“No one needs an AR 15.”

This statement, or its equivalent (exchanging AR for high capacity magazine, semi-auto handgun, anything other than a flintlock…) has, once again, cycled to the top of the gun control advocate’s list of arguments. This is an error in logic as well as tactics.

A straw man argument is a logical fallacy where the arguer attempts to set up an easy target to “debunk.” Strawman arguments are most often an appeal to emotion. There is no critical thought involved. Simply set up something you believe to be an easy target, then knock it down and claim victory.

“Need” is a straw man argument. Yes, one is able to hunt with firearms other than an AR. Yes, one is even able to provide a basic self-defense with something other than an AR. Many people survive every day without handling, or even being near an AR. From a rhetorical position, the AR is not needed to sustain daily life for most of the planet. So attempting to frame the argument as one of “need” is a lazy attempt to manufacture a rhetorical, emotional response without having to consider the other person’s viewpoint, without utilizing logic in forming a position, and without questioning whether prohibition will even produce the desired result. Instead, this is an attempt to elicit an emotional, gut response devoid of reason.

Tactically, framing the argument as one of need is unsound. There are a great number of incidents which validate the need for an AR in defense of life and property. Here are just a few examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDVcidBGaJ4

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/oklahoma-man-uses-ar-15-kill-three-teen-home-intruders-n739541

https://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2013/04/man-defends-apartment-with-ar-15/

https://townhall.com/columnists/scottmorefield/2018/02/26/the-ar15-a-tool-for-good-nine-powerful-real-life-examples-to-counter-the-lefts-empty-rhetoric-n2454199

While we can all agree that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs does not include “magazine fed, gas operated, semi-automatic rifle,” “Safety” is considered by Maslow to be a foundational need. Maslow considers it only one step away from the physiological needs of air, water, food, and shelter. The people referenced above all had a need for safety. The AR15 proved to be the most efficient and effective means for them to defend themselves.

Let us forget for a moment, that handguns are also a target for confiscation. Indeed, statistically, suicides, homicides, and accidental shootings happen overwhelmingly with handguns, and handguns (and their “high capacity” magazines) have been the historic bogyman for most of the gun control movement’s history. So, forgetting that handguns are a target as well, could the individuals in the above examples have defended themselves effectively with handguns? It is possible. Believe it or not, however, effectively defending yourself with a handgun requires a great deal more training and experience. The AR style rifle is, without question, a much more effective platform for home and personal defense. It is only its lack of conceal ability which makes it impractical for daily carry and restricted primarily to home defense. Otherwise there would be many, many more examples of an AR, or AK being used for self-defense. As it is, the most common use of the AR is restricted to the home. For those defending their home, however, the AR has no equal.

“No one needs a rifle based on a military design.” Would it come as surprise to learn that virtually ALL rifles, all firearms in fact, came from military designs? Even the flintlock, the one rifle many gun control advocates say the Second Amendment applies to, came from a military design. It was the culmination of a couple centuries of military firearm development and was at the apex of current firearm technology during the American Revolution. The flintlock, the percussion cap, the black powder pistols, revolvers, breach loaded rifles, pump action rifles, lever action rifles, cartridge loaded firearms, the bolt action rifles, the semi-automatic rifles are ALL descended from military design (the same can be said for many medications, many treatments for illnesses, many advances in radio technology, even the internet began as a military project.) Weapons technology is developed first for armies, then modified to suit civilian markets. It is important to recognize, these may look similar, may function from similar principles, however, they are NOT the same weapons as those carried by soldiers. They are not fully automatic. They do not include grenade launcher attachments. They are not belt fed. There are a number of meaningful difference between military weapons and the AR15.

“No one needs a bump stock.” Okay. Can’t say I personally disagree with the basic truth of this statement. A bump stock is a “spray and pray” type modification. By its nature it makes your fire inaccurate. Personally, I don’t want more, inaccurate, uncontrolled rounds. So, personally, I won’t ever buy or use a bump stock modification. Does this mean I think they should be banned? No. I think they are a bad design, inherently inaccurate, over hyped, and worthless. I think the only reason they have been selling at all is because the media made a big deal of them. Accurate fire is far more important than volume of fire in almost any situation. And adequate training allows you to fire very accurate, semi-auto rounds very quickly.

