Almost all people would like to see a society free of gun violence. It's not going to happen. It might even get worse. Why?
I could begin with elaborate political theories or quotes from Hobbes, Locke or Rousseau, but I won't. One reason I won't is that political science is not an area that I can claim expertise in and so I'd be faking it - I'm on a search for knowledge and pretending won't help me. Another reason is that my argument is so simple, so natural and so obvious that it requires no intellectual leap or unnecessary complexity. All we need to know is that in a modern civilized society it is the job of the State to protect its citizens and to administer justice. The more competently and thoroughly this job is done, the less the citizens will end up needing to defend themselves or administer their own justice. When the State won't do its job - because of incompetence, indifference or deliberate collusion - then it is up to the citizens to defend themselves and to administer their own justice. Hopefully we never reach that point.
We negotiate rules in relationships, business dealings, our workplaces and our societies. Like most people, I've had experience negotiating in all of these areas and I don't think that I've ever gotten everything my own way for any stretch of time. If you do find that you are getting everything your own way then you are not negotiating and this is likely costing you in ways that you don't even realize. Some people never recover from their own victories.
When the Left speaks on gun-control, they do not act as if they are negotiating. They act as if this is just one more item that they are entitled to demand in order that everything goes their way. They will never succeed like this. The Left is demanding a relaxed attitude towards crime and criminals, a stop to the deportation of foreign-born criminals, an attitude of contempt towards border security, an increase in divisive identity-politics, the nurturing of a hostile and divisive and sometimes violent group-identity victim/oppressor dynamic, and a disrespectful and hostile attitude towards police and other authority figures. None of these things go very well with asking your fellow citizens to render themselves unarmed. How would you feel if your employer called you into a meeting and asked you to work 25 percent more hours and then followed up with a 50 percent reduction to your salary after you agreed? This is exactly the type of negotiation strategy that the Left is attempting to use while arguing for gun-control.
The ultimate strategy for negotiating gun-control is one where you put in effort so that citizens won't feel the need to own guns. There is no other solution - other than mass confiscation, and that would be a bloody mess. So if the Left truly wishes for fewer guns then they ought to help with setting up their society in a way that facilitates and encourages less gun ownership. This is the exact opposite of what they're currently doing. When I see far-left groups like Antifa burning and wrecking things and committing acts of violence, voluntarily disarming myself is not the first thing that comes to mind.
If I lived in Castel Volturno, Italy, I would own a gun. If I lived in Tokyo I would not. The Italian seaside town of Castel Volturno has been taken over by Nigerian migrant criminal gangs and violence is so rampant that even journalists must have a police escort to go out and do their work. The town has a population of 30,000 and about 20,000 of these are migrants. The far-left scheme of allowing open borders in Italy is not going to result in fewer people arming themselves. If I was unfortunate enough to live there I would definitely arm myself. Tokyo, on the other hand, has a population of over 13 million and has one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the word. Their society is highly organized and highly civilized. There are very few guns in Tokyo and the citizens don't seem to feel the need to own them. I couldn't see myself owning a gun or even wanting to own one if I lived there.
The Leftist Utopia is a Violent Place
I do not think that there is so little violent crime in Tokyo because there are so few guns. I think it is the other way around - there are so few guns because there is almost no violent crime. Britain also does not have many guns compared the United States, but has much violence. The Left has had its way with Britain and the country now seems to be on a slashing and hacking spree. What they lack in gun violence they make up for with knife and acid attacks. That being said, gun crimes are up 42 percent over last year in Britain. This is a country with very strict guns laws. The behaviour of those involved is the problem and not the weapons.
In South Africa, farmers and others are being slaughtered. Again, the Leftists have had their way and now the society is unsuitable for unarmed individuals. This is from foreignpolicy.com: "The United States has the highest rate of private gun ownership in the world (88.8 guns for every 100 people), while South Africa ranks 50th, with a rate of 12.7 guns per 100 people. But gun ownership does not necessarily correlate with gun-related homicide: According to U.N. data, South Africa trumps the United States in that category, with a rate of 17 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, as compared to the U.S. rate of 3.2."
Clearly, gun ownership is not the determining factor in violent crime - behaviour is. A serious lack of decency, individual responsibility, the rule of law, or a strong work or family ethic is where the focus should be and not on useless and thoughtless attempts at weapons regulations.
Unarmed and Happy for Now
I am a left-leaning Liberal. I owned several guns almost thirty years ago. I chose not to own guns after I had a family. I live in a place where the rate of violent crime is very low. I feel no need to be armed and don't really have any interest in it. However, I do have a quiet but persistent feeling that the Left is chipping away at our civilization and there might actually come a point - after they have all of the "oppressed groups" sufficiently riled up - when I might need to arm myself. In fact, if the Left were to succeed in getting their way completely, arming myself would likely be a moral imperative for my family and me. After all, who wants to end up like a South African farmer?
I am a decent citizen. I work and pay my taxes, contribute to my community as much as I am able, help my fellow citizens when the need arises, behave with courtesy and respect towards strangers and those close to me, and I genuinely wish the best for our civilization for the long-term . All I ask in return is that I am able to go about my business unimpeded by morally defective individuals or the threat of violence. I don't ask this, actually, I demand it. I wouldn't have it any other way. If the radical-Left succeeds, as they have elsewhere, in degrading my surroundings to the point where I must arm myself, then so be it. We have an evolved survival instinct and it obligates us to protect ourselves and our loved ones. I think that this instinct is decent and noble and should be trusted and followed. I am willing to indulge this instinct if so required.
My hope is that the Left actually does want a reduction in gun violence; although, I find the hypocrisy of the violence spewing Hollywood leftists slightly troubling in this regard. I would definitely like to see a reduction in gun violence and I know enough to know that the conditions have to be correct for it to take place. Maybe the Left doesn't actually want this. Maybe they like things they way they are. This would explain their seemingly bad faith negotiations on the subject.
I will remain unarmed for now. I'm not foolish or arrogant enough to expect others to do the same and I am very aware that many people will never voluntarily unarm themselves and that many of those people have good and valid reasons. Seeing what I have seen in the last few years from the Left does not give me optimism. If I was currently armed, I definitely would not consider changing that fact until it was certain that the Left was beginning to sort itself out. This is unlikely, as they seem only to be digging in and getting more and more bizarre and more and more adverse to meaningful conversations with their politically opposite citizens.
The next decade is going to be very interesting. There is no question about that.