Maybe Gun Violence Doesn't Have A Legislative Solution


Today Rep. Kevin Cramer held a forum on gun issues in Fargo. It included a panel discussion, and audience participation, and I’m sure all the usual arguments both for and against gun control were heard.

But at the end of this Fargo Forum article about the event, Cramer said something I found to be fairly profound:

Cramer said the larger issues behind this type of violence may not be something to be addressed by politicians and the president, but instead through the church, the family, the school and other parts of society.

“By and large, I think what I heard today was that the solutions are less legislative and probably more cultural,” he said.

The primary argument in favor of gun control from our friends on the left seems to be that because guns exist in our society they inspire crime and violence. I don’t think that’s a sound premise. I think that our society is prone, to a degree, to crime and violence and guns merely facilitate that.

You could argue that removing guns from the equation might make people less efficient at committing crimes, and committing acts of violence, but you’re talking about a marginal gain for policy that is both hugely expensive to enforce and intrusive into individual liberties.

What we should be addressing is why we commit crimes and violence, and to what degree can that be addressed through public policy?

I’m not sure that lawmaking can implement much in the way of social change, which is a statement that runs contrary to what a lot of you believe, but I think it’s true. I think we have far more faith in the ability of public policy to change the way people behave than we should, and we need look no further than the prohibition of alcohol, drug prohibition, etc., etc. to see how true that is.

The solution for crime and violence in America may be, as frustrating and simplistic as it seems, for Americans to choose to be less violent and prone to crime.