A binational task force on U.S.-Mexico border issues will call Friday on the Obama administration and Congress to reinstate an expired ban on assault weapons and for Mexico to overhaul its frontier police and customs agencies to mirror the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
I just have to shake my head. These people just don’t get it.
First off by announcing this they just further cemented the fact that “assault weapons” of the type banned in 1994 will become even more common in the U.S. The sales and backlog had almost returned to normal and now this is going to create a fresh round of buying. If it hadn’t happened already the current administration, with their promises (so far unfulfilled) to ban “assault weapons” ensured they can never be banned. Why? Because in D.C. v. Heller the court decided the types of firearms protected are those “common use”. See pages 2, 55, and 58 of the decision.
The types of guns in highest demand just after Obama was elected were those most likely to be banned. There are now many millions of those guns in the hands of ordinary people and there will be hundreds of thousands more before the politicians could ever get something through congress. And then the inevitable court challenge will almost have to conclude that the guns are in “common use” and therefore cannot be banned. Not only is Obama the greatest gun salesman this country has ever known but he also may have driven the last “coffin nail” into the pointless “assault weapon” bans making them forever a dead issue–except for repeal of the existing ones in the various states after the Second Amendment is incorporated in the Chicago Gun Case.
And the Brady Campaign endorsed Obama for President. How’s that working out for you guys?
My second point is really the main issue. The problem is most people don’t really understand the big picture. Mexico is being destroyed by the same type of stupidity. People are trying to interfere with the free market and this can’t really be done. The free market can be pushed in different directions but it can’t really be fully suppresed.
There is a large market for guns and recreational drugs. Governments can’t really “ban” them. They can only raise the price. The price increase may include the risk of spending time in jail but the government passing a law making them illegal does not remove their existence from the planet or even the political jurisdiction of the government. When the price goes up it increases the profits. When the profit potential goes up more people are willing to risk going to jail in the process of getting a share of that profit. In the case of recreational drugs the profit is so great the people profiting from the drug trade has, essentially, brought down the Mexican government. I believe the only way order can be restored in Mexico is for recreational drugs to be made legal in both the U.S. and Mexico.
But people just don’t get it. Somehow they believe something that mostly works on the scale of an individual home when you remove medicines from the reach of small children can work at the larger scale of an entire continent or even the planet. It doesn’t and it can’t. You can only increase the price.
Our country learned this in the 1920s with prohibition and we now raise the price on the dangerous recreational drug ethanol via a tax rather than attempting a ban. If the governments of the U.S. and Mexico really wanted to solve the problem that is bringing down the Mexican government and resulting in the deaths of thousands in the “drug wars” they could turn the drug trade into a huge source of tax revenue. Instead of spending billions on trying to raise the price via jail terms and attempted “interdiction” they could raise the price via a tax and bring in billions of dollars.
But I don’t have any hope of a sudden attack of rationality striking people. Unjustified and demonstrably false faith in the power of government to successfully interfere with the free market has existed for hundreds of years and it’s not going away anytime soon. Expecting people to be rational is irrational.