Eric Zorn: Inside The Twisted Mind of a Gun Control Advocate
“What if we took some of the fear and desire for safety that animates the call for extreme vetting of refugees from the Middle East and turned that energy into a call for extreme vetting of those who want to purchase firearms?” chicagotribune.com columnist Eric Zorn asks. And the answer is . . .
Hawaii. A state so zealous in its vetting procedures that it hasn’t issued a concealed carry license since the year 2000. (Say aloha to gun rights in the Aloha State.) New York City is similarly “extreme,” saving concealed carry licenses for celebrities and wealthy, politically connected residents (e.g., President Trump). New Jersey? Same difference.
Mr. Zorn’s call for “extreme vetting” for all gun purchases and transfers reflects his inability to separate wishful thinking — a hope that “keeping guns out of the wrong hands” would reduce Chicago’s carnage — from the proven reality of its implementation (disarming law-abiding citizens). So we could call him a misguided fantasist. But what are we to make of this?
I know it’s not quite fair to attack the irresponsible use of guns by additionally burdening responsible users. Eighty percent or more of those who use guns in crimes did not purchase them through conventional legal means, according to research analyzed by PolitiFact in 2015. The evildoers borrowed them, stole them or purchased them on the black market.
And I know our criminal justice system needs to get tougher on those who use or carry guns illegally.
But I also know that we’re not going to arrest and imprison our way out of this problem, and that gun violence is much less severe in countries that aren’t awash in firearms.