Google+
Close

The Corner

The one and only.

A Few More Thoughts on Guns and Crime



Text  



A few more thoughts to supplement my piece on the dishonest gun-control debate, the method by which Democrats attempt to change the subject away from their inability to govern the cities they dominate.

First: If there were a single model of gun being used in 90 percent of homicides, you can bet that the anti-gun camp would be working hard to make that gun famous. You can imagine the argument: “Surely, we can ban or restrict this one weapon, this horrible weapon that is responsible for 90 percent of our murders.” And I agree. The specific weapon in question is: a weapon held by a person with a prior criminal history. In New York City, about 90 percent of murders are committed by people with prior criminal histories. (About half of murder victims have criminal histories, too.) The same is true in most other major cities, and in many smaller communities as well. That includes homicides with guns and homicides using other implements. I’ll believe that our Democratic friends are serious about preventing violent crime when they start handing down 50-year terms for armed robbery and 20-year terms for unlawful possession of a firearm in violation of parole or probation. If that sounds “extreme” to you, I’d like to know why it is more extreme to punish felons than to punish law-abiding citizens.

Second: In Chicago and other places, gangs are a significant part of the problem, and not just in obvious ways: The presence of highly organized gangs ensconced in the prison system takes a lot of the sting out of prison time for gang-affiliated offenders. Indeed, prison time is practically a rite of passage in some communities. We should look at organizing a multi-state compact to facilitate the random geographic dispersion of gang-affiliated offenders to stymie the power of gangs. Though many gangs in theory have national and international presences, in practice they remain very much focused at the local-set level. We should keep them apart and severely restrict their communication. Again, if that sounds extreme to you, please explain why it is less extreme to restrict the lives of law-abiding citizens.

I am in favor of greatly reducing the number of things that are considered crimes. (I favor legalization of all drugs, for instance, and legalization of many other things.) I also believe that our jails and prisons are a disgrace, an offense to civilization. I also have some ideas about other forms of punishment and rehabilitation that may prove more effective. That being said, I am willing to send armed robbers away for life, and to send other violent criminals away for life, if that is what is required, especially if the alternative is gutting the Bill of Rights, which Democrats propose to do. If you are sticking a gun in somebody’s face for a living, then your concerns are right down near the bottom of my priority list. 



Text  


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review