It would be hard to miss the fact that we have become polarized in this society on any number of issues. It’s a challenge to get one holding an opposing view to stop resisting long enough to even realize their own bias, much less do something about it. It is probably safe to say that’s true when it comes to guns. Guns in general, gun ownership, gun use, gun crime, gun control laws, you name it.
One aspect of all this that is particularly frustrating is the refusal to face facts. No amount of data, evidence, reasoned arguments, examples and so on can penetrate the hard heads filled with emotion and self-righteous certitude. The real world is apparently no match for the willful denial they can conjure up.
New Zealand Firearms Ban
Examples abound on a regular basis. One of the more recent comes to us courtesy of the land down under, New Zealand to be specific. While a different country from the United States, there are more similarities than differences between our western societies and legal systems. It can be helpful to see how various laws work (or don’t work) in other similar jurisdictions.
As is too often the case, a gun-related tragedy can cause activists to ramp up their demands for more new fill-in-the-blank laws. The overwhelming majority of the appeals are guaranteed not to work but that doesn’t stop them. There are many types of such laws regarding guns but one is some variation of making them illegal. These are sometimes packaged with gun buyback programs, despite their consistent failures.
That is what the powers-that-be did in New Zealand. Following two mass shootings earlier this year, the government instituted bans on a broader scope of firearms than ever before. Since the bill was rushed into law in April, it is estimated that about 700 weapons have been turned in.
There is no reliable way to know how many guns are now “illegal”. But, with the number of guns total in the country an estimated 1.5 million, it seems clear that compliance with the new law is exceptionally low. And, quite possibly will remain so.As is too often the case, a gun-related tragedy can cause activists to ramp up their demands for more new fill-in-the-blank laws. The overwhelming majority of the appeals are guaranteed not to work but that doesn't stop them. Click To Tweet
Gun Confiscation Fails
“That gun owners would, in large numbers, defy restrictions should have been anticipated by anybody who knows the history of government attempts to disarm their subjects—or who just glanced across the Tasman Sea to Australia.
“‘In Australia it is estimated that only about 20% of all banned self-loading rifles have been given up to the authorities’…Csaszar put the number of illegally retained arms in Australia at between two and five million…
“‘Will gangs get rid of their weapons? No,’ one prominent gang leader told Stuff. ‘Because of who we are, we can’t guarantee our own safety.’
“So Kiwis who actually do comply with the confiscation scheme will put themselves at a disadvantage relative to violent gangs that don’t intend to obey.
“They would also be putting themselves at a disadvantage relative to the government, which is retaining its own weapons despite a distinct lack of competence…and intends to further squeeze the country’s liberty.”
Read more at Noncompliance Kneecaps New Zealand’s Gun Control Scheme.