July 31, 2002


BANG: Dave Kopel and Robert Racansky suggest a "Goose and Gander" constitutional amendment whereby the same gun control laws would apply to the police as to the public. The principle is good-- follow the link for the argument-- but the actual amendment is a bad idea, thanks to our old friend the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Since the amendment as they word it exempts (as would obviously be necessary) the National Guard and Department of Defense, it means the governments would get around gun restrictions by calling in soldiers to do the jobs of police.

Peace officers are trained to subdue people with the minimum amount of necessary force. Soldiers are trained to kill people. Whenever the line between the two is blurred (as it often is by federal agents, particularly drug warriors), governments end up killing people indiscriminately. Kopel could live out his days writing sequels to his book on Waco if his and Racansky's amendment were adopted, because rather than adopt a sensible gun control regime, the federal and state governments' would merely call in the National Guard instead of the SWAT teams, and perpetrate numerous Waco-like disasters.

Posted by John Tabin at July 31, 2002 07:23 PM