We all knew it was coming. Joe Biden campaigned on gun control. After precipitating an unprecedented border disaster, gutting law enforcement, plotting to raise taxes amidst a pandemic, and profligate spending our great grandchildren into abject poverty, Uncle Joe has finally focused his efforts on gun control. He couches the argument as an effort to “curb the epidemic of gun violence.” Next target: ghost guns.
The Gun Control of Ghost Guns
Public health imagery strikes a chord. We are finally pulling out of the most cataclysmic medical crisis in a century; terms like “curbing the epidemic” resonate. However, let’s take a look at the hard numbers.
Ours is a nation of 328 million people. We currently own more than 400 million firearms; that number grew by a whopping 40 million guns last year alone. Here’s a little perspective.
Imagine that each one of those guns is a 1911 pistol. There are obviously countless rifles and shotguns that are bigger, but I’m trying to make a point. John Moses Browning’s inimitable combat masterpiece is some 8.5 inches long. If every gun in America was a typical handgun and you stacked them all butt to muzzle they would circle the globe twice with another 3,600 miles left over.
If you outlawed firearms of all sorts tomorrow, American criminals would still have ready access to weapons two centuries from now. Gun laws will never work here; that ship sailed 300 million guns ago.
Strategy and Prevalence
Uncle Joe’s flawed multi-pronged approach to gun control takes several forms. However, principal among them is a crackdown on so-called ghost guns. Despite its undeniably catchy nom de guerre, let’s unpack the reality of ghost guns and how much impact they really have on public health and safety.
The term “ghost gun” functions much like “gunshow loophole.” Etymologically speaking, our opponents chose these words carefully for their visceral power, not their technical accuracy. So “ghost guns” describes a firearm that can be built at home without going through a gun dealer. DIY homebuilt guns might be a wee bit more accurate.
In years past if you wanted to build a car, boat, helicopter, or firearm for personal use, Uncle Sam didn’t much care — such an unfettered attitude spawned the Wright Brothers after all. Enterprising American entrepreneurs therefore marketed DIY cars, boats, helicopters, and firearms commercially in kit form.
Receiver and frame blanks insufficiently processed to meet the government’s definition of a firearm were sold freely through the mail. A few basic tools, a completion jig, and a little time were all you needed to build your own fully functional firearm at home. However, apparently allowing Americans access to guns the government does not control is the woke generation’s unpardonable sin.
How Big a Problem Is It Really?
Divining how often these guns actually see usage in crimes is essentially impossible. The website americanprogress.org, an anti-gun progressive think tank with an overt Leftist bias, had five examples listed on their website. I researched them all individually.
Of the five, one was a case wherein a shooter actually used a serialized lower bought through an FFL to assemble a gun. In three cases, the shooters also used conventional serialized guns that had been stolen. In only one instance did a criminal exclusively utilize an unserialized firearm.
Any criminal use of a firearm is tragic — we can all agree on that. However, on a population basis, ghost guns are incontrovertible outliers. These paltry numbers pale in comparison to 480,000 preventable deaths per annum from cigarettes, for example. From a public health perspective the scourge of ghost guns falls someplace between lightning (43 dead) and sharks (three).
The Biden Administration results when emotion drives governance rather than reason and logic. I get it — I really do. In their world the capacity for a hypothetical evildoer to order operational firearms off of the Internet is a harbinger of the coming apocalypse. However, reality simply isn’t like that.
Most criminals are lazy opportunists. The brilliant criminal mastermind is most typically the product of some screenwriter’s overactive imagination. Realistically if a criminal wants a gun, he will most often just steal it. You recall there are at least 53,661 miles’ worth of firearms already in circulation. There have indeed been isolated examples of DIY firearms having been used in crimes — and they were undeniably horrible — however, this is an issue of scale.
Why Don’t We Just Give In?
Nobody wants criminals owning guns. Why then should law-abiding gun owners fight to preserve their right to build unserialized DIY firearms at home? This is a big deal because of what it represents. Outlawing DIY firearms will inevitably put a few outstanding American entrepreneurs out of business, and it might indeed temporarily deprive a handful of really, really lazy criminals of firearms. However, it is in the unintended consequences where the real danger lurks.
Historically speaking the world’s apex predators are not street criminals. Every robbery, rape, or murder is an individual tragedy. However, those are isolated episodes. Serious killing takes a government.
Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao took more than 100 million lives among them. The common denominator to the Uighurs, North Koreans, Yazidis, and Yemenis is that these oppressed peoples lacked the means to resist. A despotic government plus an oppressed minority is the chemical formula for genocide. The only reason that the U.S. government cannot degenerate into something such as this is that the American population has remained too prickly to allow it.
Think it can’t happen here? If the Antifa thugs who are perennially incinerating Portland were suddenly granted unfettered power it would take them maybe 15 minutes to throw up a little razor wire and round up folks like us for mandatory re-education. We Americans are not innately better than the Nazis, the Soviets, ISIS, Al-Shabaab, or the Khmer Rouge; to believe otherwise would be racist.
Civilization is but a veneer. It is only the viable threat of force that keeps the monsters at bay. “Ghost Guns” are mankind’s greatest hedge against genocide, but Joe Biden and his cronies are too shortsighted to see it.