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Style Over Substance and Gun Control

February 10, 2012

There is style, and there is substance.  There is appearance and there is fact.

California gun laws restrict the ability of honest gun owners to purchase and carry firearms.  These convoluted regulations have no effect on crime rates since criminals don’t get their guns through legal sales in the first place.  One has to ask why these regulations were passed since they are ineffective at disarming criminals and only hinder law abiding citizens.  The answer is appearance.

Legislators can appear to be hard on crime by passing gun laws.  They can appear to be caring and concerned about violence in our society.  The legislator can collect money from anit-gun special interests by proposing ineffective gun laws.  These contributions help fund his re-election campaigns.

While the legislator can claim the best intentions, you have only to look at actual crime rates to see that gun laws are ineffective at reducing violent crime.  These regulations usually make the problem worse, not  better.  Here is why.  Criminals don’t care if you make weapons illegal because they break the law for a living. A new law costs them nothing.  Crime doesn’t drop if the criminal has a gun. Crime drops when the intended victim has a gun.

The first rule of legislation should be to do no harm.  Don’t restrict the ability of innocent citizens to defend themselves.  That approach would put performance before appearance.  So far, California voters are not that perceptive.

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