Monday, April 22, 2013

Shocked, shocked I say...

Media outlets are reporting that the Boston Marathon bombers were not lawfully in possession of the guns they used. Is anyone besides the press surprised in the slightest? The Hill opines:

The news that the suspects were not authorized to own firearms will likely add fuel to calls for tougher gun laws – an issue that was put on the back-burner last week after the Senate blocked the central elements of a gun-control package backed by President Obama.
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I don't see how that reasonably follows. Massachusetts gun laws are decidedly strict, big on police permission slips and background checks. They are stricter than what has been proposed at the federal level. Yet here we have unauthorized persons armed with guns and bombs. To the dedicated leftist, this can only ever mean that we need still more laws, but let us pause for a moment and ask what good has been done by the laws in place.

Were the apparent  perpetrators armed illegally with guns? Yes: They were already breaking strict laws.

Were they armed illegally with bombs? It is always unlawful to set off bombs in public. Making "destructive devices" is a federal violation; at this writing I have not found an overlapping provision in Massachusetts law, though one may exist. So, yes, they had bombs illegally too.

They were already in violation of every law on the books. Would more laws have stopped them? How then does it follow that more laws are needed?

Our broad national conversation on guns and violence needs to take into account that criminals evade obedience to the law. Is there another definition of "criminal"?  It's what they do, and they are good at it. It increasingly appears  that the regimentation approach to gun control does not work. "All you law abiding people who want to own guns, line up over here for your background checks." What criminal is going to stand in that line?

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