Prager University: What Should We Do About Guns?

Are you familiar with radio talk show host Dennis Prager?

If not, I recommend that you check out his show.  He is one of the most influential conservative voices on the airwaves.

In addition to his talk show, Prager has a Youtube channel called “Prager University,” where he invites right-leaning scholars, academics, and thinkers on to discuss hot-button topics.

Recently, on the Prager University Youtube channel, Nicholas Johnson, professor of Law at Fordham University, asked the question, “What Should We Do About Guns?”

In answering that question, Johnson explains the limitations to supply-side approaches to gun control aka “gun bans” and why such measures would fail to work in the U.S.

What it boils down to, and this is my opinion, is that America has hundreds of millions of firearms and even if a nationwide gun ban was instituted, only a fraction of the population would comply with the prohibition. Criminals would, of course, disobey the gun ban as would a percentage of irate gun owners who believe that banning firearms is a violation of their 2A rights.

Therefore, banning guns in the U.S. is a complete non-starter because there is no way — aside from enacting martial law, which would inevitably trigger an insurrection — to peaceably enforce it.  Plus, so long as criminals maintain possession of firearms gun crime will persist, which was the very purpose of the ban in the first place, to eliminate gun crime.

The real way to tackle gun crime is not via supply, it’s via demand.  Finding ways to reduce the criminal demand for firearms will lead to a reduction in gun-related violence.  How do we undercut the criminal demand for firearms?  By fostering a society that creates fewer criminals through better education, job opportunities that pay a livable wage, affordable housing and other real opportunities that are ultimately more attractive than a life of crime.

Bad apples certainly exist in this world, but many criminals weren’t bad apples to begin with but broke bad because of one or more of the following conditions: they grew up in squalor, were poorly educated, couldn’t find full-time employment, had crappy parents, became addicted to drugs at a young age, among others.

So, addressing gun crime starts with addressing those who commit it, not the tools they used to perpetrate it.  If we really work on creating a better society, a real reduction in gun crime will follow.  The mistake is to believe that our Second Amendment is at odds with our public safety.  That is certainly not the case (The 2A is there to secure our safety).  Crime rates have never been contingent on the number of firearms in a country.  Rather, crime rates have always been contingent on the number of criminals in a country.  Once we understand this we can stop this nonsense about banning firearms and direct all that time, energy and money into taking bad apples off the streets and helping those who desperately need it.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Scott Syverson November 18, 2016, 11:57 am

    Creating a society that creates fewer criminals is a good thing and a worthwhile goal with many benefits. HOWEVER, one must remember that there are people among us that are immune from any effort to change society. The primary enforcement tool of society is the use of the emotion disgust (shame, embarrassment, and all its other derivatives). Laws are secondary and are extensions of the morals for a society. 1 in 50 are born without the emotion of disgust. These people are called psychopaths (or the older term sociopaths). I study and research them. So 2% of our society is incapable of adhering to social norms and laws due to biological birth defects. It is for this 2% for which we should forever be armed and vigilant and never disarm ourselves because a unified society is a biological impossibility. (Their are some interesting studies that show re-training, re-programming psychopaths to adopt societal norms through other forms of behavioral conditioning/management is possible, but these studies conclude that 100% conversion of psychopaths is not possible, about 1/3 can undergo conversion training, and the recidivism rate of those reprogrammed as not yet been determined.)

  • Tar Heel Realist November 14, 2016, 4:57 am

    “By fostering a society that creates fewer criminals through better education, job opportunities that pay a livable wage, affordable housing and other real opportunities that are ultimately more attractive than a life of crime.”

    What manure. How many decades has the bar been lowered to provide such opportunities?!?!?!? How many more hundreds of billions of dollars must be wasted before people (like the Author) get it through their skulls…some people and groups are beyond any help.

  • BR549 November 11, 2016, 2:08 pm

    Gun Control means different things to different people.
    To the average Constitution supporting American with a mere modicum of understanding of the philosophical and historical principles involved when the founding fathers wisely put all THIS together, Gun Control was seen as a foot in the door to later tyrannical domination.

    To the average leftard snowflake whose only experience in life is growing up with Barney the Purple Dinosaur and later thinking that a Starbucks barrister’s position should be a living wage, Gun Control only emphasizes their own fear that, were they to even own a gun, they would most likely blow their own foot off. Thus, rather than have to admit to the world (or themselves) that they have major insecurity issues, the only other thing to passive-aggressively clear the playing field to make sure no one else can have guns either.

    To the parasitic globalist elites see Gun Control as a necessary obstacle to overcome in order to secure their self-appointed positions as leaders of the world, when in fact, they lack the managerial acumen sufficient to run a lemonade stand.

    To the Buddhist Monk, meditating at the base of some distant Himalayan peak, Gun Control is just seen as the effort of a spoiled child trying to control who gets to play with a toy truck in a very large sandbox, and hopefully, these kids will eventually grow up before beating themselves up with their own toys.

    To the parents of all those dysfunctional kids who got shot by police or a rightfully armed citizen while committing a crime, Gun Control is just another way to continually blame any social force other than themselves for turning out a loser into society while they were too busy feeling sorry for themselves.

    And to the typical politician with cartilaginous back support, Gun Control is a bandwagon they can easily hop on to help sell themselves as being useful and worthy of re-election, even if all other aspects of their voting record have proven themselves to be dumber than a bag of hammers.

