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Guns, Badges, and Cartels

Written by Gary North on September 5, 2013

“Does anyone seriously believe that people who are prepared to defy the laws against murder are going to obey laws against owning guns or large-capacity magazines?” — Thomas Sowell

I have watched the debate over gun control for almost 50 years. I have heard opponents of gun control invoke this argument. I do not recall having heard any gun control advocate respond to it. They ignore it. They pretend that no one has raised the question.

The voters accept this line of non-reasoning.

The voters generally favor some kinds of gun control. They do not favor outright bans. Only the hard-core gun controllers do this in the USA. The degree of gun control that prevails in the English-speaking world outside of the USA is not acceptable in the USA. But there is support for gun controls, although not gun control.

Gun control is like drug control: no one expects drug control to eliminate the use of illegal drugs. But voters do not want to admit that government control over drugs is a pipe dream. They take the same view on gun control. They don’t want to admit that the state’s intervention is making things worse for liberty. Liberty therefore must be sacrificed. The state must be said to have the power to control activities that the public privately accepts but publicly feels compelled to oppose.

I will re-write Sowell’s statement.

“Does anyone seriously believe that people who are prepared to defy the laws against smoking marijuana are going to obey laws against the use of cigarette paper to roll their own joints?”

Defenders of drug laws — who are very often opponents of gun control — respond to this question in the same way that defenders of gun control respond to Sowell’s other question.

Results: more laws, more government intrusion, larger budgets for bureaucrats, less liberty, and more play-pretend argumentation.

Basically, it boils down to this. Drug dealers are not going to obey laws that supposedly control guns.

If you want to get drug dealers to stop buying guns, then you had better vote to de-criminalize drugs. But liberals want to criminalize guns, and conservatives want to criminalize drugs.

If you think this argument makes no sense, then don’t expect liberals to respond to this argument: “People who are prepared to defy the laws against murder aren’t going to obey laws against owning guns or large-capacity magazines.”

Did you ever think about the chronology of drug laws in America? They parallel the licensing of physicians, which created a high-income cartel, which is justified on this basis: “We don’t want the general public to be able to buy drugs. So, we need state licensing of physicians to write prescriptions.”

It’s all about cartels. If you want to promote the creation of a high-income cartel, it’s easy. Get the state to outlaw something that most people want, and then license a group of specialists to sell it. This will also lead to the creation of an unlicensed, outlawed cartel, which also sells the item. That second cartel buys guns to defend its turf. The first cartel gets people with badges to buy guns to defend its turf.

Cartels want above-market income on state-protected turf. This takes guns. The debate is over who gets to carry the guns legally, and who will carry them illegally.

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11 thoughts on “Guns, Badges, and Cartels

  1. A much more consequential debate concerns optional rights versus non-optional God-expected responsibilities, such as the following one depicted by the Apostle Paul:

    "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house [including spiritual and physical protection], he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Timothy 5:8)

    The battle over protection was essentially lost (incrementally put in place) when the framers replaced God-expected responsibilities with optional rights. Think about it: The Amendment with the wording "shall not be infringed" is the most infringed, licensed, and controlled Amendment of the entire twenty seven. Furthermore, a future generation of our posterity is likely to see the Second Amendment repealed. This is inherent nature and danger of optional rights.

    For more, listen to the radio interview Larry Pratt (Executive Director of Gun Owners of America) conducted with me on optional rights versus non-optional God-expected responsibilities at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.com/#FeaturedM…. I think you'll find Mr. Pratt's remarks especially interesting.

    At the same location (Featured Messages), you'll also find I presentation I gave last March at the Springfield, Missouri Firearms and Freedom Symposium entitled "The Second Amendment: A Knife in a Gunfight."

  2. The left never relents in their efforts to disarm law abiding American citizens. You must remember that GUN CONTROL; is NOY about GUNS. It is about CONTROL. Historically some lefties have evn had enough brass to admit their intentions:

    “Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext, with the view of confiscating them and leaving the population defenseless.” — Vladimir Lenin

    “If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.” — Joseph Stalin

    Any questions, comrades ?