Let’s consider the “need” argument further. No one “needs” a Big Mac meal to survive. A Big Mac has 540 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 970 mg of sodium. Add in a large fries and you add another 510 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 290 mg of sodium. Even if you opt for a “diet” soda and refrain from ketchup for your fries or a desert, you are still deeply in the negative from a nutrition per calorie perspective. Considering that obesity contributes to 2.8 million deaths annually by some estimates (https://easo.org/education-portal/obesity-facts-figures/), and billions of dollars more in disabling conditions, and that hypertension contributes to death, disability, blindness, strokes, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, impotence, and more, shouldn’t fast food items, which have questionable nutritional value while being unarguably grossly high in fat, calories, and sodium, be banned? One could easily make the argument that fast food is responsible for a number of deaths an order of magnitude higher than firearms, and there is clearly no “need” for fries and shakes, so should we regulate what is available to order at restaurants? All of us bear the cost of obesity whether through our insurance or taxes, so should we be able to legislate peoples’ diets?

Very, very few “need” a Hummer, an SUV, or a truck. The average American can fulfill all of their transportation needs with an ultra-compact car, or even a motorcycle. In fact, almost all of us could survive using public transport or car-pooling. We are told that pollution from fossil fuel burning motor vehicles is an existential threat to our planet. In addition, 30,000 Americans a year are killed in motor vehicle accidents (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year); a number which would be greatly reduced if vehicles were lighter, smaller, and less powerful. However, the no one talks about legislating access to cars based on “need.” Why?

No one “needs” alcohol for survival. An estimated 88,000 Americans die from alcohol related causes each year (https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics). Almost 10,000 Americans a year, 31% of all deaths involving motor vehicles, are killed by intoxicated drivers (https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html). Misuse of alcohol costs America approximately $2.5 billion annually. Alcohol abuse is responsible for misery, suffering and death. And not just of the abusers. No one “needs” single malt to survive. No one “needs” gin, vodka, or even beer. So, why aren’t we talking about banning alcohol?

Tobacco products are utterly unnecessary and responsible for over half a million American deaths annually, including over 40,000 deaths a year attributed to second hand smoke. Deaths which are, reportedly, the result of someone else’s actions.  (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/index.htm). Where is the outrage? Where are the calls for more legislation and criminalization of tobacco?

Should we legislate housing based on “need? One bedroom, one bathroom for a single person or couple and one additional bedroom for every two children? Basic kitchen and room for a table? No “need” for extra bedrooms, a home office, a three car garage, a family room. No need for more than one TV. No need for a Keurig coffee machine. No need for your daily espresso drink, in fact. Transporting coffee beans contributes to the burning of fossil fuels and is not necessary for life, so let’s criminalize coffee while we are legislating away. No need for steaks (how much environmental damage is done by cattle farming each year?), for juice, for sugar, tea, or cream. We could legislate away cake and ice cream, except once a year on your birthday, as contributors to the obesity problem. After all, they are not needed for survival.

I hope the argument ad absurdum is clear to the reader. The reason we don’t talk about these is because, unless we are using the term in the strictest sense possible, “need” is relative. No one wants another to tell them what they do or do not “need.” No one wants another to regulate their life.

Yet, while none of the above are “needed” for survival, I do have a need to be able to protect and defend my home with the most effective tools I can acquire. I will not permit another to tell me whether my need to be able to defend my family is legitimate or not. I refuse to allow another to legislate away my right to an armed self-defense. And a huge portion of the country feels the same.

