Final Impressions

Aiming low

Written by James Combs

Gun confiscation misses the bull’s-eye.

Illustration: Megan Mericle

You hear it after every mass shooting. 

“Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough” or “Thoughts and prayers do nothing.”

These are the chants from members of the gun-control crowd who erroneously assume “thoughts and prayers” are meant to be a solution to America’s mass shooting problem. They’re not. Thoughts and prayers are offered so those dealing with grief may find comfort and strength in their recovery. 

If you heard about presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s gun control plan, you’d realize his horde of followers are the ones who need to be praying. Simply put, his outrageous idea on guns doesn’t have a prayer of working. 

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, we’re not going to allow it to be used on fellow Americans anymore,” he said during a presidential debate in September. 

In other words, he’s calling for confiscation. He seems oblivious to the magnitude of his proposed nonsense. 

First, very few people who purchased their firearm legally are going to willingly hand it over to authorities. As a result, he’ll have to organize the FBI and CIA to locate tens of millions of peaceable, lawful citizens who own these “illegal weapons.” Then he’ll have to find tens of thousands of judges willing to issue tens of millions of warrants to forcibly seize tens of millions of assault weapons from private homes. 

Millions of law enforcement officers will need to be organized to forcibly enter tens of millions of private homes and search for these weapons. If any are found, tens of millions of arrestees will need to be transported, processed, indicted, incarcerated and tried by juries. And communities across America will need to be prepared for a tsunami of lawsuits. 

Of course, it probably won’t come to that. Sheriffs throughout the country have gone on record as saying they would never enforce such extreme, unconstitutional gun control laws. That begs two questions: How will these lawbreakers be caught if cops aren’t interested in going after them? Also, will Beto declare war on local sheriffs who ignore the law? All this explains only the difficulty of confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens. Apparently, Beto has yet to formulate a plan for disarming criminals—you know, the ones who actually use these weapons to commit crimes. 

Instead of dreaming up new laws that are impractical, perhaps we should do a better job of enforcing existing laws. Remember Devin Patrick Kelley, the man who fatally shot 26 people inside a Texas church? Devin, who served in the military, should have been banned from purchasing guns because of a domestic violence conviction. Unfortunately, the Air Force failed to follow proper protocol to ensure his offense was reported to the FBI. Thus, he passed a background check. 

That’s a big screw-up by our government, and the costly error was more than a minor “oops.” Yes, that’s the same government whose war on drugs and implementation of Prohibition were massive failures. You simply cannot legislate morality. 

Despite that, some people truly believe our almighty government is going to solve the gun problem with a door-to-door gun confiscation program. 

That—much more than thoughts and prayers—is the ultimate form of magical thinking. 

About the author

James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County’s many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!

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