Legal Issues

What Does Gun Control Really Do?

Gun control failure infographic

A tragedy, a senseless murder streak by a mentally ill person. At the time of this writing, little more than that first sentence is known about the shooter. Reportedly, he checked himself in to a mental hospital for treatment, hearing voices with thoughts of shooting up a military base. Instead, like most mass murders, he opted for soft targets and the most innocent among us.

The anti-gun crowd was quick to take full advantage of the crisis. Details are still uncertain, the killer is on the loose, and the calls for more gun control dominated certain headlines. The following was put out in a statement by Vice President Kamala Harris, “Let us also continue to speak truth about the moment we are in. …It does not have to be this way.

Red flag with no guns stmbol

It is a false choice to suggest we must choose between either upholding the Second Amendment or passing reasonable gun safety laws to save lives. Congress can and must make background checks universal. Pass red flag laws. Ban high-capacity magazines. And renew the assault weapons ban.”

Flag Laws

I was not surprised. I do, however, agree with that we should not let a crisis go to waste. No, I am not in favor of repealing or severely limiting the Second Amendment. Red Flag laws are a false positive fraught with danger and seek to strip law-abiding citizens of their constitutional right to self-defense before being examined by medical doctor or adjudicated in court with the opportunity to mount a defense against accusations.

Maine was not without laws. Lawmakers and gun rights groups recognized the rights of the individual under the Second Amendment, but also the threat looming from a very small number of mentally unstable individuals who commit horrible crimes. Maine did not opt for red flag laws. Instead, it adopted yellow flag laws.

Under yellow flag laws, law enforcement can detain someone it suspects is mentally ill and poses a threat to themselves or others. The law differs from red flag laws in that it requires police first to get a medical practitioner to evaluate the person and find them to be a threat before police can petition a judge to order the seizure of personal firearms.

Gun-control advocates criticized the yellow flag laws as ham-handed and unlikely to be used by families who don’t want to traumatize a loved one by having them taken into custody.

Gun control failure infographic

The statement by gun control advocates makes no sense. They are afraid of “traumatizing a loved one by having them taken into custody,” but are supposed to have no problem with calling the police to come in, strip away their loved ones 2A rights and confiscate their firearms, while leaving them on the street to potentially commit heinous acts while awaiting a court date? Is that making sense to anyone?

And since when did criminals or those with severe mental breakdowns worry about the law? The Lewiston Maine shooter already recognized his problem and voluntary checked himself into a mental facility. Certainly, there was a breakdown, but that requires investigation… innocent until proven guilty, right? Perhaps he was treated, medicated, and deemed to be safe, but later went off his meds or had some other complicating medical condition. Simply seeking mental health care is not a life sentence.

Yes, every law-abiding gun owner wants to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and those suffering certain mental conditions. We all want to prevent the next tragedy. We do not want another school shooting any more than we want kids mowed down by a bus. It is no less a tragedy when an office building is shot up with a revolver than an AR-15. But the solution is not to ban a particular firearm or type of firearm. We do not ban busses because they are big, a certain color, or could be used criminally against children.

The solution will never be another law. A law that the bad actor, by definition, will not follow. And what are the antis really upset about? What is the Vice President really upset about… that people were murdered by a criminally insane person or that a gun was used to commit the evil act?

Firearms and suicide infographic

Would they have been fine with someone driving a semi-truck through a bowling alley and killing innocent children? No! Of course not. If they think they can legislate their way out of this, why don’t they just make murder more illegal? After all, it is murder that we are upset about, right… not the tool?

Do I believe we should take full advantage of this crisis. I do. I believe law makers, and everyone concerned, should be supporting due process, involving authorities when they believe danger is lurking, and encouraging lawmakers to ensure mental health agencies and records are available to law enforcement in all states — equally.

I do not believe those suffering significant or minor mental health issues should be castigated because of their condition — not by those closest to the individual, the judicial system, social justice warriors, or anyone else. We should be taking full advantage of the crisis to get them help.

What we should be doing is encouraging treatment. Supporting those who seek help and treatment — before and after the individual’s crisis. Veteran groups have been doing a great job of this. Only then, will we have any hope of adverting a future tragedy, or gun violence as the anti-gunners would prefer to call it.

Where do you feel the right mix (if any) sits? Do we need more laws? What type? Can anything be done about mental health and firearms ownership? Share your answers in the Comment section.