Despite the brackets of blue on the coasts, the larger portion of America believes in the right to an armed self-defense. For many that is a basic, inalienable right. For much of the country, firearms go beyond hunting. Beyond sport. Firearms represent the basic right to defend one’s self, one’s family, and one’s property from attack. Any serious steps towards threatening that right will, almost certainly, result in secession or civil conflict. The Persian king, Xerxes, at the Hot Gates, demanded the Spartans surrender their weapons, resulting in one of history’s most famous one-liners, “Molon labe-Come and take them.” The ensuing battles cost tens of thousands of Persian soldiers’ lives and the delay resulted in the eventual defeat of Xerxes by the united Greeks. The British attempted to confiscate weapons in the 1700s, resulting in the American Revolution, the loss of thousands of lives and the defeat of the British forces. The Mexican army demanded the Texas city of Gonzales surrender it’s cannon. Gonzales responded with a flag showing the cannon and an homage to the Spartans, “Come and take it,” sparking the Texas revolution, thousands of deaths, and the defeat of Santa Ana and the Mexican army. I have little doubt that if the coasts get their wish, if serious attempts are made to legislate away the human right to defend one’s self, one’s family, and one’s property, the right to an armed self-defense, we will see again see a widespread cry of, “Molon labe.”

Ironically, attempting to reduce violence by confiscating firearms would, in all likelihood, cause a significant spike in violence. Legislating away rights is inherently violent since legislation is followed by enforcement which includes the threat of arrest, imprisonment and worse. Enforcement occurs, often literally, at the barrel of a gun, but always carries the threat of violence if there is not an immediate and total submission. It is a very safe bet that there would be widespread, and vigorous resistance to any attempt to confiscate firearms.

I empathize with parents who lost children, and with high school kids who had were traumatized by psychopathic gunman. They have every right to swear off firearms, to work to acquire and destroy firearms through private organizations. Their trauma and loss does not, however, entitle them to dictate my response. It does not give them the right to legislate away my right to self-defense. Neither frightened children nor pandering politicians has the right to tell me I have to surrender my arms to make them feel better. You do not get to make me literally less secure just so you can feel like you are a little safer. The harsh reality is, attempting to take away my firearms will make ZERO difference in your actual security. In fact, I can make a very strong argument that disarming me will make you LESS safe. I am quite certain, and can objectively support, the world is safer with me armed than it is with me unarmed. The same goes for my right to free speech, my right to assemble, my right to remain secure from unreasonable search and seizure. You don’t get to infringe upon my inherent human rights because of your feels. That is not how liberty works.

If people want to create a private organization to argue for disarmament, I support their right to promote their view. If people want to raise funds to purchase weapons and destroy them, I support their right to dispose of their own property. If someone wants to purchase ads during the Superbowl, promoting their anti-gun view, I support their right to do so. I support the individual right to sponsor debates, to raise funds, to promote an opinion. I support Youtube’s right to do what they want with their platform. I support Citi Bank’s right to do what they want with their credit system. What I do NOT support, is someone attempting to use the force of law to strip away my right to mount an armed self-defense. Use your personal platform to make your argument, to education, to take action. But do not threaten me with arrest, imprisonment, or worse for exercising my rights. Using the armed agents of the state to strip me of my rights, of my liberty is where we are going to face conflict.

Liberty demands that we refrain from attempting to use government to enforce our personal views on another. The nature of liberty is to live and let live. The appropriate, specific response to someone violating another’s liberty is a discussion we should continue to have. We already have a plethora of laws codifying the penalties for unacceptable acts of assault, attempted murder, and murder. We even have laws criminalizing behavior which is simply deemed reckless resulting in a danger to others. No actual harm need occur, just the threat of danger is enough. Yet despite all these laws, some still shoot, stab, run over, drive drunk, smoke, over eat, live exorbitantly, or otherwise behave in ways which potentially, or literally, do harm to others. Is the answer to legislate more, regulate more, criminalize more? I can guarantee additional laws will not change the hearts of those who feel violence is acceptable.

A rational consideration of the history of prohibition recognizes that prohibition does NOT eliminate the prohibited item, it only serves to drive a market underground. Historically speaking prohibition of alcohol created Al Capone. Yet, alcohol continued to be available. Prohibition of cocaine created Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartels. Yet, cocaine continued to be available. As has been said over, and over again, criminalizing firearms will only disarm those who obey the law. Yet firearms will still be available. Prohibition of alcohol did not remove alcohol. Prohibition of marijuana did not remove marijuana from society. Prohibition of cocaine did not remove cocaine from society. Hell, the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of prisons. The most guarded, regulated, and supposedly secure facilities, yet drugs, and weapons, are still available. Similarly, prohibition of firearms will not remove firearms from society. It will drive the market underground. Those who have no regard for the law, the ones actually likely to commit criminal acts, will still find their firearms. And they are not likely to feel restraint in the use of firearms to accumulate or exercise power.

