Real Reason for Gun Control
By Daily Bell Staff - January 06, 2016

Obama wipes away tears as he calls for new gun measures … The president gets emotional as he remembers Sandy Hook victims and fiercely calls for more rights for those vulnerable to gun violence. – Politico

Dominant Social Theme: Once we get guns out of the hands of the people we can worry about knives … and fists.

Free-Market Analysis: The story is all over the news. More gun control. This time, Barack Obama is initiating it via executive orders.

Let's examine reasons this argument in the US over gun control is continually evolving amidst a good deal of vitriol and media noise. Then let's suggests some other reasons why this may be taking place.

One of the most controversial measures is Obama's idea that the act of selling even a single gun effectively makes you a gun dealer and subject to federal registration.

We're not quite sure the executive office can promulgate directives for individuals. Surely there are questions about all of it, beginning with the following statement:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Here is Merriam Webster's definition of "infringe."

To wrongly limit or restrict (something, such as another person's rights)

In 2008 the Supreme Court declared that the right to carry a gun was a personal right. (One wonders what took them so long given that literature surrounding the development of the Second Amendment is apparently fairly clear.)

But the Court also said the following: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." In other words, the government could impose "reasonable regulation."

A normal person looking at the Second Amendment would probably conclude that it means what is says – that government cannot stop people from buying, selling, owning and using weapons.

But in introducing the caveat "reasonable regulation," the Court probably left the argument as muddy as before.

And Obama, late in his second term, is not one to miss an opportunity. Here's more from the Politico article:

President Barack Obama wept openly Tuesday as he delivered a forceful defense of new executive actions on gun violence, a set of modest proposals to tighten loopholes that likely face quick legal challenges and could be vulnerable to reversal by a Republican White House. The president ran through a list of mass shootings that have happened during his time in office, and teared up as he recalled the schoolchildren gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

… Obama brushed off criticism that he did not respect the Second Amendment, citing his past as a constitutional law professor. "No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law, I know a little bit about this. I get it," he said. "But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment."

How is "reasonable regulation" consistent with "rights shall not be infringed." Regulation ALWAYS infringes on rights. Here is the definition of "regulation" from Merriam Webster:

An official rule or law that says how something should be done.

One finally realizes that "laws" and "regulations" are merely talking points until powerful social facilities mandate them. And in realizing this, one must accept that these facilities are "right" because they are powerful. In other words, though it is somehow fashionable to maintain that Western nation-states are "societies of laws," the question that lingers is "who provides them with power?"

Other questions that are being increasingly raised in the 21st century include those that have to do with the legitimacy of the Constitution itself: Why is it, for instance, that untold hundreds of millions are bound to the legalisms of a 250-year-old piece of parchment?

The larger argument in modern times has become so debased that we no longer discuss whether rights should be restricted in advance of criminal actions. In other words, if one does something wrong, one ought to be punished, presumably, by the innocent parties themselves or by the larger community on which the deed has had an impact.

But gun control, like so many other matters, has devolved into an argument over who MIGHT use a gun in malicious ways. As it is impossible to determine who MIGHT do something in advance of the occurrences, the issue is bound to remain contentious like so many others.

One could argue, and increasingly in this Internet era people are, that Western jurisprudence long ago took a wrong turn. The legal and legislative system would be a good deal simpler and more effective if it restricted itself to actions actually taken.

There are many moral and constitutional arguments that militate against gun grabbing. But the argument, as we have seen, involves power (who has it and who can wield it) as much as it involves logic, or even more so.

One can even argue that those behind the constitutional facilities of the US government are happy to see the argument continually raised and even expanded.

At the end of the Politico article there are some very lucid feedbacks that point out Obama's executive orders are both mild and easily reversible given that they are executive, not legislative ones.

Even the Politico article itself acknowledges that, stating, "Likewise, the actions rolled out on Tuesday are not expected to have a huge impact."

The National Rifle Association and others reacted to Obama's announcement by claiming that he was acting to deflect attention from the administration's lack of success in creating a cogent national plan to defeat "terror" domestically as well as abroad.

In fact, the article informs us that the NRA is running ads nationwide that warn of "a government that would disarm us during the age of terror."

