Gary North’s Reality Check (Dec. 21, 2012)
I have watched the gun control movement become a major voice against gun ownership over the last 40 years. What has most impressed me is this: this movement has been unsuccessful in disarming Americans. The demand for guns keeps rising.
I have known the leaders of the gun ownership movement. Larry Pratt is the head of the lobbying group, Gun Owners of America. He has held that position for as long as the organization has existed. It began in 1975. The founder of the organization, H. L. “Bill” Richardson, was a state senator in California. I do not recall when I first met him, but it was probably sometime around 1967. I met Pratt no later than 1969, and it may have been earlier. I have watched Gun Owners of America grow into a major sounding board for those who want to preserve Second Amendment freedoms. There are a number of lobbying organizations that promote gun ownership, but Gun Owners of America is generally regarded as hard-core. It does not recommend making political deals with those who would control legal access to firearms.
These mass murderers are almost always on prescription mood-altering drugs. The mainstream media rarely mention this. Every time that there is an incident where the latest drug-crazed shooter kills a number of people, there is a strong push by the gun control movement to get all guns banned. In contrast, every time some elderly lady shoots an intruder who had invaded her home, there is a brief story about this in the local newspaper. I have known for over 40 years that reporting in the major media is skewed in favor of the gun control movement.
In the years that I have known Richardson and Pratt, I have watched the gun control movement attempt to ban access to firearms, and in virtually all cases, it has failed. Guns are as plentiful today at gun shows as they were 40 years ago. We see billboards promoting gun shows in small towns across the South. I do not know if they have comparably sized shows outside of the South, but in the South, they are well attended.
There is more registration than was required 40 years ago, but there has been no concerted effort to move from gun registration to gun confiscation. With computerization, the possibility exists, but the manpower required to enforce such a ban of weapons would be astronomical.
Some laws are inherently unenforceable. We know that the laws are unenforceable among urban gang members. Gang members are among the best-armed civilians in the world. Gangs have more firepower than most local police departments. They do not use this firepower against what they would regard as the civilian population. They use the weapons against other gang members.
There is no way in the United States that the federal government could gain access to the weapons of the country without threatening extremely high fines or other penalties. It is unlikely that Congress will enact legislation that would authorize some system of draconian imposition of fines or jail sentences for violators.
The sheer volume of guns owned by Americans precludes the ability of the federal government to confiscate anything like 80% of the weapons. The kinds of people who own weapons are the kinds of people who resist bureaucratic intrusions into their lives. It is not like Americans in 1933, who surrendered gold coins in the darkest days of the Great Depression. They did not view gold coins as basic to their rights as citizens. They were incorrect in this regard, but there has never been the degree of commitment to the ownership of gold coins that there has been to the ownership of firearms.
Who would enforce the ban? I do not think that it will be local sheriffs. It may be local police departments, but local law enforcement agencies do not like to think of themselves as being unpaid enforcers of federal regulations. Cooperation will be limited, at best.
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