Saturday, October 09, 2004

Bullet Control

Many of you have heard Chris Rock's stand-up rountine on bullet control. I was curiously if anyone had seriously made the proposal. Brendan Healey wrote this article for the John Marshall Law Review on bullet control and it turns out that Senator John Kerry has proposed bullet control previously.

While I am a responsible gun owner and I value my right to keep and bear arms, I agree that reasonable restrictions are necessary to regulate inherently dangerous items such as firearms.

In his book Targeting Guns, Gary Kleck has posited several principles that he believes effective weapons regulation should share. According to Kleck, future regulations should have the following attributes:

1. The controls should regulate long guns at least as strictly as handguns. Their political advantages notwithstanding, controls that restrict only handguns probably do more harm than good . . . .

2. The controls should be popular enough to be politically achievable and to not provoke massive disobedience and evasion . . . .

3. They must be obeyed by a nonnegligible fraction of the violence-prone population, not just by relatively nonviolent, noncriminal people.

4. They should not depend on the hopeless task of producing overall gun scarcity in a nation that already has over 230 million guns . . . .

5. They should avoid the jurisdictional "leakage" problem, whereby strict local controls on gun acquisition are evaded by going to less strict areas . . . .

6. They should address the private transfers of firearms that account for the overwhelming majority of gun acquisitions by violence-prone people . . . .

7. They should not be extremely expensive relative to their benefits.|Link|
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I highlighted number three above because that is the key issue for me. Most gun laws are ignored by criminals. The laws create a society of unarmed victims for violent criminals.

I support a one-week waiting period to buy a gun and mandatory education for new gun owners. I would even support psychological testing to determine if a person was mentally stable enough to own a gun, such as the tests we give to aspiring police officers. The use of force is a serious matter.

But if a person passes all of these tests, then he or she should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. Of course, it's already the case that citizens can carry concealed weapons in 35 states without the psychological tests.

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