Shootout demonstrates failure of gun control

The dramatic shootout between Philadelphia police and a suspect later identified as having a long criminal history that precluded him from possessing firearms stands as just the latest example in an unbroken line of gun control failures, which no proponent of such restrictive measures has ever acknowledged.

Instead, gun prohibitionists stubbornly refuse to admit they were, and always have been, wrong and that their schemes, which only impair the rights of law-abiding citizens, haven’t worked. They just demand stricter gun laws, heaping bad upon bad in an effort to cover their mistakes with more errors.

The Philadelphia suspect is a walking indictment of gun control failure. Published reports label him as a repeat offender, with felony convictions and stays in prison that automatically disqualify him from ever legally owning a gun. Yet, he appears to have been armed to the teeth.

That didn’t stop Philly Mayor Jim Kenney from shamelessly trying to exploit the situation even before the shooting had stopped. Once in front of a microphone, he just couldn’t resist blurting, “Our officers need help. They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands. This government, both on federal and state level, don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and getting them out of the hands of criminals.”

What about keeping recidivist criminals off the streets? That would certainly help the police. It would also lift a burden off the shoulders of honest gun owners who are weary of being perennially penalized for crimes they didn’t commit, and demonized by fear merchants for imagined crimes that haven’t even been committed.

For a group that continually rants about “common sense,” the gun control crowd has failed, or more likely refused, to understand that criminals do not obey gun laws. The principle is not difficult to grasp. Gun owners figured it out generations ago, which is one reason they vigorously resist being disarmed by utopian gun grabbers who seem to believe that taking guns from potential victims will somehow translate to better behavior by rapists, robbers and general purpose thugs.

Eroding the constitutionally enumerated rights of good people in the hopes it will prevent bad people from committing crimes has never worked. Regulating rights as if they were privileges does not discourage anybody whose life choices reek of non-compliance.

Thinking you can stop career malcontents by stepping on the rights of law-abiding gun owners isn’t just self-delusional. It’s mind-numbingly stupid, and it’s about time for the country to admit it.

Alan Gottlieb is founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. Dave Workman is communications director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.


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