Commentary, Guns and Weapons

Does Gun Control Work?

Close up of Gun Control Genie

We are bombarded by the media every day about Gun Control.  Political candidates talk about “buybacks”, seizure of privately-owned firearms, house-to-house searches for firearms, repealing the Second Amendment, enhanced background checks, and the list goes on.  Of course, we are all terribly concerned about this growing problem. The possibility of a mass shooting is on my mind every time I leave my house, and I prepare myself mentally for that possibility.  I teach classes on Active Shooter and have received significant training in firearms and tactical operations.  Very few individuals are more prepared than I am for this possibility, yet I am frankly frightened for my family and friends whenever we go out into the community.  Like everyone else, I want something to be done.  The question is “What do we do about it?”

Can we rely upon politicians to come up with answers?  The answer is clearly no.  None of their politically biased and feckless remedies would have any effect on the current rate of shootings. The proposal to ban “assault weapons” would have no effect whatsoever.  The “Gun Genie” is out of the bottle.  Guns are out there in huge quantities and the vast majority of those that own them never commit any type of a crime, much less a violent one.  An “assault weapon” ban would be largely ignored and completely unenforceable.  Its effect would only create criminals out of honest, law-abiding citizens.   Remember, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution outlawed the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors.  The only thing that the change did was to create a new class of criminals and led to the rise of organized crime.  It did not change human behaviour in any way. 

Human behaviour is the dispositive term here.  Evil people with evil intent will find a way to carry out their murderous deeds.  Tim McVeigh used farm fertilizer as a base for a bomb that killed 168 innocent people.  Islamic Terrorists used Box Cutters to hijack planes and kill thousands in New York City, the Boston Marathon bombers used firecracker bombs killing three and injuring hundreds.  Trucks and automobiles have been used as weapons to kill scores.  We know that over 60 percent of mass murders are carried out by individuals who were diagnosed or demonstrated signs of serious mental illness prior to an attack. Mental health professionals have failed in their efforts to address mental illness.  At one time we had institutions for the criminally insane, now just give them pills and send them on their way. 

Gun Control Genie illustration

France has severe limitations on gun ownership, yet a series of bombings and shootings rocked the nation when attacks were launched against a football match, restaurants and cafes in 2015.  Strict gun laws did not stop the slaughter.  Evil people will always find a way to achieve their goals.  It is important to note that the anti-gun philosophy extends to the French Police, as well.  Only forty percent carry guns on duty.  We will forever remember the vision of French Police driving away from shooters engaging innocent civilians and police as well.  They ran because they were unarmed.

I recently met with the principal of a very excellent private prep school in Fort Worth, Texas.  He sadly informed me that 85 percent of the boys in his school were being medicated for ADD or ADDHD. We are medicating boys who act like boys.  Are we creating new monsters with this practice?  Very likely. 

Danny Coulson
Gun Control Genie extreme closeup

Banning weapons is not the answer. Weapons are out there.  Evil-minded people will find them or find another way to commit mass murder. 

Perhaps we should instead begin by changing laws which are currently on the books.  It is a Federal violation for a convicted felon to be in possession of a firearm. Those violations are some of the easiest crimes to prosecute.  All you need is a firearm and a criminal conviction record, then it is a fast return to prison.  A huge emphasis needs to be placed on those cases.

We no longer allow prayer in school, we devalue the importance of family, minimize the importance of positive role models for our youth, over-medicate our youth, fail to address demonstrated mental illnesses, devalue the rule of law, and handcuff our law enforcement agencies.  In Baltimore, the District Attorney indicted police officers who had committed no crime, leading to their acquittal.  Police are now afraid to do their job, and the city now exists in a state of savagery and anarchy. 

It is ironic that the current crop of Democratic Presidential Candidates, with the exception of Joe Biden, now favor open borders and abolishing both ICE and the entire Department of Homeland Security.  One even has the bizarre proposal to take down all border walls and checkpoints. That means a veritable army of criminals, gang members, terrorists, human traffickers, and other monsters will be free to cross the border and create mayhem. Rest assuredly, they will come heavily armed even though they enter our country from Mexico which heavily regulates the possession of firearms.

Mexico is currently overrun with counterfeit weapons from China.  In fact, they are being manufactured with fake logos from US manufacturers with fake serial numbers. This practice is being undertaken to conceal the fact that they come from the People’s Republic of China.  Of course, the blame goes to legitimate US Corporations who closely follow Federal Law.  When and if the surge comes, those that come will not have abandoned their weapons, they will come fully armed.

These same candidates who promote “Open Borders”, also profess to ban the private ownership of semi-automatic rifles. How then do we protect our homes, property, family and friends if gun control won’t help?  Our law enforcement agencies will, of course, be overwhelmed, and we are left defenceless.  Mercy will not be dispensed.  What then?  Citizens will resort to a black market of weapons or retrieve hidden weapons and use them to protect friends and family.  Once again, the Government will create criminals instead of enforcing the law against criminals and criminal enterprises.

Danny O. Coulson

Is Gun Control the Answer??   Clearly not. 
Society is broken because of many things.  Gun ownership is not one of them. 

Danny O. Coulson is a retired FBI Special Agent.  He created and commanded the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, commanded four Field Divisions, and served as the Deputy Assistant Director, where he was responsible for all Violent Crime and Terrorism Investigations throughout the world. He has commanded operations that led to the recovery of over 300 hostages and the apprehension of countless violent criminals and terrorist.

Illustrations by Karin Fish.