I see a lot of gun control advocates suggesting that making it harder for convicted criminals, the mentally ill, and other prohibited persons to get guns is the best and/or only way to make our society safer from "gun violence."
On the surface, that almost sounds like a good idea that might actually work as advertised, except for two flaws such advocates seem to ignore:
1. Making it harder doesn't actually STOP those determined to break the law, because
2. It's impossible to stop enough of the sources of guns to dangerous people as long as they are free to walk the streets without a custodian.
Because I love analogies, let's compare the flow of guns to the street with a leaky bucket of water.
Gun control advocates believe that if we simply plug all the holes in the bucket, criminals can't get the water. The mistake in this reasoning is that determined individuals who are willing to break the law are extremely resourceful - they will always find ways around the rules and laws we put in place to deter or prevent them from getting what they want.
In our bucket analogy, if we plug all the holes, the criminals will either a) make their own new holes, b) simply go dip from the top of the bucket, or c) find another less-protected bucket!
This is evidenced by the so-called "war on drugs." Making recreational drugs illegal has closed down almost every "legal" means for people to get them. Those people who want the drugs and are willing to break the law to get them has created the demand. The government has tried to plug as many holes as possible with laws and enforcement, yet those criminals willing to break the law for their own use or to supply the demand simply manufacture or grow more (poke more holes in the bucket), cheat the prohibition by lying to get perscriptions for narcotics or medical marijuana (dipping from the top of the bucket) or smuggle it in across the border (get it from someone else's bucket).
The statistics on drug use seem to show that "making it harder" really hasn't had a significant effect on actual usage. In spite of new laws and an ever-increasing budget for the "war on drugs," levels are seemingly unaffected by "making it harder" over the last 20+ years.
What makes gun control advocates think the results of gun control are going to be any different? Why is it that any country in the world that has tried to "make it harder" for "dangerous" people to get guns has seen no consistent or significant effect because of it?
Because there's only one effective way to make sure dangerous people don't get firearms - Incarcerate them until they are no longer a danger to others. As long as criminals and other dangerous people are free to walk the streets, simply "making it harder" isn't making it hard enough to make a difference for those willing to disobey the law.
You may ask, "So what? Why shouldn't we make it harder for them? What does it hurt?" Look for part 2 coming soon discussing the negative side effects and unintended consequences of "making it harder."