Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Evil of Draconian Gun Laws

Bruce over at MassBackwards takes apart a gun fearing wussy. This particular GFW seems to be a member or an ardent supporter of a Massachusetts group known as Stop Handgun Violence. They take a lot of credit for the ridiculous and draconian firearm laws in that state.

Bruce presents (scroll down) a table from the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) of Massachusetts. I saw something in that table that troubled me. I did some calculations and they made be realize just how horrible Massachusetts’ guns laws are. Bruce may have covered this in another post, GOAL may have printed an article about it, but another opinion never hurts.

First we have to wade through some numbers. The first line of the table shows that in 1997, before the 1998 gun laws, Massachusetts had 1,541,201 licensed gun owners. The state’s population in 2000 was 6,349,097. For the sake of argument, let’s decrease that to 6,250,000 and assume that the state’s population in 1997. About 23% of the population is under 18, so the adult population is 4,812,500. That means about 32% of the state’s adult population had a firearms license in 1997.

In 2001, according to GOAL’s table only 199,660 had valid firearm licenses. If the state’s population in 2001 was 6,350,000 and the adult population was 4,889,500 then 4% had licenses.

Massachusetts’ licensing scheme is hard to understand. There have been many people who did not realize that their once lifetime firearm licenses now expire. For the sake of argument, let’s say that 750,000 had their heads in the sand then, but now have new licenses. Another 150,000 (about 10%) may have died. These numbers plus the number of valid licenses total 1,099,660. These calculations are all guesses on my part, but logical. Your guesstimates may differ.

If you’ve followed me this far, I am about to get to the point (“finally,” I can hear you sighing out there). There are 441,541 licensees unaccounted for. Where are they? Are there almost half a million law-abiding Massachusetts gun owners who are now criminals because they no longer have a valid firearms license? Have almost half a million people fled the state? Have half a million people sold, destroyed, or otherwise got rid of their guns? Gun owners also move into Massachusetts. Do they all get licenses? Of course, true criminals don’t get licenses.

Last time I looked Massachusetts was part of the United States. While each state can make certain rules and laws to govern its citizens, it cannot infringe on Constitutional guarantees. The Second Amendment is infringed frequently and not least of all in Massachusetts.

The state has created a scheme that has made some flee like refugees, made others into unwitting criminals, and made others decide not to get licenses and thus witting criminals. It has caused some people to give up hunting, target shooting, or sell family heirlooms. This is insane and truly criminal. The real criminals are the bastards who foisted this un-American, freedom-hating scheme on the people who elected them and re-elect them to office.

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