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Comments (35)

  1. we all know the days of MK Ultra have long passed. Our pubic serpents are honest and pure today. Only have our best interest at heart. The socialist heart, is cold & dead. Restore the republic of We the People. Defund the GESTAPO. RED states need to separate from this evil empire, AGAIN. Death to tyrants. DEO VINDICE

  2. Good thoughts Mr. D. I’m becoming increasingly concerned about the proliferation of gun-free zones and the fact that there is a 1,000 foot margin included in most gun-free zone laws. I have schools to the immediate north and south of me and my drive to the range takes me through multiple gun-free school zones. If I’m stopped for any reason and it’s learned I have a gun in the car I’ll be arrested. The penalty for having a firearm that is not unloaded and locked away is $5,000 and five years in most cases. There needs to be push-back so the gun-free zone is only the property being supposedly protected. Otherwise, what’s been done is to make the 2nd amendment a joke.

  3. We have more gun laws than we’ll ever need. The issue is enforcement. A law that is not enforced is not a law. By not enforcing existing gun laws gun crimes will continue. This allows the left to advance their anti-gun agenda by claiming that nothing is working to stop shootings. Ergo we need more laws, more bans, leading up to confiscation. And as we all know any solution proposed by the left will result in the exact opposite outcome.

  4. Richard Cassiday
    The only way your “elected officials” can legally change the 2A, is the constitutional amendment process. Any other laws they invoke are ILLEGAL as they INFRINGE our right to bear arms!

  5. I am in agreement that mental health issues must be addressed but they take a backseat to controlling our guns. We the people of the United States elect the people that are trying to write the laws and limit our Second Amendment rights. Remember they work for us. Only We the people can correct this. Make your votes count.

  6. I am in agreement that mental health issues must be addressed but they take a backseat to controlling our guns. We the people of the United States elect the people that are trying to write the laws and limit our Second Amendment rights. Remember they work for us. Only We the people can correct this. Make your votes count.

  7. MR DOLBY: Really? I’m encapsulating part of your recent blog-post, which I find disturbing:

    >> It is a false choice to suggest we must choose between either upholding the Second Amendment or passing reasonable gun safety laws to save lives. Congress can and must make background checks universal. Pass red flag laws. Ban high-capacity magazines. And renew the assault weapons ban.”<<


    People ASSAULT other people, places or things, with weapons.

    I don't know how much money Cheaperthandirt pays you; but I find the slant and the subliminal message that you suggest to be VERY DISTURBING, MISLEADING – and CONTRARY TO THE 2ND AMMENDMENT.

    1. Dave P,

      Perhaps you should reread the article. The text that you take exception with is a quote from Kamala Harris…. not me. ~Dave DOLBEE

  8. Recently moved my entire business operation from Illinios (northern) to Eastern TN. Leaving Illinois, after 25+ years impacted my business greatly but was worth the loss of finances to the gain of FREEDOM! Shortly after our move Tennessee past an Open Carry Law allowing all law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm openly in most places. I have seen many a man and even a few ladies open carrying in places such as grocery stores, restaurants, and big box stores.
    As a concealed carry holder in both Illinois (now expired) and in Tennesse (valid), I carry almost everywhere I go, even to Church! With criminal activity on the rise, some now blamed on the slew of illegals walking across our open borders, crime nationwide is on the rise!
    Here in a much safer state than Illinios – our prosecutors remain vigilant in enforcing our laws, unlike Illinios and many other politically deceitful states. Every person has the right to defend themself, their family, and property – as our constitution outlines. Ignorant people try to blame the firearms instead of the perpetrators. It is not the firearm – but a failure of our society to take these criminals off of our streets, and for heinous crimes end their lives!

  9. All this right & left wing rhetoric doesn’t really mean anything. US colonialism dictates that guns shall and will be part of our society no matter what – legally and illegally. Its just a matter of time before any of use catch a stray or intentional round to snuff us out. Our lives don’t matter in the big picture scheme of things. All the white nationalists and militias are ready to mobilize a civil war so you’ll need to arm-up to have a chance to survive a few more days. I’m packed and as ready as I can be so if death comes, I don’t fear it as much as fearing that I didn’t do enough to enjoy what little time I’ve got left. You live by the gun, you die by the gun.

