Not to be outdone by the New York Times editorial board, which recently called for banning “certain kinds of weapons” and “ammunition,” The New Republic published an article this past week that called for a ban of ALL firearms.
“Ban guns. All guns. Get rid of guns in homes, and on the streets, and, as much as possible, on police,” wrote Phoebe Maltz Bovy. “Ban guns! Not just gun violence. Not just certain guns. Not just already-technically-illegal guns. All of them.”
Maltz Bovy’s article is less about what’s possible and more about establishing a place on the gun-debate spectrum for a “ban all guns” camp. Right now, there is no gun-control organization, candidate or movement that is publicly calling for a complete ban on all firearms. Sure, we have those that want to ban modern sporting rifles and even one that during its nascency wanted to ban handguns, but currently, there is no group or candidate or movement calling for total civil disarmament.
The point of the article was to change that reality, to start a movement that calls publicly for a total repeal of the Second Amendment.
“On the pro-gun-control side of things, there’s far too much timidity,” wrote Maltz Bovy. “What’s needed to stop all gun violence is a vocal ban guns contingent. Getting bogged down in discussions of what’s feasible keeps what needs to happen—no more guns—from entering the realm of possibility.”
“Public opinion needs to shift,” she continues. “The no-guns stance needs to be an identifiable place on the spectrum, embraced unapologetically, if it’s to be reckoned with.”
In other words, she wants to normalize the “no-guns” position. To say it’s a lofty goal would be a gross understatement. There are reasons why even the most ardent anti-gunner doesn’t publicly support total civil disarmament (sure, they may behind closed doors, but in public it’s different story). Let’s examine why the no-guns position hasn’t gained traction in the USA.
For starters, anyone pitching a no-guns platform is a complete idiot — and is seen as such. Guns exist. They’re part of the world we live in. And they’re not going away. The toothpaste is out of the tube and there’s no putting it back in, so to speak. Every sensible person acknowledges this fact, irrespective of their view on guns. To suggest that we can somehow eliminate all the guns in the country is an exercise in idiocy because it’s a view that is completely detached from reality. Without a magic wand, there is simply no way to eradicate the 300-plus million guns in this country. It’s just not possible.
Okay, for the sake of argument, let’s suppose that gun-grabbers did have a magic wand and they were able to go poof! and make all the guns currently in existence disappear. That still wouldn’t be the end of firearms. I hate to break it to Ms. Phoebe, but guns aren’t the most complicated tools to make. And with the advent of 3-D printers, it’s only gotten easier for budding gunsmiths to learn the trade. Like it or not, destroying existing firearms wouldn’t stop the production of new firearms. Thanks to readily available technology, firearms are here to stay.
But okay, let’s suppose that instead of resorting to magic, gun-grabbers were really serious about enacting a “no guns” policy even though they knew that it wouldn’t last, for the aforementioned reasons, but wanted to try it anyhow. What would it take for them to pull it off? Well, it goes without saying but it would be a logistical nightmare. Think about the manpower and money it would take to go door-to-door to the homes of the nation’s 100 million gun owners, round up their hardware and confiscate it. Then, of course, there is the issue of resistance. Last time I checked, gun owners weren’t too keen on the idea of surrendering their firearms. Quite simply put, a no-guns policy is a recipe for a revolution.
Yes, the no-guns policy is out-of-touch with reality, it’s not possible because of existing technology and it would ultimately spark a revolution, but aside from that, there is a more fundamental reason that it hasn’t gained traction amongst the political class or advocacy groups. That is because even the most hardened anti-gun lawmaker recognizes that the vast majority of Americans know that the Second Amendment wasn’t accidentally enshrined in our Constitution, it has a real purpose, and that the country has rich tradition of gun ownership, which has been used for defense against tyranny, hunting, sports shooting and personal self-defense. Put more succinctly, voters know that the core freedoms and values of this country were established and secured by men with guns. Ergo, we have a deep and abiding respect for the right to keep and bear arms. We love our guns!
It would be political suicide for a candidate to support a “no guns” policy. It would be tantamount to spitting on the Constitution and the proud traditions of this country. It would be like a candidate running on a “no religion” policy or a “no free” speech policy. A “no guns” policy is at odds with everything the country stands for.
Long story short, “no guns” is a no go. I suppose I didn’t have to break it down in as much detail as I did, I could’ve stopped at the idiocy argument and made my point. But I wanted to make sure that in the off chance that Maltz Bovy ponders why her quest to terminate the 2A was (and will be) largely ignored, she’d have a substantive explanation to refer to. Call it a public service.