Thomas Sowell on Gun Control

Whether you are for or against gun control, Thomas Sowell lays out a good case for how the debate should take place in his column this week, Gun Control Laws.

When you stop and think about it, there is no obvious reason why issues like gun control should be ideological issues in the first place. It is ultimately an empirical question whether allowing ordinary citizens to have firearms will increase or decrease the amount of violence.

…while the Supreme Court must make the Second Amendment the basis of its rulings on gun control laws, there is no reason why the Second Amendment should be the last word for the voting public.

If the end of gun control leads to a bloodbath of runaway shootings, then the Second Amendment can be repealed, just as other Constitutional Amendments have been repealed. Laws exist for people, not people for laws.

There is no point arguing, as many people do, that it is difficult to amend the Constitution. The fact that it doesn’t happen very often doesn’t mean that it is difficult. The people may not want it to happen, even if the intelligentsia are itching to change it.

He also calls out Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer for not knowing his job:

What all this means is that judges and the voting public have different roles. Continue reading

A couple more nuggets from Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn on gun control, from America Alone:

New Hampshire has a high rate of firearms possession, which is why it has a low crime rate.  You don’t have to own a gun, and there are plenty of sissy arms-are-for-hugging granola-crunchers who don’t.  But they benefit from the fact that their crazy stump-toothed knuckle-dragging neighbors do.  If you want to burgle a home in the Granite State, you’d have to be awfully certain it was the one-in-a-hundred we-are-the-world panty-waist’s pad and not some plaid-clad gun nut who’ll blow your head off before you lay a hand on his seventy dollar TV.  A North Country non-gun owner might tire of all the Second Amendment kooks with the gun racks in the pickups and move somewhere where everyone is, at least officially, a non-gun owner just like him: Washington D.C., say, or London.  And suddenly he finds that, in a wholly disarmed society, his house requires burglar alarms and window locks and security cameras.

And, finally, a last bit about war:

“…as the great strategist of armored warfare Basil Liddell Hart wrote: “The destruction of the enemy’s armed forces is but a means – and not necessarily an inevitable or infallible one – to attainment of the real objective.”

The object of war is not to destroy the enemy’s tanks but to destroy his will. 

America is extremely good at destroying tanks.  If you make the mistake of luring the United States into a hot war – i.e. tanks, bombers, ships, etc. – you’ll lose very quickly. 

Wars fought under absurd degrees of self-imposed etiquette are the most difficult to win – see Korea and Vietnam – and one lesson of Germany and Japan is that it’s easier to rebuild totalitarian states if they’ve first been completely smashed. 

So, in the last passage he’s saying that the U.S. is great at destroying the enemy’s armed forces, but not so great at destroying the enemy’s will.  In fact, the U.S. has been very good at bolstering the enemy’s will.