"It's Time For Common Sense Gun Laws"

America is reeling from it's latest school shooting, this one located in Parkland, Florida. Alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz was immediately arrested and within hours the focus of the national conversation predictably shifted to the topic of gun control -- "common sense gun control," if you're a Democrat.

Always a contentious topic, the issue of gun control elicits extreme reactions, but maybe this is worth looking into this time.

Let's examine some of the more popular ideas for gun laws and their implications on preventing future shootings.

Close Gun Show Loopholes

A favorite idea of gun control advocates is to pass legislation that ends the "gun show loophole." Presumably, as the law is currently written, one can simply walk into a gun show and buy a gun without a background check.

The problem is that it's simply not true. All gun shows require Federal background checks for purchases of firearms, just like all other gun stores and FFL dealers across the country.

Since you absolutely cannot buy a firearm at a gun show without a background check, by definition there is no loophole to be closed.

End Person-to-Person Sales/Transfers of Firearms

There is a caveat in the law whereby one person may sell a firearm to another individual person in a private transaction, without a background check.  However, there are several issues with this from a policy perspective.

First, in none of the shootings that have happened recently was the firearm actually obtained this way.

Second, most gun owners are very responsible and if they are approached by someone they don't already know, or by someone who doesn't seem competent and also responsible with a firearm, most will not engage in this sort of transaction.

Ban the Sale of High Capacity Magazines

This seems like a reasonable idea. That is, until you consider that there are already millions and millions of 30+ round rifle magazines on the market. The genie is already out of the bottle. You can ban the future sale of magazines, but you will not be able to collect the ones already in circulation.

Ban All Firearms

This is the nuclear option, the Holy Grail of sorts, for most of the anti-gun crowd. On it's face, it seems like it could be reasonable (aside from being a horrendously gross violation of the Second Amendment). But, this "common sense" gun law isn't so common sense when logic is applied and when we look at trends that can already be measured.

The idea of a gun ban works in only one instance -- all people other than police and military turn in all of their guns.

The problem is that we have criminals. And criminals don't care about the law. Criminals will not turn in their guns just because you pass a law telling them to, that's why they are criminals!

If Congress even hinted at getting serious about a potential gun confiscation or ban, we would see a last minute flurry of activity from criminals obtaining firearms via whatever means necessary. Then, they would simply sit and wait, as law abiding citizens began turning in all of their firearms. Once fully enacted, we would see the same amount of violent crime as we do now, because the entire country would be a gun-free zone (just look at gun controlled Chicago).  In the wake of a gun ban, there would be no one who could defend themselves -- just like at the locations where all of these shootings take place.

No risk of someone shooting back at a gunman = higher chance of shootings by a gunman. (Gun person, for my Canadian friends.)


More gun control simply means restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens, the exact people who will never commit a murder or mass shooting.

So, maybe (like the Democrats say) it is time for "common sense" gun laws. The only problem is, no one seems to know of any, beyond what we already have on the books.