If you can't make it there…

I’m going to make myself sound old, but popular music these days doesn’t appeal to me.  For me, it’s hard to find someone who matches the style and musicianship of Frank Sinatra.  One of his famous numbers is the song, “New York, New York.

New York, to gun owners and gun-rights supporters, is notorious for the long list of burdens that the state imposes on good citizens who wish to exercise their rights.  This is especially the case after the passage of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, the NY SAFE Act.  Likely my readers are familiar with its provisions and with the efforts to walk back some aspects—the seven-round limit on magazine capacity, for example.  I feel for gun owners in New York, but some aspects are interesting on the national level.

One telling response is given by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association.  The sheriffs take a measured approach to the law, objecting to the rapid passage and observing that many of the things banned or regulated in the text have no effect on crime rates.  This fits in with the response of sheriffs around the country who have reservations about reactionary gun control.  They are elected officials on the local level, and I’m not surprised that they are resistant to measures that affect the law-abiding while doing little or nothing about violence.

It is interesting that law enforcement officials in New York take a stand that is within hailing distance of gun-rights supporters in much of the rest of the country.  What is even more significant is the reaction of New York gun owners.  They aren’t registering their so-called “assault weapons” in anything close to the actual number of such guns in the state.  Even National Public Radio is aware of the non-compliance.  And this is a hopeful sign.

Take Sinatra’s song.  “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”  Apply this to gun laws.  The lyric implies that the City of New York is such a tough place that if the singer can survive in that environment, he can survive in any context.  Let’s turn that around.  New York, state and city, have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.  The year 1911 wasn’t just the date of a marvelous pistol’s adoption.  It’s also the year that the Sullivan Act became law in New York, requiring residents of the state to get a license for concealable weapons.  The state has a reputation as being reliable for supporters of gun control.  And yet, as the news reports are showing, beneath the surface, there’s an undercurrent of opposition to further violations of the rights of gun owners.  In other words, gun control isn’t working there.

Which takes us to a claim I make frequently in debating advocates of more gun restrictions.  Gun control is doomed to failure.  If it can’t succeed in a state that’s generally favorable to such measures, if we can (someday soon) cook up guns in the privacy of our own homes or offices, if we can’t prevent smuggled goods from crossing borders, control is impossible.  That’s especially true in a nation with 300,000,000 guns or more in private hands.  This isn’t a call for us to relax our guard, but it is meant as an assurance that we’re on the winning side.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.

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