Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Laws Have Failed? That Means We Need More Laws and Bigger Laws!

When a law is passed and/or a government program is launched, and it fails, miserably and undeniably, to achieve its stated goals, the people who backed it generally take one of two courses – they pretend it never happened, or they say it failed because it didn’t go far enough, so therefore we need a new program that is even bigger (and, of course, costlier) or a new law that is even more restrictive.

The example are numerous. Many Democrats tell us that the reason the stimulus, after four years, has failed to produce a genuine recovery is because it was too small. A trillion dollars is chump change, they argue.

Why are public schools such miserable failures? Quite obviously because we aren't spending enough money. When graphs showing the tremendous increases in spending are produced, the answer is simply, "It isn't enough."

I was reminded of this because I heard again an argument I've often heard before (and once believed) about gun control. It is often pointed out that the places that have very high murder rates (e.g., Chicago) also have very tough gun laws. The response is that that is why we need national gun laws -- because guns can be brought into Chicago from other states that have weaker laws. Here's an example of that argument:
Illegal gun traffickers often buy weapons in states with weak laws that end up recovered in crimes in other states. A report published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) found that states with a number of important gun laws had significantly lower rates of “crime gun exports” — where a firearm sold by a dealer in one state is later found at a crime scene in a different state — than states without these laws.
Actually, the report seems to be rather flawed, since it would obviously track 'exports' only of guns that are sold legally, and what seems likely is that states with tough gun laws probably have higher proportions of illegal sales of guns that might or might not end up in another state.

But putting that aside, the idea seems to be that if Indiana had tougher laws, then Chicago would have fewer murders. The problem is that that presupposes that guns are not sold illegally on Chicago streets every day. Of course they are -- drugs are sold quite openly, why not guns?

And drugs, of course, are just as illegal in Indiana as in Chicago.

But the only acceptable solution to the failure of existing gun laws, we are told, is to make the laws even tougher and to apply them throughout the country. 

Except ... we have had very strong drug laws on a national basis for almost a hundred years now -- why then are drugs still prevalent?

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