What Should We Do About Guns?

The next time you hear a politician call for
“common sense gun control,” listen for the details. You are likely to be treated to a torrent
of platitudes about assault weapons, gun show sales and other half-measures. These sorts of proposals are rooted in a theory
of gun control that has been around since the 1960s. The basic idea is that fewer guns equal less
gun crime. But for this theory to have even a chance
of working, drastic reductions in the supply of guns will be necessary. Everything else amounts to security theatre. The late Senator Howard Metzenbaum, a strong
gun control advocate, explained it this way: “If you don’t ban all guns you might as
well ban none of them.” But few, if any, politicians who call for
“common sense gun control” have the courage to propose this. Even putting aside the issue of the Second
Amendment to the Constitution, which affirms the right to keep and bear arms, a gun ban
has no broad popular support. Never mind the conservative states, handgun
ban referendums failed by large margins in two of our most liberal states – Massachusetts in 1976 and California in 1982. No serious attempts have been made since then. Recently Australia’s gun control efforts
have gained new prominence as a possible model for the United States to follow. Let’s take a closer look at Australia. In 1996, after a lunatic used a semiautomatic
rifle to murder 34 people in Tasmania, the Australian government banned all semi-automatic
rifles and repeating shotguns. Owners of roughly 700,000 registered firearms
– about a quarter of the country’s three million total guns – were required to turn
them in for destruction. The government called this a “buyback,”
but in fact no one had a choice. As my research shows, this model will not
work in the United States for the simple reason that the US has roughly 325 million guns. This is orders of magnitude more than any
other country. Even if the Australian plan were tried in
the US and worked to perfection, we’d still be left with over 200 million guns, including
handguns which account for nearly 80 percent of gun crime. But gun confiscation has never worked to perfection,
and sometimes threatens to make things worse. The 2007 International Small Arms Survey studied
72 countries that attempted to enforce gun confiscation or registration on their citizens. They found massive defiance of these laws,
with only about a third of owners complying. If Americans defy gun bans at just the average
rate that has occurred internationally, then we should expect tens of millions of guns
to flood into the black market. Not surprisingly, politicians advocating for
gun control prefer to avoid the thorny issues that confiscation raises. Instead, they seek to have it both ways. They pursue the votes of gun owners by paying
lip service to the Second Amendment and offering assurances that they only want to ban “the
bad guns” like rifles with pistol grips. And at the same time, they pander to their
core constituents with broad gun ban rhetoric, and supply control proposals that will have
a marginal effect at best. And when these meager efforts fail to pass
or to work? Blame the gun lobby. So, to the glib critics of America’s gun
culture, we should make this demand: If supply controls are the answer, describe precisely
the full program of supply-side policies you propose to stop the gun crimes that we all
abhor. And then tell us how those policies will also
allow lawful gun owners to keep and protect themselves with firearms. If you cannot square these two things, then
you must convince Americans that they are better off under policies that would disarm
good people, in a fruitless attempt to keep bad men from getting guns. I’m Nicholas Johnson, Professor of Law at
Fordham University for Prager University.

100 thoughts on “What Should We Do About Guns?

  • Make full auto battle rifles, hand grenades, shoulder fired weapons of all kinds available to every American male.

  • I think that people should have to pass a test in order to have a gun. Some of the questions should be:

    1. List all/any mental disorders you have been diagnosed with
    2. What makes you angry?
    3. On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel about yourself?
    4. A blind woman is walking down the street and is about to walk into a dangerous area. What do you do?
    5. How old are you?
    6. Who do you want to hurt badly?
    7. Your boss is humiliating you and your coworkers are all laughing at you. You then remember that you have a gun in your office desk. What do you do?
    8. List all the times you were arrested, what you were arrested for and the outcome of the arrest (set free or convicted):

  • This isn’t new. It’s the entire economic philosophy that plagued the war on drugs. Just because you ban it doesn’t mean you remove it.

  • You know who else to away guns? Adolf Hitler.

    The government can pry my gun from my cold, dead heads, because the only way I'll give it up is when I'm dead.

  • Because of our Second Amendment right to bear arms we have the freedoms we have today so before anybody talks about banning guns you should do your history and look into why they want to take away our rights to bear arms and freedom of speech

  • They will never go into detail, it's always broad unspecified ideas or statements of what they NEED to do without any focus on HOW and if it will work or not.

  • Coming from an Aussie I think the yanks just need to make assault weapons and all semi autos only legal possession by shooter groups in the clubs safe and legal vigilante groups the same only in there safes for events and such make illegally owned guns a life sentence that’s it only allow citizens operative pistols , bolt action hunting rifles and shotguns for hunting purposes don’t get rid of guns altogether like my dumb nation did just remove the guns citizens don’t need like the AR15, uzis and shit like that NO ONE NEEDS A SUB MACHINE GUN FOR PROTECTION!!!!