  10. Sorry Kevin, I value all my rights, not just A2, but also A4… the protection from illegal search & seizure. This goes right back to the Ben Franklin quote. A2 is especially important because it allows us to protect all our other God given & Constitutional rights.

  11. “It is a false choice to suggest we must choose between either upholding the Second Amendment or passing reasonable gun safety laws to save lives. Congress can and must make background checks universal. Pass red flag laws. Ban high-capacity magazines. And renew the assault weapons ban.”

    Red Flag laws can be abused by a disgruntled friend, lover, or anybody else with a axe to grind toward the gun owner. There needs to be safeguards installed before using any red Flag laws on anybody. Just the say-so of another should;d NOT be sufficient to activate the law. Too much room for abuse. Banning high capacity magazines is as stupid as they come. There re already hundreds of thousands already in the possession of legal gun owners who pose no problem, It takes mere seconds to change out ONE 10-round magazine for another, For the do-gooders it is all about feeling good about doing something toward gun violence when in fact it is a useless gesture. Magazine capacity restrictions should be repealed. as it only affects the law-abiding who pose no problems and criminals ignore laws. Why should criminals be better armed than the law-abiding folks? Criminals already have assault weapons. Law abiding folks should not be denied the means of self protection.

  12. IF we’re serious about wanting to reduce homicides involving the use of guns, we need to allow police to “stop & frisk” on reasonable suspicion. It’s a technique that has proven effective in reducing the number of illegal firearms on the street. It needs to be “race neutral” – if someone fits a certain profile – regardless of race – they need to be checked out. We also need to have uniform sentence enhancements for crimes committed with a firearm present that are not subject to reduction through plea bargaining. Deal with the criminal, not the tool.

  13. Like the school shooting in Nashville that hole event could have been stopped for a few hundred dollars those doors should have had laminated glass duh are they that stupid geese hollering guns that was so preventable that girl would have been still beating on the glasses when the cops got their still outside

  14. “Would they have been fine with someone driving a semi-truck through a bowling alley and killing innocent children? No! Of course not.”

    And if that happened, would they be calling for a BAN of all semi-trucks? Of course not. They just like to take any opportunity to go after guns. That and they have this mindset that “something has to be done”. Even if that action will not achieve the goal they claim to want. Less senseless killings by firearms.

  15. History shows us that when the public has guns there will be tragedies. When the public does not have guns there will be genocides.

    This is a tragedy. Lets avoid the genocide

  16. Why are we so afraid to speak the truth about the issue? The truth is that Governments (federal, state, local) don’t care about our safety, they care about their safety. They know exactly why the second amendment was written and that is why they want it gone or severely limited. It is, by design, an impediment to their agenda. Hence, these tragedies will always be exploited for political gain and it always gets more intense in an election year when one side is looking for opportunities to point fingers at the other and label them as obstructionists. When the left gets desperate for votes we get this type of hysteria in response to shootings. Next will come riots in response to perceived racism on the part of some unlucky police officer/department. Fear and emotion are a strong motivators for low-info voters and these things are part of every leftist’s playbook. The next twelve months are going to be a wild ride!

    We know what will help stop these crimes or limit their impact. Enforcement of existing laws, tough sentencing, an end to gun-free zones, an armed and trained populace, etc.

  17. It’s actually easier to get your hands on a gun, than it is to get a hold of a bus or a semi.

    Plus you do have to be specially licensed to drive either of those legally.

  18. It is almost impossible to identify and treat a person with dangerous mental illnesses before they commit a violent act. We fool ourselves if we think that will somehow reduce the frequency of mass shooter incidents. It is inevitable that society including USA will restrict access to weapons as a result of this. Why? Because first it is feasible, second, as much as we all hate to admit it, a significant reduction in the numbers of weapons and ammunition available will result in fewer mass shootings. Not necessarily less crime, but less killing and maiming. Knives and machetes are not as efficient as semiautomatic rifles.

  19. Let’s see, Israel and its ,basically unarmed populas was attacked by HAMAS! thousands butchered, hundreds kidnapped including Americans abd other foreign nationals. One kibbutz had rifles and former military personnel there..they fought HAMAS killed several of them with loss of NO ONE killed or kidnapped. Now Israel is ARMING its CITIZENS !!
    in the USA the Federal government wants to DISARM the people with MILLIONS of undocumented, unvaced, nonvetted military aged names from EVERYWHERE let into the country and are NO WHERE to be found !!! and an ATF agent has been found smuggling guns into Mexico ..AGAIN (Fast and Furious) WTF !!!!!