Focus on prohibiting firearms, you will only create a black market (and potential civil war.) Those who have an honest desire to reduce violence will do far better focusing on education, on modifying behaviors, on advancing individual humanity. Will this eliminate all violence? Of course not. Human history is one of continual violence. We have a couple of evolutionary steps to make before we have a chance to eliminate the instinct to kill and eat. We can, however, make the effort to raise the consciousness of individuals. In changing individuals, we can change the world.

Repealing the prohibition of alcohol meant people had the freedom to fuck up their lives with misuse of alcohol. It continues to mean some people will be ultimate assholes and fuck up someone else’s life with their behavior. The answer is not to return to prohibition, the answer is to work harder to ensure people understand the importance of not driving while intoxicated. The answer to the obesity problem is not criminalizing fast food restaurants or regulating diets. It is to work hard to ensure people have enough self-esteem, enough opportunity to stop killing themselves slowly. And the answer to school shootings is not to criminalize law abiding citizens. It is not to disarm people or to ensure they are inherently LESS safe. It is to work harder to ensure kids don’t find a reason to want to kill their fellow students. To make schools a place where don’t feel alienated, alone, outcast. To reconnect the link between behavior and consequences, action and result. It is not an alcohol problem. It is not even a cocaine problem. It is definitely not a gun problem. It is a people problem. It is a behavior problem. It is a problem with vision, with purpose, with humanity. THAT is where our focus is needed.

Liberty is messy. It is often painful. It takes effort to maintain. And the results of liberty, like life, are often unfair. But I prefer a tumultuous liberty to a peaceful slavery always.

For me, this is way beyond the gun control advocates’ stereo type of an unintelligent, untrained, unskilled, undisciplined knuckle dragger who uses firearms to compensate for some perceived shortfall. This is about my actual security. This is about my ability to defend my home, my family, and ultimately, my community. The right to mount an armed self-defense is a basic, human right. It is no less a right than the right to peaceable assembly, the right to free speech, the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, and the right to remain silent. Basic rights which are inherent in the human condition, but defined in the US Constitution. There is a reason the founders considered the Bill of Rights as “certain, inalienable rights.” The thing is about all of these, they are not rights which need to be deliberately exercised until someone is attempting to take them away. And that, should give pause to those truly wishing an end of violence.

 

“No one needs a rifle based on a military design.” Would it come as surprise to learn that ALL rifles, all firearms in fact, were developed from military designs? Even the flintlock, the one rifle many gun control advocates say the Second Amendment applies to, came from a military design. It was the culmination of a couple centuries of military firearm development and was at the apex of current firearm technology during the American Revolution. The flintlock, the percussion cap, the black powder pistols, revolvers, breach loaded rifles, pump action rifles, lever action rifles, cartridge loaded firearms, the bolt action rifles, the semi-automatic rifles are ALL descended from military design (the same can be said for many medications, many treatments for illnesses, many advances in radio technology, even the internet began as a military project.) Weapons technology is developed first for armies, then modified to suit civilian markets. It is important to recognize, these may look similar, may function from similar principles, however, they are NOT the same weapons as those carried by soldiers. They are not fully automatic. They do not include grenade launcher attachments. They are not belt fed. There are a number of meaningful difference between military weapons and the AR15.

“No one needs a bump stock.” Okay. Can’t say I personally disagree with the basic truth of this statement. A bump stock is a “spray and pray” type modification. By its nature it makes your fire inaccurate. Personally, I don’t want more, inaccurate, uncontrolled rounds. So, personally, I won’t ever buy or use a bump stock modification. Does this mean I think they should be banned? No. I think they are a bad design, inherently inaccurate, over hyped, and worthless. I think the only reason they have been selling at all is because the media made a big deal of them. Accurate fire is far more important than volume of fire in almost any situation. And adequate training allows you to fire very accurate, semi-auto rounds very quickly.

