When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will sell guns.
Exactly one year ago this column headlined "The $200 Machine Gun." We predicted
that when guns become illegal to own and sell, then the criminal element will
rush in to fill the demand. Thieves, smugglers and black market gun makers
could supply machine guns for about $200 apiece.
About three years ago, the British government all but outlawed private firearms
ownership in Britain. Because one vicious killer used a firearm to commit
multiple murder in 1996, victim-disarming politicians rushed to ban nearly all
private gun ownership and possession nationwide.
The result? According to the January 16, 2000 edition of the Sunday Times
of London , "up to 3 million illegal guns are in circulation in Britain, leading to a
rise in drive-by shootings and gangland-style executions."
What are the prices of illegal guns? According to the Sunday Times, "a third of young criminals, [ages 15 to 25 with prior convictions], own or
have access to guns ranging from Beretta sub-machineguns to Luger pistols,
which can be bought from underworld dealers for as little as £200. " ($320 U.S.)
How do the guns get into the "gun free" island nation? The Sunday Times reported: "Criminals have maintained a steady flow of smuggled guns from
eastern Europe, exhibition weapons reactivated in illegal "factories" run by
underworld dealers, and guns stolen from private collections."
As predicted, when ownership of all guns becomes illegal, the buyers will shift
toward the higher power weapons. "There is a move from the pistol and the
shotgun to automatic weapons," British Detective Superintendent Keith Hudson
told the Sunday Times
British criminals have all the guns they want. The Sunday Times thus reported: "Detectives say modern weapons are fast becoming fashion
accessories among young drug dealers protecting themselves and their
Are British people safer? Crime rates are soaring in Britain. The
British Home Office, according to the Sunday Times, released figures
showing that "overall, armed crime rose 10% in 1998" -- the year after
national handgun prohibition began. Usually, when the government passes a law
that causes problems for people, the citizens can petition the government to
change the law. Gun prohibition, however, does more than just endanger citizens
by preventing them from protecting their lives and loved ones.
Gun prohibition damages the whole society by creating a huge opportunity for
organized crime to prosper.
Even if the prohibition law is later repealed, the organized crime elements
might be entrenched with enough money and power to get into other legal or
illegal businesses. Political corruption, started during the prohibition,
likewise will not just disappear when the laws are changed again.
Americans must not give up their right to personal self-defense. We must not
turn over the firearms industry to thieves and thugs. And we must not accept
the "dial 911" false promise of police protection, when actually we are legally
responsible for protecting ourselves.