And yet another cogent Politico feedback contains the following insight:

There are over 300 million handguns in the hands of the population already, does he think this will make a difference? All it will do is to explode sales once again, as every time he opens his mouth about guns, millions more are sold and so is ammunition. He has become the greates weapons salesman in the USA. [sic]

The language used in the Second Amendment seems fairly clear (but then again, we're not lawyers). Obviously, there are groups that want gun grabbing to continue and to expand regardless of the language of the US founding document.

Additionally, Obama's announcement seems fairly mild when it comes to gun grabbing. And unless this administration or another is prepared to CONFISCATE guns, the reason to put forward more gun control legislation seems dubious at best. There are plenty of guns around.

One can venture to propose, therefore, that the real reason for US gun control is to keep the proverbial "pot boiling." With so many legitimate issues to deal with and discuss, the national conversation has once more degenerated into a vicious, futile argument over who is going to remove what from whom.

After Thoughts

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  • Bolt Upright

    Why does Obama take guns from law abiding people? Why does he support sanctuary cities? Where were the tears for Kate Steinle murdered by sanctuary city protected Francisco Lopez-Sanchez? Why does Obama open the southern border? Why is Obama in league with criminals allowing them to be armed? Why? Because he has the Liberal condition.

    • Sam Fox

      Jolly good Bolt! I would add ” ‘progressive’ ” before “Liberal condition”.

      “Conclusion: Beware, the dysfunction of the US legislative system is getting worse. An even more controversial observation: It often seems as if it is planned that way.”
      Nice & soft. Wisdom it was to cushion the statement. I’ll go ahead & say IT IS PLANNED! 🙂
      The USA didn’t get the massive debt & more massive unfunded liabilities by some accident…we didn’t get ME blowback by accident either.
      Disclaimer: The Daily Bell didn’t make me say that. 😀 I said it on my own.

  • Donna

    This article should have mentioned the measures in CA that have started confiscation of guns without due process if someone…anyone indicates the gunowner is “dangerous”
    All these increasing laws/exe actions etc are just the Feds taking baby steps to total confiscation as that is the ONLY way they can ever achieve totalitarian power

    Instead of sprouting obvious fake tears, maybe if our crybaby-in-chief really cared about the victims, he would enforce stronger sentences on those who commit crimes with guns

  • apberusdisvet

    And the constant meme of Sandy Hook, one of the biggest hoaxes pulled on the American people, exposed by numerous investigative journalists with hard facts,not suppositions.

    • Marten

      Right on….It is extraordinary that the American “left-wing” thinks that guns, not people kill people
      Here are Americans, immersed into a police state and that same bunch of idiots wants to disarm the population, and from a quotation of P.C.R. “The American left-wing is totally irrelevant , a defeated force that sold out and no longer represents the People or the Truth”

      • MetaCynic

        Actually the left is madly in love with guns. How will their millions of laws and regulations that blanket the land be enforced except by people with guns? According to the left’s creed, It’s only guns in the hands of private individuals that kill. Guns in the hands of government employees dispense justice with love and compassion. That’s why no family members of the thousands of innocents killed by Obama’s drones were invited to attend the tear fest staged by him to further restrict private access to guns.

  • Danny B

    A few States are willing to go head-to-head with FED GOV about firearms.
    Obama’s kissin cousin in Chicago could tell him a lot of how useless gun laws are.
    Then, there is the enormous charade that is claimed justification for confiscation. Here is one episode;

  • Wheezwiz

    “A well regulated militia” means what in terms individuals owning guns ?

    • It means you have to look at the surrounding documentation, which is apparently fairly clear.

    • Jim Johnson

      Our Constitution allows for a duly elected law enforcer, your Sheriff, to maintain order. When they are tasked with violating your natural rights, the proper recourse for them is to turn to you and I en masse. That is The Militia, regulated legally by the Sheriff. In America, we do not show up with pitch forks and rakes, we come armed.

    • Don Duncan

      The “well regulated” adjective referred to a militia that practiced and kept their guns ready. It did not mean legally restricted/controlled.

  • Jonathan Ramsay

    This is a fallacy…”Why is it, for instance, that untold hundreds of millions are bound to the legalisms of a 250-year-old piece of parchment? ” The Constitution is the foundation document detailing what powers the people ALLOW the government to have. The Constitution binds the government, not the people.

    • Not these days.

      • Bruce C.

