The Massive Ignorance Behind The Guns Cause Crime Agenda

by | Oct 6, 2015

Do you want to live in a world where a violent criminal knows that all the nonviolent, noncriminals out there are disarmed?

The arguments for gun control or gun confiscation basically boil down to this: “If guns were illegal, they would not be available. If they weren’t available, people like that crazy killer in [fill-in-the-blank-with-location-of-latest-shooting-here] would not be able to use them.”

This assumes that a crazy psychopathic killer, hell-bent on murder, would let an obstacle like finding a gun legally stop him. This is absurd. A crazy psychopathic killer, by definition, has decided that he must do his evil deed, and indeed is even entitled to do it. There will be an underground “market” for guns, if they are outlawed, just as presently there is an underground “black market” for marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

The people who claim that violence can be controlled by outlawing guns show how little they understand about the nature of criminals and criminal psychology. They assume — they must assume, to take the position they do — that these killers are for the most part semi-reasonable, although troubled souls who rush out to the gun equivalent of a convenience store, mostly on impulse, to purchase their gun. If this purchase were made more difficult or impossible, the implied reasoning goes, this poor troubled soul would refrain from his violent actions.

I suppose this is why the self-same people who favor gun confiscation are the very same ones who plead for all manner of excuses for criminal behavior. They tend to be the same type of people who feel that everything and everyone is responsible for criminal behavior, other than the criminal himself.

They can’t understand, or perhaps don’t want to understand or come to grips with, the psychology of evil. It’s admittedly disturbing to try and do so. But this is no excuse for eliminating the right of the nonviolent, noncriminal majority to protect themselves from violence by making it harder or impossible for them to purchase weapons for self-defense.

Look at it this way. Do you want to live in a world where a violent criminal knows that all the nonviolent, noncriminals out there are disarmed? Do you think this will actually alleviate crime or contribute to its rise — especially as economic conditions continue to worsen in a society where government now acts mostly as an economic wrecking ball?

Of course, the people who want guns outlawed for the peaceful, nonviolent majority are usually the same ones who think that government is capable of literally anything. Too much sugar in sodas? There ought to be a law. Some people unable or unwilling to buy health insurance? There ought to be a law. Mind you, not just a law affecting those individuals; a law imposed on everyone, a one-size-fits-all “solution” to a problem guaranteed only to make the problem worse.

Back in the days of Prohibition, people who wanted to drink got their alcohol. Outlawing alcohol didn’t do a thing to change society, other than make society more dangerous and give the government more to do. Similarly, the “war on drugs” has done nothing to eliminate or even reduce addiction to heroin, cocaine or marijuana. It turns people who enjoy these drugs into criminals, but it doesn’t change their behavior one bit. We could decriminalize their behavior tomorrow and that would end the dangerous black market for drugs, as well as give the government much less to do, allowing it to focus on really important things like — oh, I don’t know, capturing terrorists. And decriminalizing that behavior would not do a thing to change the nature or extent of all the substance addiction problems out there. Those would go on just as before, no more or no less — perhaps a bit less, if anything.

It’s the same with gun ownership. Those who support gun control view gun ownership as something akin to, if not worse than, abuse of heroin and cocaine. They think that if the government outlawed guns tomorrow, and took them away from peaceful people, that criminals would somehow be pressured or even shamed into not killing. It’s beyond ridiculous. I guarantee that if guns are outlawed in the near future, you’re going to see lots of changes in the lives of the peaceful, but not a bit of change in the minds and behaviors of the violent. In fact, violence will grow, if anything, because the violent will now know the peaceful are disarmed, with only an unaccountable or unavailable police force to aid them.

Worst of all, it’s the intellectually superior and self-congratulating who are the most in favor of gun control. It’s taken as ignorant and mentally unsophisticated to have any other position on the subject. You would think the intellectually superior and sophisticated would at least have some remote grasp of how a criminal mindset works. “Criminal” by definition refers to someone who considers himself outside and above the law, and entitled to do whatever he pleases in life, even if it means initiating force against another.

