A few teeth short of a full gear

I find it difficult to model the mind of someone that says, all in the same article, the following things. The best I can come up with is some sort of machine with most of the gears missing teeth. It starts and stops and sort of seems to be working but the end results is totally different from what is expected for the given input.

In the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we have to ask the question whether anyone outside of the security forces must be allowed to carry a gun at all. Gun control is a controversial issue all over the world. Opponents of gun control argue that it takes away the rights of good people to protect themselves while criminals will always find a way to own or use guns.


I am aware that there is a body of evidence, especially in the US that shows that gun bans or even gun control does not substantially affect the crime rate.


Therefore the unpalatable conclusion must be that gun control has failed and has to be replaced by a complete gun ban at least for a period of time preceded by a campaign against gun use and ownership and an amnesty for the handing in of illegal guns.

Gun control has failed therefore we need more gun control? It’s typical, even though I don’t understand it except as a sort of psychological pathology.


4 thoughts on “A few teeth short of a full gear

  1. Joe, surely you’ve read my numerous citations of Steven Den Beste’s explanation of Cognitive Dissonance:

    When someone tries to use a strategy which is dictated by their ideology, and that strategy doesn’t seem to work, then they are caught in something of a cognitive bind. If they acknowledge the failure of the strategy, then they would be forced to question their ideology. If questioning the ideology is unthinkable, then the only possible conclusion is that the strategy failed because it wasn’t executed sufficiently well. They respond by turning up the power, rather than by considering alternatives. (This is sometimes referred to as “escalation of failure”.)

    The ideology is that guns are the cause of crime (except when in the hands of people who draw government paychecks, of course.) Therefore when faced with “a body of evidence, especially in the US that shows that gun bans or even gun control does not substantially affect the crime rate,” and the ideology cannot be wrong, then the only option is to turn up the power – and ban everything.

    Because, of course, the reason all prior “gun control” failed was because it wasn’t executed sufficiently well.

    It’s very simple.

  2. But gun bans do affect the crime rate. They cause it to increase.

    One need only to reference Prohibition and the War on Drugs as examples. Prohibition failed because alcohol (like guns) can be easily produced to supply what becomes a high-profit market in contraband. Unlike the War on Drugs, Prohibition was eventually converted into a licensing and taxation system (which we already have for guns) and the black market dried up due to a lack of profit and due to the fact that virtually anyone can sell alcohol. The War on Drugs is an excellent example of “turning up the power” and increasing the rate and the consequences of failure. Anyone willing to break the law stands to profit handsomely from it precisely because of the illegality, with the most aggressive, clever and organized criminals profiting the most.

    This is to say nothing of the official corruption that inevitably exists in a high profit, black market economy. In that light, and in light of the fact that most people regard some type of gun ownership as a right, you could expect larger than normal levels of non-compliance on the part of some government officials under a gun ban.

    A total gun ban could make Prohibition era gang violence and the Drug-related violence pale in comparison. The mere possession of alcohol and drugs does not, in and of itself, give one physical power over the law-abiding public. Possession of guns exclusively by criminals does exactly that. Hence, a case could be made that, all else being equal, a total gun ban could be far more deadly than Prohibition or drug culture gang violence, as it would put the law-abiding public, even those who want nothing to do with alcohol, or drugs or guns, at a distinct physical disadvantage.

    Of course, those who drafted and ratified our Constitution knew these things very well.

    So I’ll no longer refer to a ban as a “ban”. “Ban” a certain gun, and I’ll say you’ve reserved that model exclusively for criminals’ use. “Criminal’s Monopoly” is a fitting term also. I’m sure you could come up with others.

  3. Didn’t this guy get the memo? The disarmers have lost the battle for truth. This argument has already been addressed, wasn’t very strong to begin with, and it has been substantially weakened in light of the rise of criminal enterprise in the UK — the last bastion of hope for disarmers.

    Authoritarianism is so 20th Century. Just show this idealogical dinosaur the Public Safety Graph for “guncontrol” from this past century:


    (Source: FBI UCR. Rate is per 1,000 residents.)

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