Monday, March 18, 2013

Why you should hope for a gun grab

I've seen this graphic and others like it enough lately, and I'm sick of it.

The dreaded take-all-yer-guns scenario is not a logical extension of sensible gun-control measures. To insist that it is, is like arguing that licensure of barbers is a ploy to eventually send all the barbers to concentration camps. You’d sound pretty stupid objecting to licensure on those grounds, and would be better off criticizing, say, excessive fees or bureaucratic hurdles. And those in favor of licensing could then spend their time explaining why it’s good to have an accountability system for hair-care professionals, rather than waste energy defending some absurd scenario that they don’t even support.

The number of Americans who want full confiscation of firearms probably can’t be counted in divisible numbers. No politician who wants a career in politics would so much as write “I hate guns” in their private diary on Opposite Day. Our leadership ranks are thus filled with people who universally support the Second Amendment to some degree (maybe not your degree, but neither does anyone support its repeal). Considering that we’re a country that recalls toys when two kids die but won’t even consider gun reform after the fifth mass shooting, I’d say gun rights remain our least-threatened freedom.

But OK. I’ll indulge those of you who think that complete confiscation is a real thing that could conceivably happen. Let’s pretend that President Obama really has the Soetoro Memorial Gun Grabber Bill of 2013 on his desk, and is waiting for the ghosts of Saul Alinsky and Inaccurate Hitler to give him the thumbs-up on signing it.

You should hope it happens. Why? Because it’s a chance for Obama-era conservatives to validate their cherished belief that government is a tyrannical, incompetent spendthrift. What could be better ammo for that than a costly, failed federal effort to take all personal weapons?

And it would fail, guaranteed. Even if the government could scrounge up the manpower and weapons necessary to overpower the most armed citizen (it’s not like one guy would knock on the door and politely ask), rounding up guns is like rounding up cockroaches — even if you had them all, you wouldn’t have them all. The government can’t even count all of its citizens, and the census is a constitutional mandate that rarely involves cold, dead defiance. What hope do the feds have of leaving no guns behind?

Not that such speculation matters, because the government doesn’t want a gun grab any more than you do. A PR crisis of that magnitude wouldn’t be worth whatever they’d hope to gain with such a move. A gain that exists mainly in the minds of those prone to flights of defensive fantasy.

It’s those people — the most extreme gun nuts, not the government — who make this debate necessary in the first place.

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