The aftermath of Tree of Life in Pittsburg has been predictably followed.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, 12:02 p.m. ET Saturday: “We have been saying ‘this one is too many’ for far too long. Dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harm’s way.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), 2:14 p.m. ET Saturday: “Thoughts and prayers are not enough—Congress must finally act on commonsense, bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation.”
Former President Barack Obama, 5:54 p.m. ET Saturday: “We have to stop making it so easy for those who want to harm the innocent to get their hands on a gun.”
But no one, on their life, can seem to put forward a plan that does anything other than vaguely hope that this version of infringements will stop the bad folks from doing bad things.
There is only one way gun control proponents can acquire the thing they desire. They eliminate due process concerning firearms.
The Legal Hot Item
The current hot legal trend are so called “Red Flag” laws which allow immediate action against an individual who is reported as being a threat. The specifics vary from law to law but most make law enforcement or family the reporting entity. Local LE can then, in theory, seize all weapons from said individual.
This theory will never and can never work to perfection or even great effect as there are too many workarounds in place. The cops could simply miss a weapon. Unless NICS is updated too they could purchase another. They could have a weapon with a friend or relative or acquire one from a friend or relative.
All this blatantly ignores this person’s right to due process of some sort. If their weapons should be seized they should probably be hospitalized too in some manner of monitored care setting. That also runs heavily into involuntary incarceration without adjudication and all kinds of due process firestorms too.
As well meaning as the intent is the complexities involved with execution will make it window dressing. Actually influencing either violent crime or suicide will take social efforts, not mild tool access shifts. These are actually just rehashes of systems already well established to the degree.
The Wish List
Let’s quickly hit the generalized gun control wish list followed by why it won’t work.
-Background Checks: Already in existence for legal transfer from dealer to customer. “Universal” will not be and never be universal. Knowingly selling to anyone prohibited or straw-purchase are already crimes.
-Assault Weapon Ban: Rifles account for only a couple hundred casualties annually and removing a subset of rifles, even with immediate effect by force, will not remove or even drastically alter the threat from individuals who can use another tool. Define ‘Assault Weapon’.
-Magazine Ban: Hundreds of millions in circulation. Marginal to negligible effect on lethality even with 100% (impossible) societal removal.
Therefore the three ‘piece de resistance’ items on the gun control list are, at their most altruistic, ineffective. At their most sinister they are blatant controls against the law abiding alone.