“This battle for ‘common-sense’ gun control laws pits emotion and passion against logic and reason. All too often in such a contest, logic loses. So, expect more meaningless, if not harmful, ‘gun control’ legislation. Good news—if you’re a crook.” —Libertarian radio commentator Larry Elder

“Gun bans disarm victims, putting them at the mercy of murderers or terrorists who think nothing of breaking the gun laws.” —Former radio talk show host Michael Badnarik

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” —Thomas Jefferson,  principle author of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and third president

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