Friday, October 31, 2014

Quote of the Day — Lyle (October 30, 2014)

Derived from his comment to Joe's Quote of the Day post:
To say that restrictions or encumbrances on gun ownership have “no effect” on crime is to defend those restrictions and encumbrances. … It is somewhat like saying that slavery has no effect on the general welfare of the slaves, being that good slave masters see to it that their (rather expensive) slaves are housed, fed, trained, cared for, and so on.


When Progressives claim “no effect” on crime, what they should be saying is that their gun restrictions failed to reduce crime rates. Failing to reduce is very different from having “no effect”, and it’s a way of letting them off the hook for their role in encouraging violent crime through their wholesale violation of a human right.
To add: "no effect" implies a "no-harm-no-foul" on violations of fundamental civil rights. That's not how this works. If you're going to restrict the free exercise of an enumerated right - especially via a prior restraint - there must be some definitive, measurable, and overwhelming benefit to doing so.

"No effect" fails to meet that burden. The somewhat more honest* "fails to reduce violent crime" fails even harder, and the strong possibility that "gun control" laws actually increase crime undermines it completely.

When we let the anti-rights people claim "no effect" without qualification, we're letting them claim that a given law has no effect on either violent crime rates OR gun ownership. That might be true for the former**, but is absolutely not true for the latter. And yet, they will shriek like banshees if you try to repeal a law that restricts a fundamental right by creating an entire class of victimless crimes (and "criminals"), but at best provides zero net public safety benefits.

The question we need to be asking — and demanding a response to — is, "Why?" But we already know the answer.
* - But who really expects statists and collectivists to be honest, anyway?
** - Again, the numbers show a negative correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, meaning "no effect on crime" is statistically the BEST result the antis can hope for.


  1. Agreed, the burden of proof is entirely on those who wish to infringe on any of the Bill of Rights. Also, since the BOR is so fundamental, I would say the highest hurdles and strict scrutiny is required for any proposed legislation. No ballot measures that require a simple majority, no initial ruling at the lower court level, rather immediate escalation to the state's supreme court and other such restrictions on silly legislation.

    Imagine if I put a ballot initiative out there that requires only 51% to pass and it outlawed a religion or just certain portions of it. So, how are any laws and initiatives that restrict firearms different? My religion, free speech, and firearms are non-negotiable. The Bill of Rights is NOT an a la carte menu where some can be denied.

    1. On a slight tangent, see this recent Washington State Supreme Court finding on due process.

      Yes, I know it's a sexual assault case (I did say "tangent"), but the money quote from the ruling is this: "When a defense necessarily negates an element of the crime charged, the State may not shift the burden of proving that defense onto the defendant".

      IOW, when the State makes an accusation, and the accused raises an argument in defense, it's not the defendant's burden to prove the defense. Rather, it's the State's burden to disprove the defense argument.

      Extrapolated to gun rights: It's not our burden to prove that private gun ownership doesn't cause more harm than good. That's an accusation made by anti-rights groups and politicians; it's their burden to prove it. And given the Second Amendment's place on the Bill of Rights, it should be a pretty high hurdle indeed. Anyone who examines the issue with an iota less than absolute, strict scrutiny and deference to the Second Amendment is violating his/her oath to the Constitution.