These are the sort of people who will sleep better at night if we pass restrictive or confiscatory gun laws. And it’s the supposedly intellectually superior among us who are hell-bent on protecting the nonviolent by making life more comfortable for the violent.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

3 Comments

  1. Article V or continue to boil like frogs.

    What is worse?

    The risk of a 2nd convention of states making things worse or the certainty of the trend worsening?

  2. I am always amazed when apparently educated people fall back on presumptions, mis-truths and scaremongering to support their beliefs.

    “If guns were illegal, they would not be available. If they weren’t available, people like that crazy killer in [fill-in-the-blank-with-location-of-latest-shooting-here] would not be able to use them.”

    This has never been the argument though.
    Modify it to: “If guns were more tightly regulated, they would be less available to people like XXX and there would be fewer such incidents”
    This isn’t absurd, this is documented fact. European countries which have broadly similar demographics to the US and broadly similar violent crime rates ALL have significantly lower homicide rates and far, far fewer spree killing incidents.

    “There will be an underground “market” for guns, if they are outlawed, just as presently there is an underground “black market” for marijuana, heroin and cocaine”

    True, but again you simply have to look at the amount of gun crime of countries which have such underground markets.
    It’s still very small.

    “If this purchase were made more difficult or impossible, the implied reasoning goes, this poor troubled soul would refrain from his violent actions”

    The argument is not that he will refrain from his actions, but that he will not have such easy access to tools which will enable him to undertake his actions.

    “They tend to be the same type of people who feel that everything and everyone is responsible for criminal behavior, other than the criminal himself.”

    The evidence for this supposition is missing in the article.

    “But this is no excuse for eliminating the right of the nonviolent, noncriminal majority to protect themselves from violence”

    Who has ever suggested removing the right of people to protect themselves from violence?

    “Do you want to live in a world where a violent criminal knows that all the nonviolent, noncriminals out there are disarmed?”

    But this scenario is a reality for every citizen of every Western European country. The same countries that have no more violent crime per-capita than the US and a lot less homicides. So at least on paper, lots of guns don’t make society safer, they make it significantly more dangerous.

    “Back in the days of Prohibition, people who wanted to drink got their alcohol. Outlawing alcohol didn’t do a thing to change society”

    That argument can be used to question any law. By the same train of logic, having laws protecting your right to private property doesn’t stop people stealing things, so such laws are therefore useless.

    “Those who support gun control view gun ownership as something akin to, if not worse than, abuse of heroin and cocaine.”

    Again, this needs some qualification on the part of the author. He seems to be conflating of two ideas – controlling who may have accrss to guns, and prohibiting all gun ownership. It’s perfectly possible that many (maybe most) law-abiding gun owners actually support the idea of limiting who can or cannot get hold of a gun.

    “They think that if the government outlawed guns tomorrow, and took them away from peaceful people, that criminals would somehow be pressured or even shamed into not killing”

    According to who?? It’s not clear exactly who “they” are or where the author has read or heard of “their” ideas..

    “Worst of all, it’s the intellectually superior and self-congratulating who are the most in favor of gun control. It’s taken as ignorant and mentally unsophisticated to have any other position on the subject.”

    This is easily disproved. Does the author believe that anyone – and I mean ANYONE- should be able to own and have free access to a gun?
    Children?
    The mentally ill?
    Convicted felons?
    If the answer is No, then the author does, in fact, support at least some measure of gun control.

  3. This is a pretty shallow analysis. To equate gun control with gun confiscation is an unreasonable and flawed conclusion. The big difference between America and other countries with high gun ownership rates is that we have a culture which is obsessed with guns – the bigger and “badder” the better. The discussion on whether to allow private ownership of machine guns and high-capacity magazines is simply absent in many of these countries – guns are primarily thought of as hunting tools. If someone feels the need to be able to fire 5 rounds per second in a hunting weapon, they probably ought not to be out there among other hunters. I have no objection to private ownership of legitimate hunting weapons or even concealed-carry handguns for people who have demonstrated security needs. In a civilized society, it is pretty hard to make a rational case for why weapons should not be registered. The Wild West era ended some time ago.

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