  • How dare you criticise our buy back decision! The reason it won’t work in America is simply because no politician has the backbone to stand up for what they believe in! Unsubscribed

  • In Australia, the homicide rate dropped after the buyback – but it was already dropping! Meanwhile, there were no massacres from 1928 to 1971. They suddenly picked up in the 80s and 90s. The Port Arthur incident was on a different scale, unseen before or since. But since the buyback, incidents have continued, including a siege with 18 hostages, a vehicle attack killing 6 and three separate arson attacks taking 10 or more lives each.

  • A gun is a tool and is only as bad as the person using it. I don’t own a gun and don’t care to, but should I decide I’d like one, then I think I should be allowed to purchase a gun as long as I go through the correct process. Most gun owners are law abiding citizens who wouldn’t hurt anyone.

  • I bought more guns with great ammo and body armor. The more the police act as criminals and the Government cries I buy more

  • Give everybody guns, train them and make them learn about the Constitution and what rights mean. Maybe they will even learn about the serious but usually ignored responsibility of voting. Maybe we will start electing people to represent us who are not garbage.

  • Irrelevant…. See….

    The 2nd Amendment doesn’t apply to semi-auto rifles, nor does it apply to Bolt Action Rifles, Pistols or Revolvers.

    The Second Amendment restricts Government.

    The Technology of the Firearm is irrelevant.

    The restrictions on Government stay the same, regardless of the firearm.

    The Second Amendment was not written to grant permission forCitizens to own and Bear firearms.

    It FORBIDS Government interference in the RIGHT to keep and Bear Arms, PERIOD!

    “The Right of the People to keep and bear Arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”..

  • The "Right" of self-defense comes from GOD! Not from some cliques of lunatics in D.C. or even my State Capitol.
    The right to "Keep and Bare Arms" was seen as absolute necessary by our Founding Fathers!
    There is no one alive with the insight or the Wisdom they had back then!
    So, no thanks! I'll keep my gun. It's my RIGHT. Not just as a Citizen, but as a human being!

  • Fun Fact: Only approximately 1/1,000,000th of the U.S. population is killed by rifles each year. That's all rifles and all manner of death(homicide, suicide, police action, accidents, etc). Approximately 300-400 people are killed by rifles every year. In the grand scheme of things, that's not a lot. By comparison, you're more likely to get beat to death by someone's bare hands than die by a rifle.

  • Find a way to get the guns out of the hands of criminals, before you even THINK of taking them from law-abiding citizens.

  • 29 deads in two shootings in one day.
    Just q normal day in the U.S.

    In Netherlands all wapons are illigale, even a kitchennife.
    How manny shootings in the Netherlands ? Not manny,
    also most in the criminal cicuit.
    Learn fron the Dutch !

  • We need a "superhero" initiative.

    If we enable concealed carry police officers to roam streets with secret uniform or ID carrying high-powered defensive weaponry, they would spring into action if threats occurred.

    These are our American heroes, ready to fight to protect freedom whenever it is threatened. This is similar to how Air Marshals work on airplanes. Just make sure there are undercover police officers at every public event.

    The uniform/ID is something that cannot be replicated and only identified through highest echelons of state government.

  • I love guns. Was raised up around them. No problem with guns. It's the person behind the gun I worry about. Guns won't be confiscated. Simple reson. Money. Billions in sales. Millions in tax money. America leaders love money.
    You do the math.

  • It surprised me how well its worked in UK..but they have been working on taking away our armed rights for a couple of hundred years

  • You forgot to mention that gun confiscication always proceeds genocide.
    Besides, hundreds of thousands of people die due to medicine each year.

  • The socialists take the guns. Now your local bureaucrat keeps you in line with the unspoken threat of violence. If you cross the chief of police, they simply send somebody to break into your home some night and shoot you in a "botched" burglary attempt. Political opponent–neutralized. Guns keep the power with the PEOPLE where it belongs.

  • Theory: Fewer guns = less gun crime
    Fact: Fewer criminals = less crime of all kinds, including less gub crime.


