Word is that the Senate has the necessary votes for federal gun control legislation designed to, among other things, pressure states into instituting “red flag” laws. These measures are controversial because they involve suspending a person’s rights (i.e., seizing his weapons) without due process. Wherever you stand on them and federal firearms laws in principle, however, a simple fact is under-emphasized in this debate: Laws mean little if not enforced.
What’s more, they’re actually instruments of evil if only enforced to the degree where good people will comply.
Here’s another fact: Corresponding to the general unwillingness among left-wing district attorneys to punish criminals (who aren’t also political opponents), these officials, though claiming firearms are a plague, aren’t punishing most gun crimes. Odd, huh?
An archetypical example is Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner. His office withdrew or dismissed 65 percent of gun charges last year, up from 17 percent in 2015. This, along with his characteristic reluctance to hold miscreants to account, explains why the “City of Brotherly Love” had 559 murders in 2021 — an all time record. And, again, his misfeasance reflects that of left-wing prosecutors nationwide.
Thus, if there must be federal gun-oriented intervention (which I’m against), it’s obvious what it should be:
Make localities’ and/or states’ receipt of federal funds contingent upon their adequate enforcement of violent-crime laws — in particular, gun laws.
There you have it. Are you listening, Mitch McConnell?
Unlike what’s currently being proposed, this measure actually would make a difference. It’s not radical within the context of today’s governmental norms, either. After all, the current “bipartisan” gun bill provides “incentives” for states to implement red-flag laws; even more to the point, the Biden administration is apparently threatening to withhold school lunch money from districts that don’t effect the pseudo-elites’ MUSS (Made-up Sexual Status, aka “transgender”) agenda. Of course, using federal-funding retention as cudgel with which to impose Washington’s will has long been status quo.
I’ll reiterate that I don’t believe in such strong-arm tactics; in fact, the central government is meant to be a mere agent of the states and should get precious little tax money. But if the feds are going to call the tune with their pay-the-piper power, what better cause than compelling feckless localities to enforce the laws that really matter and save lives?
Earlier this month, more than 170 “big city mayors” met in Reno, Nevada, to kvetch about how they “fear sweeping gun limits are out of reach,” as The New York Times put it. What misdirection.
Crime isn’t skyrocketing nationwide because firearm laws have changed (they haven’t), but because the law-enforcers have changed.
Enforcement of local laws makes far more sense than any one-size-fits-all policy, too, as crime is not an evenly distributed phenomenon. Consider that more than half of 2016’s murders occurred in just certain parts of two percent of our land’s counties, and 68 percent of the homicides were committed in only small pockets of five percent of the counties.
Oh, these would be exclusively, or almost all, Democrat areas.
In contrast and on average, “73 percent of counties in any given year had zero murders from 1977 to 2000,” reported Fox News in 2017. (These would generally be GOP areas.)
In other words, we don’t have a “gun problem.”
We have a Democrat population/governance problem.
What’s so disgusting about enacting more laws but not strictly enforcing those on the books, especially the important ones, is that only good people are affected. They tend to follow laws even when enforcement is lax and punishment for violation is minimal; miscreants won’t without the threat of Draconian measures.
So ponder the vicious circle here:
- You don’t enforce just laws.
- Crime consequently proliferates.
- There’s then a drumbeat for more laws, which take away good people’s freedom but also won’t be enforced on evildoers.
- Crime then rises further leading to a call for even more laws, and, well….
You get the idea. Wash, rinse, repeat — and soon few freedoms remain. Of course, were you conspiracy minded (perish the thought), you might fancy this the whole point of this seemingly pointless exercise.
As for you politicians, federal and otherwise, focus on enforcing existing laws or forever hold your peace. ’Cause with the way your pet criminals are running wild, a good citizen certainly has to hold his piece.
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.