        I’m surprised you say that. Besides sounding disrespectful (“parchment”?), do you really think citizens are bound by the Constitution? How about protected?

        • Internet reporting has shown us that there was likely a good deal more calculation regarding the creation and composition of the US Constitution than is ordinarily related.

          • Don Duncan

            Note that few of the original revolutionary heroes were there when the closed door (secret) power brokering took place. I refer to this event as “the Counter-American Revolution”. The groundwork for a return to the old system of rulers/ruled was laid at the Constitutional Convention. It worked. The spirit of The Declaration of Independence was slowly replaced with the old totalitarianism by the Constitution and govt. brainwashing (public education).

          • Bruce C.

            Are you suggesting that the “founding” documents of the USA are flawed and distorted? Maybe so. Nevertheless, I consider the US Constitution to be like capitalism: Neither one has fully manifested (yet). Both have been compromised from their inceptions. Now we have a mixed political-economy and both capitalism and “Constitutionalism”/”conservatism” are blamed for the mess. TDB of all “people” should know better than that, especially since there are no new or competing “theories” to move toward. None of your fundamental issues (central banking, fractional reserve lending, corporate personhood, mercantilism, the “Military Industrial Complex”, elitism, globalism, etc.) were contained in or originated from the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or political conservatism (except, arguably, the MIC). All of that comes from statist theories which are completely the opposite.

          • Bruce, given your erudition, you should know there is a strain of libertarian thought that holds that “rights” should never be clarified via a written document but only asserted in the most persuasive way possible. Once they are written down, the confabulations begin – and there is a good possibility that such a document then only serves as a metaphorical springboard for generational interpretations inimical to freedom.

          • Bruce C.

            Actually I’m not aware of that strain, but now that you mention it I strain to understand it. Does this strain hold that if the Constitution and Declaration were never written then perhaps the scope and power of the government would not have grown so much? No “general welfare” sort of clauses to be used as a metaphorical springboard for all kinds of distortions? I fail to see why the written word is subject to that any more than the spoken. Both exist in human memory as concepts that are independent of the source.

          • It is not a difficult concept. The act of codification formalizes what ought to be kept informal and thus generally accepted. Once something is formalized it becomes part of a process and subject to formal challenges, revisions, etc. So yes there are ramifications to the written word that may not exist in the same way orally.

          • Bruce C.

            So we would be better off if the Constitution and Declaration were never written down? Better if they were passed down by word of mouth instead? Less confusion and opportunities to distort? How is that any different than the arguments of original intent?

  • Bruce C.

    The legislative dysfuntion that concerns me the most is the failure to limit the President’s powers as defined in the Constitution. Obama has issued way too many executive orders and consistently does what the Constitution expressly prohibits.

    • Don Duncan

      Presidents have historically violated their oath to uphold the Constitution. This is treason. But the first time it was overtly apparent, really obvious, that the law does not apply to the politically powerful, is when president Lincoln stopped journalistic criticism by having federal agents destroy newspaper presses/equipment and imprison newspeople. He proved Nixon was correct when he said: “When the president does it, it’s not illegal.”

      • Bruce C.

        Is that why Andrew Johnson wasn’t impeached for switching Defense Secretaries without the Senate’s approval, or Bill Clinton for lying under oath and abuse of power? Nixon would have been impeached too had he not resigned.

        • Don Duncan

          I doubt Nixon would have gone to jail as he should have, but he wanted to avoid any possibility of jail or shame or test of his immunity by clever political tricks, e.g., oust your VP, replacing him with one who will grant a pardon to you when you step down. He knew how to play politics.

          • Bruce C.

            Actually, Ford’s Presidential pardon basically implied that Nixon was guilty of all allegations so he seems to have suffered the worst damage to his reputation of the three. After all, none of his allegations were actually proved in a court of law like the other two. You’re conviction that he was so guilty despite that is evidence.

            Some of Clinton’s charges were dropped once hearings began, and “Useless” Grant resigned as Secretary of War once Johnson’s impeachment began which rendered it a formality.

  • Praetor

    We have our Paper! I would assume most if not all contracts are written down on paper! The Constitution is a contract between the people and the government written down on paper! Contracts can be written in ways that they are unchanging and must be followed to the letter or they can be changed in part or whole with the consent of the signing parties. Rights are a moral and legal ‘Entitlement’ which become the duty of a society and its members to a moral and legal ‘Obligation’, to insure that the rights written on paper (contract) are fulfilled, by both parties, and baring arms makes that possible!!!