  20. GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said the mass shooting in Maine illustrates why communities should revive mental health institutions and involuntary commitments for those who need help, alluding to the shooting suspect.

    “We pray for the Maine shooting victims, their families, and for the brave law enforcement members who are working to bring this deeply sick individual to justice,” Ramaswamy posted on X.

    “We must remove these violent, psychiatrically deranged people from their communities and be willing to involuntarily commit them.”

    He said this includes reviving mental health institutions and less reliance on pharmaceuticals.

    “We know from the 1990s how to stop violent crime,” he added.

    “The real question is if we have the spine to do it.”

    The answer, sadly, Vivek is… no.

  21. We need NO more gun laws . According to some reports there are over 20,000 gun laws already on the books , whether federal , state or local . No more gun laws will stop the criminally minded people , only make criminals of law abiding citizens .
    I think all sheriff departments should be able to issue concealed carry permits and collect a small fee for such permits as this provides extra funding for the local sheriff departments and in return each department should designate one day a month to provide gun safety and self defense classes for any permit holder that desires such training.
    There , also , should be no “gun free” zones . That just advertises to the would be criminal they’ll meet no resistance and will be able to do extensive damage before law enforcement can respond .

  22. The real problem with mass shootings involving an AR or “black gun” is the attention it draws. I do not believe for one second that “bad guns” are a cause of mass shootings any more than someone using a bus. But if the bad guy does use “bad guns”, he or she is guaranteed to make the headlines and garner the attention they crave. That’s because the media is more interested in the “bad gun” issue than they are in why it happened. I’m not sufficiently trained to identify the underlying psychological reasons people go on mass-murder rampages than the gun critics are. Let’s be smart when we talk about how to fix the problem; the problem isn’t guns. It’s an issue similar to the plague of forest arsons. It’s an issue of what motivates the individual. Like Smokey the Bear would say, “matches don’t cause forest fires, people do”. Guns don’t kill people. people kill people!!!
    Our public mental health system is in crisis, it always has been. Let’s put the money wasted on gun control and other senseless, misguided public and law enforcement programs into comprehensive and AVAILABLE community health programs that very possibly could intervene and prevent these senseless slaughters before they ever become an idea.


  23. One solution is to eliminate the soft target areas. My first thought when I heard about the tragedy: Wasn’t anybody in either location there with a gun who could have stopped the guy. It’s back to “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

  24. I’m sure adding several more pages of “shall Not Be Infringed” infringing material will bring these types of incidents into obscurity. Where would we be without the great advice and actions of our Public Servants to guide us!??

  25. I believe the statement by the US Army was that the shooter was placed involuntarily into confinement by his Commanding Officer for his condition. Also mentioned in the article was his stated threat of shooting up a National Guard Readiness Center. At least try to get the “Facts” reported properly.

  26. Not a single law on the books stopped this mad man from killing a bunch of people, and I believe if he didn’t have a gun he would have had a machette or a hammer and done the same thing.
    The real question for me is why did all those people murdered not have a gun for self defense? I suspect that it was because of some crazy law that prevented law abiding people to have a firearm in those facilities.

  27. Gun control succeeds only in disarming law-abiding citizens while making life far safer for violent felons.

  28. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Ben Franklin

    I’d replace the word “deserve” with “will receive”.

  29. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Ben Franklin

    I’d replace the word “deserve” with “will receive”.

  30. I agree with the author that we don’t know everything other than he was seeking treatment. Did he get turned away because of the lack of mental health treatment beds? Did they release him early because someone else in worse shape needed the bed? At this time there are less inpatient mental health needs in the united states than there were in 1860. Instead of making it harder for law abiding citizens to buy a firearm why not work on making it easier for someone with a treatable mental illness to get that treatment

  31. Does not look like Maines laws work very well, like others.
    With the info posted, voices telling him to shoot up NG buildings something a little stronger was called for. Guns should have been taken away due to violent thoughts

  32. It’s not a solution (because there is no real solution), but nutters like this maniac are the reason I believe every adult should be armed. It may not be possible for you to stop a mass shooter, but you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and those nearby simply by having the ability and willingness to engage him if your escape route is blocked. It beats throwing merchandise at him or cowering while he administers the coup de grâce at point blank range.

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