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Friday, September 17, 2021

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UncategorizedA modest proposal: Let's see how gun control (and...

A modest proposal: Let’s see how gun control (and no gun control) actually works


By Johnny Angel Wendell

I have a modest proposal to address the gun crisis in America. Because it is clear that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the status quo.

48hillsjohnnyaThe National Rifle Association tells us that more guns equals less violence. The best solution to a bad guy with a gun, the group says, is a good guy with a gun.

And without an armed populace, some say, the government will become too repressive.

So let’s find out. Why not have a test between the two largest states in the nation, California and Texas?

California implements a ban on all handguns and most rifles for three years (with a mandatory lock up of existing weapons, searches at state lines, zero carry permits, and stiff prison terms for anyone who possesses and illegal gun or commits a crime with any firearm). Make the state a poster child for everything gun-control advocates want.

Texas adopts open carry, no limits on types of guns and ammunition, no checks, nothing — a complete free market with the “armed and polite populace” making the rules. The NRA gets its way in the Lone Star state.

Then let’s see who has a lower rate of gun violence, a lower rate of murder and aggravated assault involving a weapon, the fewest mass killings. Let’s see if the government of California becomes intolerably oppressive. Let’s see what works.

California and Texas both have large, diverse urban and rural populations. Both border a nation with a drug cartel issue. We’d have to adjust the crime rates to a per-capita number – California has more people – but that’s a simple math problem. Texas already has more gun ownership – 36 percent of that state’s residents own guns, compared to 21 percent in California – so there’s a certain logic to my plan.

After three years – enough time to get at least a sense of how the two approaches work – we check the data, and everyone agrees that the system that works better becomes national policy.

I bet the gun-control folks would go for that deal. How about it, NRA?

Johnny Angel Wendell is a Los-Angeles based talk-show host, musician, and writer.


Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. The devil is in the details. No one, gun advocate or gun hater, wants more of a police state in California. Current California gun-regulation is, for most of the state, as tough as anywhere else in the U.S. The problem is that enforcing gun regulations is a very difficult task and just passing laws and saying we want to do it does not get it done.

  2. I love the spirit of this proposal, and believe me, I am no gun advocate, do not own a gun, but I don’t think you can measure the repressiveness of a government in a 3 year span. Throughout history, there have been very good and very bad three year spans, with most falling somewhere inbetween. The Black Panther Party in Oakland fought police repression by arming people of color, and I feel in general that the fact the police do not know when they come to my door whether or not I am one of the more or less armed of the populace can in some situations fuel their motivation not to simply barge in, though of course we also know they at times use deadly force on unarmed citizens precisely because they fear an armed populace.

    When I hear a call-from-arms like yours, I always wonder – are you in favor of disarming the police? The Department of Homeland Security has more than one bullet for every american citizen.

  3. DC’s handgun prohibition was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2008, but it’s still a big pain in the ass to legally keep them compared to Louisiana.

  4. Above is overall murder rate in 2012. Gun murder rate in 2010 in DC was 16.5 per 100,000 compared to the highest state, again Louisiana which was 7.7 per 100,000. Hand guns have been prohibited for residents of DC since 1975.

  5. Washington DC already prohibits hand gun ownership for their residents. They have a higher murder rate (14 per 100,000) than the highest state, Louisiana (10 per 100,000). Your theory is flawed before you begin…thanks for playing.

  6. Great idea Bret. And what groups who are already officially “affiliated” with a gang should we just start rounding up?

  7. Already been tried on a much larger scale.

    If civil rights can be dismissed as part of your grand experiment, we could try this but with one addition. Texas can choose to outright incarcerate anyone affiliated with a gang or bus them to anywhere in California. After all, rule of law should keep them in check while in the great state of California.

  8. Ultimately, the good ol’ fashioned shootout is the American way of resolving differences. Like forest fire mitigation that has only contributed to greater and more intense forest fires, the reduction of shooting deaths since the days of the old West has created a “backlog” in the natural thinning of the herd that would have kept violent criminals in check over the last 200 years.

    We don’t need less gun violence, we need more. We need to have more morons in Quizno’s, Target (heh, heh) and Home Depot with semi-automatic weapons and oodles of rounds in voluminous magazines employed in wiping out as many of their fellow citizens as possible.

    Notwithstanding the fact that our history’s greatest percentage of American “criminals” now reside in our nation’s corporate prisons, there is apparently a bumper crop of trigger-happy malcontents freely roaming our shopping centers, schools and sporting events. Let’s keep encouraging them with fantasies of a “government takeover” to pull their triggers with their grossly untrained trigger fingers lest they use those fingers to point to the real problem with America – in their own mirrors.

    As with every social epidemic, there are always beneficiaries. It doesn’t really take much research to figure out who those parties are: Gun and ammo manufacturers, private security companies, the prison-industrial complex and the Koch Brothers’ minions who are calmly cashing in while chaos ensues in the public square.

    Who needs the Rule of Law when you’ve got lots of guns and ammo?

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