Can drunk driving be reduced by selling fewer cars? Can arson be reduced by selling fewer matches?
The obvious answer to these questions is no. The criminal misuse of any lawful product is not a function of the number of units sold; it's a function of how effectively society deals with the criminals who misuse them.
To reduce drunk driving, we should enforce strict laws punishing drunk drivers. To reduce arson, we should enforce strict laws punishing arsonists. Selling fewer cars won't reduce drunk driving, just like selling fewer matches won't reduce arson. That's just common sense.
Unfortunately for gun ban advocates like Bryan Miller (Executive Director of CeaseFire NJ), the same principle also holds true for firearms. Selling fewer firearms to law abiding citizens who have passed government background checks will not reduce gun crime, because they are not the cause of gun crime to begin with.
But when it comes to anti-gun extremism in the Garden State, common sense and logic go out the window.
Case in point: Miller thinks that New Jersey gun crime can be reduced by rationing guns to law-abiding Pennsylvania citizens. When I pointed out the absurdity of this notion in a recent post, Miller dedicated an entire blog post to attacking my integrity,* revealing a typical distraction technique of gun ban extremists when confronted with a principle of truth that exposes the absurdity of their agenda: attack the messenger.
Miller's group characterizes itself as a leader in the fight against gun violence, but a more apt description might be a leader in the fight against lawful gun ownership. The group seems to support any scheme whose net effect is to interfere with the rights of honest citizens to exercise their Second Amendment freedoms, instead of targeting their efforts at criminals, who are the real source of gun violence.
At a hearing last year in Jersey City, Miller actually argued that laws that get tough on gun criminals are ineffective, yet advocated for an ordinance that rationed firearms just to law-abiding citizens who have been pre-certified by the state as non-criminals after passing a 13-point background investigation. The ordinance passed but was soon invalidated by a Court, which found that the law was not rationally related to its intended purpose of reducing gun crime. Now Miller is pushing similar laws at the state level in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, citing manipulated statistics purporting to show that Pennsylvania's gun laws are responsible for New Jersey gun crime.
Earlier this year, Miller advocated passage of New Jersey legislation to ban guns based on the size of the hole in the barrel, citing the supposedly evil properties of one particular firearm costing as much as $10,000 apiece and in civilian use primarily by wealthy target shooters. Members of the legislature who believed Miller were embarrassed to discover that the legislation also banned hundreds of common hunting and historical firearms, including the flintlocks and muskets that won the American Revolution and the Civil War. A clear solution to the urban problem of drive-by musketeering, no doubt...
Miller's latest scheme to ration guns to law abiding citizens would not only fail to impact illegal gun trafficking (already a felony for which no new laws are needed), but it would actually interfere with law enforcement monitoring of bulk gun sales by thwarting the reporting of multiple handgun purchases to authorities currently mandated by federal law. In what universe does a scheme like that do anything to reduce gun crime?
Based on actions like these, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Miller and his group have as their unspoken agenda the extremist goal of incrementally eliminating all lawful gun ownership by honest citizens. The only question is, if that's their true agenda, why not just say so? It would make a lot more sense than trying to explain how laws that disarm only honest citizens solve gun crime.
Until recently, Miller and his group have been given a free pass in the media and by many public officials, who have accepted their "solutions" without question. By challenging them in courts of law, principle, logic and truth, law-abiding gun owners have forced them to become more accountable, which may explain why they have now taken to personal attacks on Second Amendment advocates like me.
Unlike some, I am not compensated for the advocacy work that I do. I am motivated only by the conviction that good people should have both the right and the ability to defend themselves when the unthinkable occurs, and that the unique firearms freedoms we have inherited need to be defended, preserved, and protected from those who do not comprehend their significance.
On any given day, I would gladly stand shoulder to shoulder with Miller to support laws that severely punish violent gun crime rather than targeting the tool. But that's not likely to happen any time soon, because Miller has a different agenda. To Miller, I have this to say: it's time to get real and be forthright about what you're really trying to do. If you don't, honest gun owners like me are going to be right there to do it for you.