Every mass shooting inevitably leads those on the left to call for a ban on “assault weapons,” and this time is no different. Thus begins the barrage of calls for “sensible gun laws” on social media, from network pundits, and via Vice President Kamala Harris herself, using Australia or New Zealand as the models. These unarmed countries, they tell us, prove you can strip citizens of their ability to own firearms and live in a nonviolent utopia. Is that the likely outcome of such a ban in America?
Thought experiment, leaving aside the issue of a right enshrined in the Constitution: If Americans allow their firearms to be outlawed and then confiscated, would we in fact, become like Australia or New Zealand?
If we gave up AR-15s and then a mass shooting took place where a semi-automatic handgun was used, opponents of gun rights would take those too — the same with a shooter with a hunting rifle, then a shooter with a shotgun, and on and on. We know where this leads. It can’t end with “military style” firearms. A confiscation of AR-15s would eventually lead to a complete ban on almost every gun. How long would that take? Five years, 10 years? It wouldn’t take very long once the ball is rolling and mass shooters move to handguns and shotguns, which would quickly be banned as the public’s demand for “safety” would be too much for politicians to stand against.
Cut to a Republican senator being interviewed on CNN the day after a mass shooting where a 9mm handgun was used: Senator, just a few months ago you voted to ban AR-15s because scores of children were killed in a school shooting. Today, with more dead children, you won’t support the banning of semi-automatic handguns? How can you tell those parents why the shooter was able to legally obtain a Glock 19 that, like the AR-15s that you voted to ban, allowed the shooter to fire many rounds and reload in a matter of seconds? What’s the difference, senator? Do those dead children think it was better to be shot by a handgun rather than a long gun? Senator?
That lawmaker would crumble, and so would others. What would we be left with? A technical right to keep and bear arms that practically renders that right meaningless.
How do we know this? We know this because we have seen this before in Mexico.
California has more people than Australia and New Zealand combined, in addition to a plethora of other geographic and population traits that make those countries a silly comparison. As an aside, ask any leftist if they would adopt those countries’ immigration policies in return for their gun policies. Mexico is the best example of what the U.S. would look like if the banning of firearms were to take place. Both countries have a long history of their citizens owning firearms, as they have been constitutionally guaranteed since their founding. Mexico is also a more similar country in terms of population, size, and current crime issues.
In 1857, Mexico had a constitutional right to bear arms, then in 1917 the country excluded weapons that were reserved for military branches only and added additional restrictions, and today the right to have a firearm is restricted to your home. In 1968, in response to civil unrest, the Mexican government established a Federal Arms Registry that resulted in the following: handguns in .380 or smaller, and 12 gauge (or smaller) shotguns and rifles that use less than .30 caliber are legal. Citizens have to go to a military base to apply for a permit and if one is issued, guns can only be purchased at one store in Mexico City run by the Mexican military.
I bet there isn’t a cartel member in Mexico whose gun conforms to restrictions, let alone that he has a permit. In a country of more than 100 million people, only 4,300 permits have been issued. No surprise they are reserved for the wealthy, the politically connected, and the bodyguards who protect them.
Has the tradeoff in Mexico made the country safer and more law-abiding? Hardly. The murder rate per million people is 218.49; that’s five times higher than the United States. For a never-ending parade of statistics regarding gun violence in Mexico versus the United States, click here.
It’s not just the gun stats. Mexico is a corrupt nation, held hostage by drug cartels and compromised politicians. The average citizen cannot legally possess a firearm to deter the criminal who possesses a firearm illegally. Corrupt law enforcement and the bribed politicians will protect the criminal, not the average law-abiding citizen. Honest law enforcement officers live in constant fear of reprisals on themselves and their families for good reason.
The AP reported in May of 2021, “The cartel kidnapped several members of an elite police force in the state of Guanajuato, tortured them to obtain names and addresses of fellow officers and is now hunting down and killing police at their homes, on their days off, in front of their families.” Judges, prosecutors, and politicians face the same: See examples here and here. 2022 was reportedly the fourth year in a row that Mexico was ranked the most dangerous country for reporters. The Wall Street Journal also shed light on the state of elections here as a result of rampant cartel influence.
What Would Happen in the U.S.?
If there were a successful effort to ban the majority of firearms in the U.S., it would eventually turn us into Mexico. Only criminals, the wealthy, the politically connected, and the bodyguards who protect them would own firearms. Well-armed criminals would operate with impunity, and inevitably corruption would encroach on every law enforcement agency in the country and then into the courts.
Like Mexico, our rate of murders and violent incidents would rise, not fall, as a result of gun bans. The reason cartels flood the U.S. with people and fentanyl and not guns is because there is no money in smuggling weapons — until we ban them, and then Mexican cartels would become the unofficial supplier of firearms to America. Times change, human nature does not.
Law-abiding firearm owners in America know the left isn’t concerned about criminals owning and using guns during the commission of crimes. We know this because left-leaning district attorneys routinely reduce the very gun charges they championed to make sure repeat offenders avoid lengthy prison sentences. Don’t think for one minute they won’t do the same if firearms become illegal. If Republican politicians had half of a brain, they would demand that any restriction on firearms be paired with a zero discretion policy, meaning the charges could not be reduced.
The right likes to invoke the memory of Jews being disarmed under Hitler before the atrocities began, but a better comparison is found by gazing over the unbuilt fence at our southern neighbor.