New at The Washington Times: Short-sighted calls for gun control

28 May , 2019  

Dr. John Lott has a new piece at the Washington Times about the views that Joe Biden and other Democrat presidential candidates have on gun control. The piece starts this way:

Every one of the 24 Democratic presidential candidates supports more gun control. Front-runner Joe Biden not only oversaw the Obama administration’s gun control proposals, but took credit this month for the 1994 federal Assault Weapon Ban. Even Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, from as gun-friendly a state as there is, vetoed a bill that would have prohibited local governments from implementing various gun control ordinances. He did so just before announcing his presidential run.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris came out in support of licensing gun owners, as well as a long list of other gun regulations. The regulations that they propose will prevent poor Americans — particularly poor blacks living in high-crime neighborhoods — from owning guns for protection.

Mr. Booker made a particularly long list of promises. He pledged to try to remove the NRA’s tax-exempt status, license and fingerprint gun owners, impose universal background checks on the private transfers of guns, microstamp firearms, as well as ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Mr. Bookerwould allow courts to confiscate firearms if it simply suspects that an individual is dangerous. He would also use your tax dollars to fund gun control research.

Mr. Booker believes that licensing gun owners will reduce crime, but licensing and registration hasn’t worked out that way in parts of the United States and other countries where it has been tried. In theory, if guns are left at a crime scene, they can be traced back to the criminal. In real life, crime guns are only left at the scene of incidents when criminals have been seriously injured or killed. Also, crime guns are very rarely registered. In the exceedingly rare instances that they are, they aren’t registered to the person who committed the crime.

That’s why police in Chicago, Hawaii, D.C., Pennsylvania and Canada can’t point to any crimes that have been solved as a result of registration. But there is a cost. In Honolulu, Hawaii, the licensing and registration operation took up 50,000 hours of police time each year to run.

Mr. Booker claims that Connecticut saw “a 40% drop in gun homicides” between 1995 and 2005, but he ignores that crime was falling nationally as well as across the Northeast.

New Jersey, Mr. Booker’s home state, has just proposed increasing the cost of its mandatory Firearms Purchaser Identification Card to $100. On top of that, gun owners must obtain a permit, for which the proposed fee is $50.

All the Democrats argue that free voter IDs discriminate against minorities, so they ought to be cognizant of the impacts of such fees. Universal background checks also don’t come cheap. In Washington, D.C., and New York City, checks on private transfers of guns start at $125.

Democrats also claim that 3.5 million dangerous or prohibited people have been stopped from buying guns because of background checks, but virtually all of those denials are mistakes. Usually, someone is stopped from buying a gun just because his name is similar to that of a criminal.

Joe Biden and all the Democrats want to expand the current background checks to private transfers. But relying on birth dates and phonetic similarity of names just doesn’t allow for much accuracy. Incidentally, people are more likely to share names with other members of their racial groups. Hispanics often have names similar to other Hispanics, and certain names are relatively common among blacks. Law-abiding blacks and Hispanics are particularly likely to have their names confused with people whose criminal records preclude them from legally buying guns.  . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

Joe Biden and all the Democrats want to expand the current background checks to private transfers. But relying on birth dates and phonetic similarity of names just doesn’t allow for much accuracy. Incidentally, people are more likely to share names with other members of their racial groups. Hispanics often have names similar to other Hispanics, and certain names are relatively common among blacks. Law-abiding blacks and Hispanics are particularly likely to have their names confused with people whose criminal records preclude them from legally buying guns.


One Response

  1. […] something similar from happening in the future. Also discussed are the gun-control laws being pushed by the Democrats as a reaction to this […]

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