    • Blank Reg

      The fundamental basis of all contract law is “Do everything you have agreed to do.” The problem is those who originally signed the Constitutional contract (both those who wrote it and those who ratified it) are no longer living. Lysander Spooner, 140 years ago, made the argument that the Constitution no longer had any authority over anyone for that precise reason. There is no “social contract”. Contracts are things you SIGN, and agree formally to abide by.

      And perhaps that is the answer. A series of Amendments at federal and state levels, requiring all public employees and elected officials to formally sign a copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as part of their taking office, with severe criminal penalties for non adherence to that expanded oath. And perhaps we could also extend that requirement to voting rights. You must sign the contract to participate. This could become a formal rite of passage into full adulthood and citizenship.

      Hey, I can dream.

      • Don Duncan

        Who would adjudicate the contract? Who would enforce the ruling? There is no third party to hold the govt. accountable. We, the people, must do that by admitting we made two mistakes: 1. Believing force trumped reason. 2. Trying to use force to get peace/prosperity. Once force is boycotted, rulers disappear. Self governance tempered by peer group criticism will be used as it was for millennia quite successfully.

  • Blank Reg

    Webster’s definition of “regulate” is the present version, not the 18th century understanding, when “regulated” meant “held to an agreed-upon standard”. In the context of the 2nd Amendment, that meant, everyone was armed to a certain required standard (so you could exchange spare parts and ammo, for example, in the heat of battle). If we held to those rules today, under USC 10 (1791), every able-bodied male between 17-45 would be considered “the militia” and would be required to own a modern rifle (AR-15 or AK-47) and maintain it properly, should they be called to repel invaders or quell civil unrest that had gotten out of hand.

  • Doski

    Time and again the Gun Grabbers Incite Emotional fears to achieve their goal of Pseudo Control all the while distracting their Uninformed followers from the cause of the mass murders. The “Cause” is most often the Prescribing / Dispensing of “Psychoactive Drugs” created by Big Pharma and distributed by the supposed Medical Professionals both of which enjoy Immunity from Criminal Prosecution simply because of their deep pockets and willingness to donate massive sums to Political Candidates. Until Preventative Measures are taken to make those entities responsible for “Creating” the mass murders very little will change.

    Recently an Oregon woman, who moved to Las Vegas, NV., did INTENTIONALLY drive her car up onto the side-walk no less than THREE separate times running down 30 – 40 pedestrians. She was not the first nor will she likely be the last but restricting access to Vehicles will not deter or affect such future deeds or their outcome. Restricting the Law Abiding Citizens access to one tool or another in order to “MAYBE” Reduce the “Likelihood” of its use by a mentally deranged individual(s) won’t stop that individual(s) actions. In stead they will simply substitute another “UN-Restricted Tool” or commit an Additional Crime to gain access to the “Restricted Tool”.

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    The push button, made in Hollywood crocodile tears were something else, weren’t they?

  • Don Duncan

    All political authority is backed by brute force, not reason, not logic, not morality. Majority might does not make “right”.

    A few laws are popular, most are not even known, and a few would be abolished if put to the people directly. Therefore, laws do not reflect the will of the people. However, the goal of having a safe society is attempted thru law, with popular support. It is the concept of law that is popular, if not effective or moral. “Law & Order” is the goal, law & chaos is the reality. Majority rule is a popular concept, but it is not possible or moral. It starts with the majority forfeiting their power to representatives, who represent themselves, which is what the people should have done, i.e., govern themselves.

    When people practice self responsibility and police themselves, individually or in small groups of less than 150, society works, is less invasive, less brutal, less unjust. And people who do not share the values of the group can leave and have a great many other groups to choose from.

    Tragically, this system is found nowhere. Small groups that self govern are often very successful but they are always subject to rule (interference) by a larger group that does not self govern, e.g., the Amish are subject to the state authority.

    From the viewpoint of a voluntarist, the planet is a prison.

  • Goldcoaster

    One can venture to propose, therefore, that the real reason for US gun control is to keep the proverbial “pot boiling.”
    Exactly. Same thing with anything racial related.
    Keep them divided and restless, worried about things that will never happen.
    Meanwhile, the powers that be are raping and plundering planet wide. Libya. Syria. etc etc.
    And nobody notices.