Let’s consider the “need” argument further. No one “needs” a Big Mac meal to survive. A Big Mac has 540 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 970 mg of sodium. Add in a large fries and you add another 510 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 290 mg of sodium. Even if you opt for a “diet” soda and refrain from ketchup for your fries or a desert, you are still deeply in the negative from a nutrition per calorie perspective. Considering that obesity contributes to 2.8 million deaths annually by some estimates (https://easo.org/education-portal/obesity-facts-figures/), and billions of dollars more in disabling conditions, and that hypertension contributes to death, disability, blindness, strokes, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, impotence, and more, shouldn’t fast food items, which have questionable nutritional value while being unarguably grossly high in fat, calories, and sodium, be banned? One could easily make the argument that fast food is responsible for a number of deaths an order of magnitude higher than firearms, and there is clearly no “need” for fries and shakes, so should we regulate what is available to order at restaurants? All of us bear the cost of obesity whether through our insurance or taxes, so should we be able to legislate peoples’ diets?

Very, very few “need” a Hummer, an SUV, or a truck. The average American can fulfill all of their transportation needs with an ultra-compact car, or even a motorcycle. In fact, almost all of us could survive using public transport or car-pooling. We are told that pollution from fossil fuel burning motor vehicles is an existential threat to our planet. In addition, 30,000 Americans a year are killed in motor vehicle accidents (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year); a number which would be greatly reduced if vehicles were lighter, smaller, and less powerful. However, the no one talks about legislating access to cars based on “need.” Why?

No one “needs” alcohol for survival. An estimated 88,000 Americans die from alcohol related causes each year (https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics). Almost 10,000 Americans a year, 31% of all deaths involving motor vehicles, are killed by intoxicated drivers (https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html). Misuse of alcohol costs America approximately $2.5 billion annually. Alcohol abuse is responsible for misery, suffering and death. And not just of the abusers. No one “needs” single malt to survive. No one “needs” gin, vodka, or even beer. So, why aren’t we talking about banning alcohol?

Tobacco products are utterly unnecessary and responsible for over half a million American deaths annually, including over 40,000 deaths a year attributed to second hand smoke. Deaths which are, reportedly, the result of someone else’s actions.  (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/index.htm). Where is the outrage? Where are the calls for more legislation and criminalization of tobacco?

Should we legislate housing based on “need? One bedroom, one bathroom for a single person or couple and one additional bedroom for every two children? Basic kitchen and room for a table? No “need” for extra bedrooms, a home office, a three car garage, a family room. No need for more than one TV. No need for a Keurig coffee machine. No need for your daily espresso drink, in fact. Transporting coffee beans contributes to the burning of fossil fuels and is not necessary for life, so let’s criminalize coffee while we are legislating away. No need for steaks (how much environmental damage is done by cattle farming each year?), for juice, for sugar, tea, or cream. We could legislate away cake and ice cream, except once a year on your birthday, as contributors to the obesity problem. After all, they are not needed for survival.

I hope the argument ad absurdum is clear to the reader. The reason we don’t talk about these is because, unless we are using the term in the strictest sense possible, “need” is relative. No one wants another to tell them what they do or do not “need.” No one wants another to regulate their life. People are especially opposed to having the government tell them what they can buy and from whom.

Yet, while none of the above are “needed” for survival, I do have a need to be able to protect and defend my home with the most effective tools I can acquire. I will not permit another to tell me whether my need to be able to defend my family is legitimate or not. I refuse to allow another to legislate away my right to an armed self-defense. And a huge portion of the country feels the same.

Despite the brackets of blue on the coasts, the larger portion of America believes in the right to an armed self-defense. For many that is a basic, inalienable right. For much of the country, firearms go beyond hunting. Beyond sport. Firearms represent the basic right to defend one’s self, one’s family, and one’s property from attack. Any serious steps towards threatening that right will, almost certainly, result in secession or civil conflict. The Persian king, Xerxes, at the Hot Gates, demanded the Spartans surrender their weapons, resulting in one of history’s most famous one-liners, “Molon labe-Come and take them.” The ensuing battles cost tens of thousands of Persian soldiers’ lives and the delay resulted in the eventual defeat of Xerxes by the united Greeks. The British attempted to confiscate weapons in the 1700s, resulting in the American Revolution, the loss of thousands of lives and the defeat of the British forces. The Mexican army demanded the Texas city of Gonzales surrender it’s cannon. Gonzales responded with a flag showing the cannon and an homage to the Spartans, “Come and take it,” sparking the Texas revolution, thousands of deaths, and the defeat of Santa Ana and the Mexican army. I have little doubt that if the coasts get their wish, if serious attempts are made to legislate away the human right to defend one’s self, one’s family, and one’s property, the right to an armed self-defense, we will see again see a widespread cry of, “Molon labe.”