  • Instead of putting aside the Second Amendment, a real professor of law would explain why the Second Amendment phrase "shall not be infringed" means no infringement of the people's right to keep and bear arms. (It has been shown elsewhere that the term "well regulated" means the opposite of "government-controlled." Take note of the very many repeat criminals who finally "commit the big one" on one of the excursions from the penal system.
    A real professor of law could also affirm the fact that every crime committed with the use of a firearm requires the action of a probable criminal psychopath (can you imagine yourself accosting some innocent person with a weapon in your hand, ever?). A second fact is that the justice system is johnny on the spot when it comes to guarding a convicted violent criminal's "right" to be returned back into the public, but not so much when it comes to holding to the Second Amendment. The government should work hard to make the term "revolving door justice system" no longer apply to the American system.
    Let's have a video titled "What Should We Do About Violent Criminals?" Specifically, focus on the agent (the murderous and injurious criminal), not the inanimate tool.

  • The Constitution DEMANDS that radical reich wing cultist gun freak mass murderers be WELL REGULATED.

  • The only people who would sell/give up their guns to the government are the ones who would most likely never commit a crime in the first place.

  • Why do videos like these always skirt around tangible evidence? Anyone can find multiple websites, articles and statistics showing a correlation between strict gun laws and increased or no change to crimes but a clear correlation of looser gun laws and decreased crimes all over the US. Even if it's relatively minute in number. Say, as a hypothetical example. There's 100 examples of my above statement. There will only be 2-5 examples of areas with stricter gun laws having lower crimes since the gun laws were passed. Worse off for those meager numbers, it's very hard to correlate the loss of crime to the gun laws. Gun control with a notion of "What can we ban*" has been debunked as useful hundreds of times over. Mind you, the countries where gun bans were used are either too small or didn't have enough population or weapons to make a true comparison to the US… And our closest example is the UK who's total crime is… *Gasp Nearly identical for murder especially? Interesting. It's not like their crime statistics show drastically increased B&E and robbery crimes either, right?

  • Ban people from buying or selling high powered firearms, they should be kept for safekeeping and only be used during war/raids by military or police. Confiscate all the high powered firearms from Gun Sellers and only allow them to sell Handguns. Regular Citizens should only be allowed to buy Handguns and not high powered ones.

  • Gun control was started by the democrats to prevent Black people from defending themselves from the KKK. In CA, they started passing gun control laws to disarm the Black Panthers in the '60s. Gun control is racist.

  • We live in a very safe country. Most gun deaths happen in the inner city in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in LA, Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore, and that is due to gang violence. Unless you are buying drugs downtown after midnight, you've got a better chance of getting struck by lightning than being killed with a gun. If you remove those cities, our gun crime rate is equivalent with most European countries.

  • We should eat them. Find a way to liquefy them into gravy, pour the gravy on Beef Wellington with Yorkshire Puddings, and eat them. It's really that simple.

  • Contrary to popular belief, most criminals and yet-to-be criminals get their guns through private sales. Wouldn't you like to know who the people are that are selling guns to the criminals? They're making the responsible gun owners look bad. And by insisting on doing nothing to stop the gun trade (black market) between legal gun owners and criminals, "responsible" gun owners are looking worse.

  • Here's my solution to what we should do with guns, only law enforcement and military should be allowed to possess automatic firearms. Require all civilians to have licences for both firearms AND ammunition.
    Also require civilians to go through a criminal record check, mental health check and a firearms safety class before being allowed to own guns. Ban automatic firearms from civilians altogether and restrict them to military and law enforcement use only.

    There you go, law abiding civilians will still be allowed to own guns, while at the same time we can help prevent mass shootings and gun crime.

  • Get rid of gun high crime what do I mean well i will tell you stuip stilling home brake in and people who buy gun on black market Rob a bank and school shot criminal don't follow the law. this is a fack.

  • I live in Australia. That is why I understand that gun bans work perfectly. They keep guns from normal people like you, on a bad day, when you have taken drugs, alcohol, or suffering from some unexpected mental issues. You end up running down the road naked with a screw driver, instead of picking up a gun. Don't worry about criminals and 'baddies who obtain their guns illegally. They are usually responsible.

  • I would like to suggest everyone does the same for their district. You may copy and paste and email my text. Add your representative and your name .

    To Your Representative,
    I have been observing laws, propositions and decisions from various districts, nation wide. It seems to me, as much as the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution represents a protection it needs to be defended. Especially here in New York, where there are countless infringements.
    Please reference Missouri State Bill No. 367 for an example of the provisions I believe New York desperately needs to support our right to bear arms.
    I understand you represent a large constituency, however you must retain the responsibility to invoke the protective rights as defined by the U.S. Constitution as well. There fore all voices in opposition of any protections or supporting infringements of any protected rights can not add weight to your representation as their imposition willfully or otherwise disenfranchises a greater constituency.
    Please validate my argument by siding with the cultural accord that defines our nation over the dissent of those who wish to vicariously control others through the ever expanding influence of a greater governance.
    I bill written by a New York district representative needs to be proposed that may better preserve the integrity of our rights. Whether or not such a thing could pass, a message needs to be sent.
    Regardless of what the polls may indicate or how loud the opposition may seem, I can honestly tell you there are far more people who are waiting for a representative that will actively protect us from the overbearing reach of all governance.
    Please represent us.
    Should you heed my message, with some correspondence I would be more than willing to further advise and campaign for you…
    A small gesture from me in exchange for you to do what you were elected to do.


