As the country is still reeling in the aftermath of the worst school shooting since Sandy Hook, the debate surrounding gun control has reached a fever pitch, with each political party taking their expected position on the issue.
Naturally, after a horrific mass shooting that claimed the lives of 17 school students at Parkland School in Florida, where a demented 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz used an AR15-style “assault rifle”, many people’s first reaction is to ban the weapon that was used in a senseless mass slaughter.
Banning assault rifles would, at first, seem a rational action to protect America’s schools from enduring another such incident. However, when one plays out the possibility of Congress passing an assault rifle ban it should become clear that there is no faster way to actually put MORE assault rifles into the hands of Americans than to try to ban them.
How can banning assault rifles actually put more of them on the streets of America?
First, even if legislation makes the purchasing of assault rifles illegal, nothing will be done to reduce the demand for these firearms throughout America, and make no mistake, the demand for guns is as alive as ever. In the past, simply the possibility of a gun ban bill entering Congress has triggered a run on guns stores with customers eager to purchase assault rifles before the sale of them is made illegal.
Case in point, under Barack Obama’s administration gun sales reached record highs and gun manufacturers saw their stocks go through the roof. In 2016 alone, there were a record amount of FBI background checks performed for the purchase of firearms, and even CNN had to admit that “Obama is The Best Gun Salesman in America”.
Gun stores joking made images that had Obama’s face with the words “Salesman of the Year” printed on it, meaning they enjoyed a rapid increase in gun sales simply because some Americans believed certain firearms would be banned under his watch, which of course a realistic gun ban bill never even made it through Congress.
Before any gun control measure is put into place, an assault weapons ban must first go through Congress and be passed into law, which everyone knows is not a speedy process. If such a bill starts making its way through Congress, and looks as if it will be passed into law, many thousands of Americans will be rushing to gun stores to purchase assault rifles while they are still legal.
Now, if the demand for guns skyrocketed under Obama simply because people had a fear he MIGHT ban guns, what do you think would happen if a gun ban actually become a realistic possibility in Congress?
The answer is, the gun stores store’s shelves would be cleaned out while this gun ban bill goes through Congress and the gun manufactures wouldn’t be able to make them fast enough to meet demand. People who never even owned an assault rifle will want one simply because they know they won’t be able to legally buy them anymore, and they’d rather have one and not need it than need one and not have it. Also, certain people would buy multiple assault rifles to sell them illegally after the ban takes effect, because they know they’d be able to sell them for two or three times what they paid for them.
In essence, if a gun ban bill looked like it was going to be passed into law, you’d see a massive run on the gun stores with assault rifles being purchased at the fastest rate in American history, even faster than they were sold under Obama’s reign.
After the assault rifle ban takes full effect, there will still be thousands of Americans who view it as an affront to the 2nd amendment and invalid, which will lead some to start making their own guns in small machine shops, which plenty of people do already. The difference is, however, today a person still must purchase the receiver (middle part of a rifle) portion of the gun legally, as it must be stamped and serial numbered so it can be traced. If people started illegally making assault rifles, there would be no serial numbers and no way to trace these weapons. In addition, there would be no background checks involved in the sale of these newly illegal home-made assault rifles, effectively eliminating any oversight into who can own one.
America is not the UK or Australia, where many types of guns are currently banned, as America’s history and Constitution has created hundreds of thousands of gun enthusiasts who would rather die than give up their rifles. Thus, the demand for assault rifles will remain high even if a ban is passed. Criminal cartels, who already smuggle massive amounts of drugs across America’s southern border every year, could easily start smuggling AK-47s along with them to satisfy the demand for assault rifles that will still remain in America. Remember, America is the world’s largest consumer of illegal drugs by far and despite numerous law enforcement agencies dedicated to snuffing them out, the drug crisis in America is at epidemic levels.
Besides criminal organizations fulfilling the demand for assault rifles in America, you will also have thousands of 2nd Amendment supporters who will consider the assault rifle ban as unconstitutional, and thus will refuse to follow it. There are plenty of gun enthusiasts who already manufacture their own gun parts using commonly available tools such as lathes and mills. Currently under US law, a person still must order the receiver portion (the middle part of a rifle where the trigger assembly goes) of a firearm as it must be stamped with a serial number so the rifle can be traced. If made illegal, however, there is still nothing from stopping thousands of gun enthusiasts from making their own homemade rifles for themselves or selling them to others for a profit. Only in this case, there will be no serial numbers on the rifles, no way to track them and no background check system in place since the entire operation was made illegal.
As with the prohibition of alcohol in America in the 1920s, where criminal organizations such as the mafia stepped in to happily supply illegal alcohol to satisfy demand, a modern-day assault rifle ban would do little to keep guns out of the hands of those who would seek to use them for criminal purposes.
As long as the demand for assault rifles and guns in general remains as high as it is in America right now, attempting to ban them will only cause sales to skyrocket and criminal elements to fulfill the supply which the gun stores once legally provided.
However, there are steps that we as a nation can take to safeguard our schools quickly and efficiently. As distasteful as it may seem having a few trained, certified and armed guards at America’s schools could make all the difference between a mass slaughter and the safety of students. No one wants to turn schools into a prison, but these are the times we are living in and society has degraded to the point that there is no changing the root cause of these school shooters in the short-term, such an effort will take time. The only way to prevent the next school shooting is to defend our schools and the students against attackers. After all, banks and other financial institutions where money is stored often have armed guards or massive security measures, and I think we can all agree that guarding the lives of students is significantly more important than guarding money. Why not ensure schools are protected in the same way that our money is then?
In the end, no matter if assault rifles or all guns were banned next month the next killer likely already has the firearm that they will perform a mass shooting with. If the supply of guns dries up, there are already more guns than there are people in America, and I imagine it would not be too hard for an already mentally disturbed criminal to steal one from law abiding citizens or purchase one illegally if they had to.
In a closing thought on exactly what is causing mentally disturbed individuals to suddenly go on a shooting rampage, consider the following:
The rate in which school shootings occur in America is unique, as it happens in no other developed country in the world. America accounts for just 4.4% of the world’s population, yet consumes a shocking 50% of all prescription medication!
When it comes to opioids (narcotic pain relief medication that is extremely addictive) America consumes the vast majority of opioid medications in the world.
After examining just those two figures, it is really a stretch to conclude that, just perhaps, the massive amounts of medication being given to young people and adults may trigger an extreme adverse reaction in a small percentage that causes them to turn into mass murdering psychos? Perhaps Adderall, Ritalin and a cocktail of SSRI anti-depressant medications aren’t exactly agreeing with the minds of some of America’s youth, especially those already suffering from undiagnosed mental disorders.
Do you think there’s a correlation?