As our nation debates gun rights vs. gun control, there's a stupid argument that keeps resurfacing on the anti-gun control side. I'm not anti-gun, but I am anti-stupidity, so this is bugging me.
It's the idea that because criminals, by their very nature, do not follow laws, we should not pass any laws limiting gun rights.
The thought goes that if we, say, require universal background checks, good, law-abiding people will follow that law, but criminals will still buy illegal guns. Therefore, why bother with the background checks?
This is ridiculous for several reasons.
First, that's not how laws work. We don't say, "Well, we could ban rape, but rapists would still do it anyway. I guess rape should be legal."
Second, it could deter some people. There are some people who believe in following laws, or at least don't want to get punished for breaking them. Even if the illegal gun buyers are unethical, many gun sellers will refuse to violate a law.
Third, not all criminals plan their crimes in advance. Some gun violence is done in a fit of passion.
Yes, the person premeditating murder might go get a gun in advance.
But let's say it's someone who would not be able to get a gun legally if there were universal background checks. Maybe they're a convicted felon, or they have a mental illness that predisposes them to violence, or they're a domestic abuser.
If this person flies into a murderous rage, it's harder to get a gun quickly, because nobody can legally sell them one.
Also, some criminals aren't very smart. Some are, but some aren't. Even if tighter gun laws primarily kept guns out of the hands of criminals too stupid to find a way around the law, that's still a win.
It would still save some lives. Not all. But why should we not save some lives just because we can't save all of them?
If we cut the number of gun deaths by even 10 percent because only the very dumbest people couldn't figure out how to get their hands on an illegal gun, we still would cut gun deaths by 10 percent.
How many mothers and fathers wouldn't lose a child because of that?