To Reduce Gun Violence, Arm All Americans

So there was another shooting in Texas. At last count, including the perpetrator, there are seven dead and around 20 injured. We don't really know anything much about the perpetrator except that he's been identified as white. Apparently, what prompted the shooting was the perpetrator was stopped by the police, shot his way out, and then raced off, shooting other people until he was finally cornered and shot dead. (Prediction: we'll find out he had a long criminal record and active arrest warrants for major crimes.)

Now because I'm sure some rental commenter is just waiting to start typing, yes I think it's awful that people got shot and killed. On the other hand, five people have been killed and 42 injured in Chicago already this weekend. Just this weekend. And I can't help but wonder why the extremely high murder rates in places like Chicago and Baltimore don't seem to be news stories.

I'll leave that for another rant, however, and point out that when you consider murder rates there is a very very high correlation between really stringent gun laws and really high gun violence.

Or put that another way: research shows that very high gun ownership rates correlate with low gun violence. This is true on a local level, and it's true nationwide where gun ownership has grown dramatically while nationwide gun violence has dropped about 25 percent.

It's also true that beyond a simple statistical observation, most of the specific recommendations or approaches that people have suggested have no effect. The famous assault weapons ban from the Clinton administration showed no particular effect, and when it expired there is no particular effect. When, after the Heller decision, gun ownership in D.C. went up, gun crime went down.

The only thing that we know is effective to reduce gun violence is to increase gun ownership.

Now there is another aspect to this. Anti-gun activists often claim — falsely — that the Second Amendment refers only to the National Guard, to a state militia. But going back to the first years of the Constitution, and right on up to the law today (10 USC 246) the militia is defined as having two parts: The organized militia which is the National Guard, and the unorganized militia, which is defined to be every adult male between 17 and 45, as well as including every female in the National Guard. (Someone should actually bring this to the attention of activist feminists. This law is clearly discriminatory and must be changed so it includes all adult women as well as adult men. But we can save that campaign for later.)

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure a well-regulated — which is to say, well-supplied and well-prepared — militia.

We're falling down on that responsibility. While there are more than 300 million privately owned guns in the United States, there are also millions and millions of members of the militia who are not armed. In certain rogue cities and states, it's legally difficult for members of the militia to be properly armed. And as a result, those rogue cities and states have massive gun violence problems.

This has to stop. I'm proposing that we campaign to reduce gun violence, and to meet our constitutional duty, by requiring that every member of the militia — which, of course,  we'll redefine to eliminate the obvious sexism and make it all adults — must own at least one long gun, one handgun, and 1,000 rounds of ammunition for each, or pay an annual $1,000 tax for failing to do so. As I pointed out the last time I brought this up, the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare makes it clear that it's constitutional to require people to buy a product, so that shouldn't be a problem. And, federal law would override the local laws in rogue cities like Chicago that prevent members of the militia from fulfilling their constitutional duty.

In fact, I might even go so far as suggesting that ownership of a weapon should be a requirement to be allowed to vote. But that might be a bridge too far, at least at first.

Clearly, the feelings of the minority in places like Chicago can't be allowed to stop us from taking the only steps that we know for sure have resulted in reductions of gun violence. We need to act. We need to require gun ownership now!

It's for the children!