Ironically, attempting to reduce violence by confiscating firearms would, in all likelihood, cause a significant spike in violence. Legislating away rights is inherently violent since legislation is followed by enforcement which includes the threat of arrest, imprisonment and worse. Enforcement occurs, often literally, at the barrel of a gun, but always carries the threat of violence if there is not an immediate and total submission. It is a very safe bet that there would be widespread, and vigorous resistance to any attempt to confiscate firearms.

I empathize with parents who lost children, and with high school kids who had were traumatized by psychopathic gunman. They have every right to swear off firearms, to work to acquire and destroy firearms through private organizations. Their trauma and loss does not, however, entitle them to dictate my response. It does not give them the right to legislate away my right to self-defense. Neither frightened children nor pandering politicians has the right to tell me I have to surrender my arms to make them feel better. You do not get to make me literally less secure just so you can feel like you are a little safer. The harsh reality is, attempting to take away my firearms will make ZERO difference in your actual security. In fact, I can make a very strong argument that disarming me will make you LESS safe. I am quite certain, and can objectively support, the world is safer with me armed than it is with me unarmed. The same goes for my right to free speech, my right to assemble, my right to remain secure from unreasonable search and seizure. You don’t get to infringe upon my inherent human rights because of your feels. That is not how liberty works.

If people want to create a private organization to argue for disarmament, I support their right to promote their view. If people want to raise funds to purchase weapons and destroy them, I support their right to dispose of their own property. If someone wants to purchase ads during the Superbowl, promoting their anti-gun view, I support their right to do so. I support the individual right to sponsor debates, to raise funds, to promote an opinion. I support Youtube’s right to do what they want with their platform. I support Citi Bank’s right to do what they want with their credit system. What I do NOT support, is someone attempting to use the force of law to strip away my right to mount an armed self-defense. Use your personal platform to make your argument, to education, to take action. But do not threaten me with arrest, imprisonment, or worse for exercising my rights. Using the armed agents of the state to strip me of my rights, of my liberty is where we are going to face conflict.

Liberty demands that we refrain from attempting to use government to enforce our personal views on another. The nature of liberty is to live and let live. The appropriate, specific response to someone violating another’s liberty is a discussion we should continue to have. We already have a plethora of laws codifying the penalties for unacceptable acts of assault, attempted murder, and murder. We even have laws criminalizing behavior which is simply deemed reckless resulting in a danger to others. No actual harm need occur, just the threat of danger is enough. Yet despite all these laws, some still shoot, stab, run over, drive drunk, smoke, over eat, live exorbitantly, or otherwise behave in ways which potentially, or literally, do harm to others. Is the answer to legislate more, regulate more, criminalize more? I can guarantee additional laws will not change the hearts of those who feel violence is acceptable.

A rational consideration of the history of prohibition recognizes that prohibition does NOT eliminate the prohibited item, it only serves to drive a market underground. Historically speaking prohibition of alcohol created Al Capone. Yet, alcohol continued to be available. Prohibition of cocaine created Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartels. Yet, cocaine continued to be available. As has been said over, and over again, criminalizing firearms will only disarm those who obey the law. Yet firearms will still be available. Prohibition of alcohol did not remove alcohol. Prohibition of marijuana did not remove marijuana from society. Prohibition of cocaine did not remove cocaine from society. Hell, the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of prisons. The most guarded, regulated, and supposedly secure facilities, yet drugs, and weapons, are still available. Similarly, prohibition of firearms will not remove firearms from society. It will drive the market underground. Those who have no regard for the law, the ones actually likely to commit criminal acts, will still find their firearms. And they are not likely to feel restraint in the use of firearms to accumulate or exercise power.