Gun-grabbing: A modest proposal
On Powerline, John Hinderaker, citing earlier writings of Charles C.W. Cooke, focuses sharply on the desire of the left to end the 2nd Amendment. "Talk is cheap," he tells us – let them actually act. The article then goes to show why such is nearly impossible. Neither American law not the American people would likely tolerate such a thing.
I think both Hinderaker and Cooke are right about that. But still, as in good medicine, might not a trial be allowed to test the hypothesis? A "test case" as it were – one that, in a small way, avoiding many of the larger problems outlined in the two articles, allows us – politicians, their media voices, and most importantly the American people – to see how much "cure" there is in the gun-grabbing idea – and what issues, expected and otherwise, might need to be balanced against any demonstrated efficacy.
In that spirit, I here put forth a modest proposal: that guns already illegal – many of which are even now doing observable harm – be "grabbed" – legally, under present law, or such small modifications of which might pass at least local muster.
Let the police remove – no, charge them with removing! – all the illegal guns in the city of Chicago. Now. Starting today. Or as soon as the needed organization and momentum for it can be built.
"If just one child's life can be saved, it will be worth it." So we are often told when it comes to a nationwide gun-grab. Well, certainly such will prove to be the case in Chicago. Indeed, it'd likely be far more than one each and every weekend. And many more over some holidays.
Now we are not suggesting that all guns be "grabbed." Such would be unconstitutional. Just the ones currently possessed illegally under laws that have already seen at least local "testing" in the courts.
Let the authorities request that all illegal guns be turned in. Then, as would be needed if the experiment should proceed to a larger field (be it the entire nation or a given "test" state), the police would take whatever action is legal to gather any that might remain.
The beauty of this test case is that its efficacy would quickly be apparent. And make great headlines, to boot. "Seventh Weekend in a Row without a Single Shooting in the City!" Who wouldn't like to see such a thing? What politician wouldn't like to run taking claim for it?
Oh yes, there might be some problems. Perhaps a few illegal gun-owners might not willingly comply. Perhaps searches would be necessary – legal ones, of course, authorized by courts based on evidence that an illegal gun is owned. Well, what is that in comparison with what would be needed to grab all of the guns nationwide? And where are we more likely to see the will to get guns off the street than in perpetually violent, left-leaning Chicago?
If it works...if all those unlawful weapons are no longer possessed by wrongdoers – if the streets have in truth been made safe – then our leaders can bring that fact to the American people and let us, having seen the good, decide.
The argument could be well made about how safe we'd be – our children in school, for instance – if only the local police are alerted to a home where an illegal gun is reasonably believed to be harbored. Or, failing that, if the FBI were alerted to a possible danger. ("So-and so has a gun and plans to do harm.") With the FBI alerted, certainly, we would feel and actually be "safe." Or local school and community authorities could be made aware, and local social services, now involved, could assure us that so-and-so has been interviewed and is assuredly "of no danger to himself or others."
Yes, then "We the People" – the true rulers of our land – could decide about the relative safety afforded my each and all of these methods. And having decided, based on tested facts, we could either keep our Constitution as written or legally modify it.
Illustration: Augustas Didzgalvis via Wikimedia commons.