‘Feel good' laws not the right approach for gun control
Many law-abiding gun owners in America are fearful of what the future holds for them.
Evidence of that locally was seen at last weekend's gun show where a huge crowd — the biggest in recent memory — turned out. The reason cited was a desire to stock up on firearms and ammunition in anticipation of possible new firearms regulations from the government in the wake of the recent Connecticut school shooting tragedy.
A similar “run” on firearms — especially those expected to be restricted if the government acts — and ammunition is occurring with retailers here and elsewhere. Some have described it as fearful hoarding in anticipation that these things may not be available in the future.
It is not something new. Anytime there is discussion of possible firearms control measures, it raises fears among gun enthusiasts and a buying spree begins. More than a decade ago when a so-called “assault rifle” ban was put in place and a gun magazine capacity limit imposed, these items flew off shelves.
That law has since expired but there is a new push to reinstate it.
Americans don't like to be told they cannot have something that they believe is their right to have, so their behavior is understandable. Fear of restriction is a powerful motivator.
Law-abiding gun owners — and we all need to remember that is almost everyone who owns a gun — are not opposed to going after those who use guns in crimes. If fact, they favor even stronger enforcement against criminals who misuse firearms.
But they understand that many gun laws are misdirected and actually end up restricting law-abiding users rather than criminals. Even some supporters admit new restrictions likely will not be effective in preventing the mentally disturbed from finding ways to commit their evil deeds, yet they want them anyway.
America has a long tradition — and a right under the Constitution — of ownership of firearms of all styles, including various versions of military arms.
As with all things, a small number of people choose to misuse them. In the upcoming debate, the focus should be on the abusers and how to deal with them effectively while avoiding restricting the innocent. We don't need more “feel good” laws that simply don't work.