The Meet the Press Sunday Panel debating “gun control.”
First things first. New Jersey is not North Dakota and New York is not Kentucky. I say that at the open not to point out the obvious but to simply shine a light on one hugegiganticenormous obstacle standing in the way of pragmatism and genuine results emerging from the noise that is the current driving “gun control” debate. A gun on one’s hip in Bowling Green, Kentucky is not the same as a gun on a hip on a dark alley in Brooklyn. Let’s just be real about that much and we can quickly dismiss at least half of the frivolous debates that tend to slow this conversation.
To their credit, the Meet the Press panel Sunday was, for the most part, able to check regional bias at the door and what resulted was actually a decent conversation on the subject. Former Southern Governor Haley Barbour was well, Haley Barbour. His best line was “If you make it a crime to have guns, only criminals will have guns.” You think? He then went on to say “that’s a fact.” While I follow where he was going, I do believe when he takes a look at the transcript he’s going to see how absolutely worthless that line really was.
Mike Murphy framed the debate as most on the Right presently see it – omitting of course the constitutional questions. There are 300 million guns on the street and if you screen for those most likely to commit mass shootings – young crazy males – that number shrinks to about 3000. While I’m certain those 3000 crazy SOB’s will be anything but fond of being more rigorously screened, I do believe it is a good place to start. But good luck reaching a “national consensus” on what it actually means to be “crazy” enough to deprive a citizen of a Right spelled out in our Founding Documents.
Surprisingly, Mayor Cory Booker (Newark, New Jersey) was the first on the panel to make the argument most often missing in the current conversation – not every gun-related death comes as the hands of an “assault weapon.” As he pointed out, 30 people are murdered every day with “guns” – “that’s almost a Virginia Tech every day.”
Does that mean banning all guns? Of course not. But it does inject a bit of reality and pragmatism into the conversation. Banning “assault weapons” may curb the trend of mass shootings; but even that is a theory wrapped in a fantasy. Crazy does what crazy does and crazy’s going to do whatever the hell it wants to do once it puts its crazy mind to something. Take away “assault weapons” and good money says they’re going to use something else.
What’s Booker’s solution? Regulate the “secondary market.” Fair point, generally speaking; but I do believe regional bias makes him miss the mark a bit. He says gun crimes in New Jersey almost always involve a secondary market – a trend he thinks can be reversed by stricter screenings at guns shows and similar sales. If that was the whole of his premise and his argument, I’d be inclined to agree with him – as Murphy did on the panel. But I think that also misses the bigger picture.
I’m support without condition or equivocation increased scrutiny and screening for gun and trade shows. Why should it be any easier to buy a gun at an establishment that housed a flea market the weekend before than it is to buy a gun at a permanent establishment? The “loophole” needs to be closed, period. That said, what folks like Booker and his lefty brethren tend to do is confuse the volume of those sales with the broader “secondary market.” We Southerns love our guns shows and we buy a lot of guns therein, but there’s also the criminal side of things as well. Just because popular charts and statistics lump them together does not mean buying a rifle at a “gun show” is the same as buying a handgun out of the back of an Chrysler. Booker may think they’re the same for the sake of tracking murder statistics, but I assure you they are not.
And that reality, my friends, brings us full circle.
Close the gun show loophole; increase screening for mental health – if you can find a reasonable standard to apply (good luck); establish a national (non-public) registry if you must to appease the Left; and you’re still left with two scenarios you can do absolutely nothing about without taking 300 million guns off the street tomorrow. Criminals are going to get their hands on guns, period. And crazy is going to find a way to be as crazy as crazy as crazy can be. And if that involves guns, crazy’s going to use everything at its disposal – legal, registered, or other wise.
This whole conversation is nothing more than a not-so-subtle attempt to make “ourselves” feel better about gun violence and mass shootings. Collectively, we’re not sure how to sleep at night knowing we live in a society where people can do such terrible things. We’re left wondering what we could have done differently. Where did we go wrong? How did society fail that person?
I’m just a humble blogger, but I’m inclined to believe that soul search needs to begin between the ears – not with my neighbor’s firearms.