  • Don Duncan

    “With so many legitimate issues…to…discuss…”. When was there ever a fundamental political issue discussed in detail? Maybe in the 1700s. But when all groups want to rule, to control, to profit, the last thing they want is to call attention to their power struggle. They want to misdirect from the real problem (their power) to play on emotions of fear, insecurity, bigotry, doubt, guilt, with the goal of “divide and conquer”. The politicians who can exploit the belief in self sacrifice to gain power/wealth for a lifetime are dubbed: Statesmen.

  • Jim Kluttz

    There’s less to this than meets the eye (no pun intended). The population is only 80 to 90 percent controlled now, fully educated to be free within the bosom of the democratic state. As long as citizens have guns they think they retain ownership in at least part of their own bodies and therefore have a natural right to defend themselves. Only after gun confiscation can come the progressive utopia so long delayed by the second amendment wherein citizens are totally owned by the democratic state.

  • In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated. Q. Joe Wurzelbacher

    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it. Q. Clint Eastwood

    • mava

      Not 6 million Jews, but 271 thousand Jews (a quarter of one million). Most of them weren’t killed but died of Tiphys due to Nazis malpractice.

      To compare, we just killed 174 thousands of Iraqis between 2002 – 2013, and this is the most cautious estimate, and does anyone care?

      • Not my quote of cause and not a number I am convinced of the verification of (sloppy of me to use that quote perhaps – I accept). How many we will never know and clearly it is a point of much debate and political ‘gerrymandering’ but the outcome is certain: Israel was formed as a secular state because the greatest number of those who did die were orthodox Jews.

        As regards the number if Iraqi people who died the original report published in the Lancet put the figure much higher than 174.000 and I care a great deal about these people victims of the actions of ‘the state’ in control of the land where I was born and live.

  • Doski

    It’s NOT Guns that need controlling but the Big Pharmaceutical Industry and Medical Professionals who distribute Psychoactive Drugs with impunity. They avoid Proper Oversight of the recipients to minimize liability while the Justice System avoids Oversight of them.

    Common Ground to the majority of Mass Murders isn’t limited to just Guns. Prescription Drugs are also the commonality in the CREATION of mass murders. Add Illicit Drugs to the equation and one can easily account for about 95% of ALL Gun related Homicides and Suicides.

  • lgeubank

    The “gun-violence victims” Obama worries about are the feral predators who go in to rob a store and are carried out feet-first.

    Too many honest citizens are packing heat nowadays — it’s turning the scumbag’s job into Russian Roulette. The OhBummer administration doesn’t like that.

  • lgeubank

    The “gun-violence victims” Obama worries about are the feral predators who go in to rob a store and are carried out feet-first.

    Too many honest citizens are packing heat nowadays — it’s turning the predator’s job into Russian Roulette. The OhBummer administration doesn’t like that.

  • rahrog

    My right to keep and bear arms does not come from any government or piece of paper. I do wonder if bozo barry cried after launching a cruise missle armed with cluster bombs into a village in Yemen killing women and children. We Americans ALL have blood all over us. What does a feast of consequences taste like?

    • bouf

      “What does a feast of consequences taste like?”
      Eloquent turn of phrase.

  • Dave

    All of this BS from a cabal of corrupt men who got caught shipping AK-47’s to the Mexican drug cartels during “Fast and Furious” and we are supposed to believe that they care about school kids? How much more blatant can the BS be?

  • nailheadtom

    “The language used in the Second Amendment seems fairly clear (but then again, we’re not lawyers.”

    It doesn’t seem fairly clear, it’s crystal clear. The Second Amendment, and the Constitution in its entire, were written in an ordinary English vernacular that any English-speaking and even illiterate person could easily understand. If there would have been an attempt to construct a document limited to interpretation by an elite, it would have been written in Latin, a language understood by practically all educated people of that era. Only as time has moved on has the language of government come to be so esoteric that simple legislation requires translation and interpretation by a parasite legal profession.

  • Tom

    I suggest that the liberal progressives who want everyone to give up their guns, persuade us by example. Let them be the first to remove all the guns from their body guards – the Secret Service, US Marshals, Capitol Police, etc. etc. Go ahead Obama – show us that you don’t need guns around you for protection.