Point, Counterpoint – One Gun a Month

Update the second @ 1245hrs: Well, so far we have:

  • One assertion of facts by the aforementioned Andy Goddard (that “After “1 handgun a month” was introduced, a study showed that the number of guns found in other states and traced back to original purchase in VA decreased”) with no identification of or link to the study in question supporting his claim;
  • One appeal to emotion with no factual or logical assertions whatsoever; and
  • One statement that “people in VA who claim their needs for safety require them to purchase multiple handguns per month are just doing so to turn around and sell them illegally online,” linking to a news story about a “study” by Mayors Against Illegal Guns claiming people sold guns to them when they claimed they couldn’t pass a background check, which doesn’t provide any actual evidence to support the statement and is irrelevant to the question at hand.

So, out of three responses in four hours, not one has provided any actual evidence that “one gun a month” restrictions are effective in reducing straw purchases. Not even the one from the Chairman of the Board of an organization dedicated to gun control!

Update: Oooh! Andy Goddard has jumped in! This ought to get entertaining!

Our local paper, The Roanoke Times, recently started an editorial feature called “Point / Counterpoint”, where they ask a question and have two people on opposite sides of the issue write a short piece on the topic. Each person is then given the opportunity to read the other’s column and write a rebuttal. Both the columns and rebuttals are posted at the paper’s Round Table Blog and opened for comments.

This week’s topic is Virginia’s One Gun a Month law, and the push to repeal it. The points made by both sides are pretty standard, and there are no comments posted as of 0915 this morning, but here’s what I said.

Those who oppose repealing the “one gun a month” restriction advocate continuing a restriction on the behaviour of the law abiding with no evidence to support their assertion that such a restriction accomplishes its stated purpose.

Let me repeat that. Despite it being in effect for nearly 20 years, and having the ability to compare data over that time period to other states that do not have such a restriction, supporters of “one gun a month” cannot present any evidence that it works.

If you want to continue to restrict my actions in an effort to reduce crime, show me evidence that the restriction actually reduces crime. Otherwise, step aside and allow the restriction to be ended.

And that about sums it up, for any law. If it restricts the freedom of the people, it can only be justified if it can be shown to actually accomplish its stated purpose*. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than authoritarian oppression.


* Among other requirements. But this is one of the absolute requirements.

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