  3. And don't forget that anyone left of Yahweh's right(eousness) is left, liberal, and ultimately ungodly. This explains why Americans originally "lost" their God-expected responsibility to bear arms in protection of themselves, their families, and neighbors to the Constitution's optional rights and why since they have incrementally lost their "right" to the same. See my original post for more.

  4. Well stated, Gary. And yet again, the moment that you go into any detail, you lose most of your short-attention-span listeners. Or as a friend tells me, "you've already thought about it more than most people have."

    Specifically, the "second-order" consequences you show here might be the actual crux of this problem. You say "liberals want to criminalize guns, and conservatives want to criminalize drugs." This is true. We don't even have to discuss why these things are true; they simply are true. And the third group, the armed drug dealers, are the ones who have bridged the cause and effect from each of these activities, and actually the only ones who are responding predictably and reliably to economic forces. How weird is that?

  5. once more, Ted, those rights enumerated in the First Ten Articles of Ammendnemt are NOT optional, as you falsely claim. Remember your history.. the original thirteen colonies refused to ratify the Constitution until those were clealry laid out, enumerated, and guaranteed. They had lived under the tyranny of Britain for far too long, and had seen the corrupt heart of ALL men in action, and desired to spell out in plain language certain :"lines in the sand" past which they would NOT allow themselves to be pushed. These rights were cearly NOT held as optional….. those states would NOT ratify the remainder of the COnstitution wiuthout them being set in stone as inalienable, and deriving from our creator, the God of the Bible.

  6. I think you unserestimate the "conservatives". Most such I know have long held there is only ONE valid reason to totaly avoiud marijuana.. it is illegal. Some hew back to the admonishment in the bible to obey the laws of the land… but nearly all recognise this is to the end of "so you may live in peace". Dealing in illegal items can get you serious consequences at the hands of the law (note well, I did NOT say "justice), because there IS no crime in simple possession of marijuana… no victim. There is a HUGE difference between "malum in se", and "mala prohibita". Marijuana is clearly the latter category, thus one dabbles in it at high risk of serious social and ifnancial consequences… and loss of certain valued (and rightful) liberties. Now it is being changed from "malum prohibita" to a simple "res" with no moral value attached, the shadow of legal and financial consequencesis removed. True conservatives will no longer favour punishing a victimless crime at insane public expense, a not insignificant part of that expense being the huge public burden to prosecute and incarcerate millions who have harmed no onw, and further to remove them from the rolls of productive citizens furthering the benefit of mankind. Many conservatives are awakening to this reality. Recent public votes on the matter have carried by HUGE margins, far more than just the liberal sector coul dpossibly account for. Many conservatives had to have voted in favour of decriminalising marijuana…… else it never would have passed, or done so by far smaller margins.

  7. The only difference between a cop and a criminal, is the cop has a badge.

  8. What Ted is missing completely is that God provided all of us with FREE WILL along with His Laws or as many consider them "guidelines".

    What is missing from these discussions is that those who promote "GUN CONTROL" refuse to promote "CRIMINAL CONTROL". They apparently find it much eassier to promote control of the law abiding.

  9. Tionico,
    I should support a law that first made the voluntary use of any substance that inhibited normal abilities to control your actions prima facie evidence of premeditation for any crime cmmitted while under the influence. Then and only then can we consider legalization of drugs.

  10. It is really a shame that so many police have failed to place justice first and thereby created this attitude. Only 25 yeaars ago, I should have desagreed with you. I can no longer do this.

  11. See my reply to your other response.

    Tionico, you are a continual demonstration of the fact that idols die hard. In Acts 19, the Ephesians cried for two hours "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" Constitutionalists (particularly alleged conservative Christians) have been crying out for 225 years "Great is the Constitution of the Americans!," despite the fact that there is hardly an article or amendment that, in some fashion, is not antithetical, if not seditious, to Yahweh's sovereignty and morality.

    For proof, see "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective" at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline… in which I devote a chapter to examining every article and amendment by the Bible. All 565 page are online.