  • Australia is smarter than we are. We don’t have to do a buy back but ban the future sale of ar-15 type weapons. Only make handguns and bolt action hunting rifles legal

  • Hey any leftist, I'm sorry that you are mentally defective, your life must be hard. I'll explain this to you using simple language… Say I'm a bad guy and I come at you with a gun intending to kill you! Do you protect yourself with (A) a purse? (B) your cloths? (C) call the police? If you chose any of these you are wrong, I killed you and took your money and got away. Now if you had a gun now the playing field is at least almost even. (I train, I'm a great shot.) Guess how I (the bad guy) got the gun!? I made it in my basement. Hope this fixes your defective brain.

  • When the criminal, in the act of a crime, has to worry about the everyday citizens having guns and those citizens are capable and willing to shoot back at the criminal rather than just the police having guns to shoot bavk at the criminal then crime will be reduced or eliminated.

    Germany and Venezuela took guns away from the citizens and then a dictator took control of everything and the citizens had no way to fight back. DO NOT let that happen in the USA.

  • In Europe, they disarmed the public and now they're being over run by refugees. In Central and South America, they disarmed the public and war lords and gangs reign. If progressives take over our government, the first, second, and twelfth amendments are the first to go. Say goodbye to liberty.

  • Thank you, Professor Johnson, for the excellent presentation. I like that phrase, "security theater". Why won't abrogationists use logic and facts and follow the Constitutional procedures? Because they would not succeed.

  • I am going to answer before I watch the video. Here goes………The constutuon gives us the right to bear arms to defend against any tyranny foreign AND DOMESTIC. So…I think everyone should be allowed to own any weapon they see fit. An AR15 is no match for an Apache or a nuke, so I think we should all have the right to have a sub wuth a Trident, or Apache with a gimble mount 50 cal and stingers. Simple as that, whatever you can afford. Any government that tries to take away even the least of our weapons should be held to the highest level of scrutiny and examined under a microscope as to thei hidden agenda. Just exactly why do you want to disarm the people of this great nation? Where exactly are yourtrue loyalties? The UN? Great Britain? Israel? China? Come on squeek up I am listening.

  • If guns are outlawed, the government can do whatever it wants to the people. Look at the totalitarian governments. They banned gun ownership.

  • King Leonidas of Sparta when told by the Persian king Xerxes to lay down his arms, responded with the phrase “ molon labe “. (Come and take them).

  • This is no such thing as a "gun crime." Guns do NOT commit crimes. PEOPLE commit crimes. And the more people there are with guns, the fewer crimes get committed.

  • Nothing should be done about guns ! Help and heal the person ?
    Government never takes Responsibility about anything they have caused that created problems in the first place ?!!
    All the Government knows is take take take ?!! Something We The People got away from in the first place ?!!

  • what should we do about guns ? clean, lubricate and target practice with them. What else ? hunt animals (furry & feathered ones and law breaking two legged ones). Make America safe again. End the unGREATful SOCIETY. Make Africa home again.

  • More people die every year through abortion than by guns so are they going to ban abortion,or sex to keep from killing thousands of babies a month

  • Why do you need full auto submachine gun? At the time of second amendment there were no such weapon. Is Glock not enough for you?

  • I like PragerU and I am a CONSERVATIVE…..but I DO NOT agree that civilians should have Assault Weapons like AR15 or Kalashnikovs….its overkill, you would get mostly the same protection with Hand guns

  • We have sufficient gun laws now. What we struggle with is the Left's attempts to use violence as an excuse to destabilize our society by disarming law abiding citizens while at the same time they are using the Cloward & Piven strategy to destabilize our economy.

    Y'all need to understand that the Left is at war with America and her institutions. This is not a case of two persons of equally good intent with an honest difference of opinion, but is a case of the Left attacking the republic. Our 4th estate has with malice aforethought decided to act as 5th columnists in support of the Left.

  • Television has made Most Americans dumber than A Box of Rocks. Fake Movies, Rigged Sports, No Diligent Truth-Finding Research, lack of discernment, brainwashing that has reduce moral and ethical qualities down to that of parasites, etc.

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