  • Bob November 11, 2016, 12:09 pm

    IMHO you can lay this problem squarely on Democrat policy….Alinsky protocols call for a total reliance on the state for everything so you can be controlled. As an example in the 50’s the black family was a model of strength and support for their children. This had been eroded by welfare over the years to encourage fatherless families and endemic poverty, all in the name of creating a dependent voter base that would have no options. This is the plan for the rest of us, too. ObamaCare was designed to fail so the next option was a single payer system (ie government medical care) Control your care and they control you. Gun violence can come from people without options to create a productive life creating a few options (all bad) of their own. Break this cycle and I think you will see an improvement

  • kane November 11, 2016, 11:47 am

    “The mistake is to believe that our Second Amendment is at odds with our public safety.”

    A great line from the article. I grew up in Oak Park Illinois where there was a handgun ban for about 40 years that was recently over turned. Now OP seeks a non-binding voter referendum to repeal the 2A.

    When will they learn?

  • William November 11, 2016, 10:56 am

    I live in NV and the voters passed the worse law to restrict gun rights, the prime cause was the unlimited money provided by Blomberg and his other friends. They paid people to go on TV with false and negative ads from Liberals that will do anything
    for money. They sold our rights for money. I hope NRA contest this law to the new supreme court made up with a new judge in Justice Scalia place. Our rights have been sold by the Media and Liberal Gun haters with negative ads for gun owners. Our founding fathers believed there was a need for these laws to protect Freedom and support our constitution. They have not been proven wrong since our revolutionary war. We must preserve our rights at all cost. I became a life member of NRA to support the organization that fights for rights..

  • nedafix November 11, 2016, 9:47 am

    maybe a unit of higher education should actually educate rather than brain wash. responsibility, gun safety, could go a long way to help perceive guns as the tools they are and not toys played with by (adult) children.

    • Billh November 11, 2016, 5:56 pm

      Indeed netafix I agree. Before retiring a few years ago I did teach a unit of gun safety in one of my classes at a Community College. Not all administrators had a favorable view, but most did, as did other faculty and most students. That demonstrated to me that there is/was a favorable climate for a proper introduction to the responsibilities of private gun ownership in higher education. I then followed-up with an NRA course in the Basics of Pistol Shooting. We all had a blast!

  • Infidel7.62 November 11, 2016, 9:29 am

    Make gun crime expensive in a way that would all but the worst give them up. Life in prison for using a gun during a robbery, burglary, or drug deal. Not plea negotiable.

    • kimberpross November 11, 2016, 9:53 am

      I’m not so sure that for a number of the criminals, gang bangers and the like, being incarcerated for life with guaranteed healthcare, three meals a day, and a bed to sleep on, would prefer that vs. what they have now. I am not crazy about supporting the freeloaders either. There has to be a better solution.

    • Douglas November 11, 2016, 10:43 am

      Most if not all criminals do not expect to get caught, if they did they would not commit the crime. Many probably see the gun as a way to insure that they don’t caught. At this present time, we have federal laws that increase penalty and are mandatory and are seldom enforced. Admittedly, greater penalties would impress some but most would likely take the risk anyway, thinking they had figured a way to not be caught.

  • Steve November 11, 2016, 8:08 am

    The main reason for criminal activity has little to do with the financial and living conditions of your childhood, that is simply an excuse used by the left to account for all the problems of society. The real factors effecting our youth as they mature is upbringing and society as a whole. We have very few role models for our young people, those that we do have are from the media culture that glorifies criminal behavior. Parents fail to teach their children right from wrong, the sanctity of life, and that everyday life requires hard work and diligence for success. We also fail to teach our children how to fail and start over focusing on goals that keep us moving forward in a positive direction. When right and wrong do not exist, when we replace discipline and punishment with consequences, and continue to make excuses for our children lack of motivation and achievement, we get what our children see as our expectations. We need to go back to terms like punishment, set higher standards and goals, and teach right and wrong.

  • frank booth November 11, 2016, 5:33 am

    illegal guns to start fixing the problem if you are found with one 5 years mandatory federal time no way around it
    you sell one 5 years
    kill a first responder 10 years mandatory above what ever you get
    use one in any crime 5 years mandatory plus what every you get
    no way around the 5 years in federal prisons for having the illegal gun in your procession

  • DRAINO November 10, 2016, 11:11 am

    Why would a supposed intelligent person ask a question that doesn’t really demonstrate such intelligence? The question is NOT what do we do about guns…..An intelligent person would ask what do we do about crime. CRIME is the problem. NOT GUNS. Last I checked they are still inanimate objects. Asking the correct question would go along way toward correcting problems in our country.

    • DRAINO November 10, 2016, 3:53 pm

      ….Don’t get me wrong. We can always use another conservative voice out there educating the ignorant voters. But asking the right question is very important when trying to get this country out of the pit that it’s in.

      • Joe McHugh November 11, 2016, 6:03 am

        Draino, your first post was perfectly understandable. I suggest that educating our young people is paramount in importance to dissuade criminal behavior. Teach each and every child that they will become legal targets if they attempt to rob people with guns, knives, etc. You know, live by the gun, die by the gun.

    • Alan November 11, 2016, 12:31 pm

      The answer is actually quite simple.
      Because the most difficult thing to do is to change people.
      It’s easy to blame an inanimate object, it won’t guilt trip you.
      Why did we get rid of the death penalty in most States?
      It bothered people, too much guilt.
      What use is a living mass murderer, such as the one in S.C.?
      Even if he redeemed his soul, or whatever, he can’t be released.
      So why keep him alive? Because some people just can’t kill, period.
      And they can’t live with the idea that their society supports killing.
      Same with locking them up.

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