The economics of gun control.

We talk often about the technical aspects of gun control. Arbitrary specifications, capricious enforcement, massive mis-allocation of resouces… What are the financial effects of gun control as proposed by Feinstein and others of her kind?

The most immediate effect is the financial victimization of the entire population of the United States. Tens of millions of people would be stripped of their property and have the use of remaining property sharply restricted. Those who are not gun owners now will see their tax burdens go up greatly — the great amount money for the enforcement of these laws has to come from somewhere. Ask Canadians how many millions their useless registry cost so far.

Gun control pushers claim that gun owners will be compensated. First, one cannot be “compensated” for things she doesn’t want to sell. Second, there’s not enough money in the world to buy all the guns held by Americans because the marginal cost of each next weapon goes up tremendously. For example, relatively common AR15 cost under $1000 before the recent rush started, but severely restricted M16s cost $15,000 and up. Third, paying a person for confiscated guns with taxes taken from that same person is a travesty. Fourth, no monetary compensation can make up for the loss of unique utility.

Going forward, gun control makes arms and related R&D much more costly because of arbitrary constraints added to the real technical considerations. As the direct results of 1986 machine gun ban, US is now falling behind China in automatic weapons for military use. Chinese government uses considerable state funds to prop up their R&D, while the US has always relied on private and commercial development. Back when Browning and Stoner were active, they could work mostly unhampered, but today’s inventors are unable to conduct technical research due to the Byzantine yet viciously enforced regulations. Gun control reduces national security.

Private and public health costs will rise as violent criminals are able to commit more mayhem unopposed by good people. A middle-aged defender with a firearm can stop a typical young thug or two…but has no chance unarmed. The increased impact of criminal violence will affect women and old people most as they have the least amount of brute strength to compensate the lack of technological defenses.

Gun control is a bad — even criminal — idea in many way. And it is expensive, too.

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3 Responses to The economics of gun control.

  1. Nate McCord says:

    Oleg, I love the point you make here and believe it needs to be much more highly promoted before the gun-banners get their chance to move and act.

    Can I make 1 grammatical suggestion? There’s an extra “d” behind the “tens” in the 2nd sentence, 2nd paragraph.

  2. John Hardin says:

    Do you have a reference or cite for the “US falling behind China” claim? That’s important if it’s indeed factual…

    • Oleg Volk says:

      The latest Chinese small arms use gas balancing (rather than mechanical balancing as with Russian AN94) to reduce recoil and almost eliminate dispersion in automatic mode. That also means they can mount much heavier weapons on light vehicles, for example a 105mm howitzer on a jeep. US designers had their access to captured samples restricted and at this time have not been able to equal the performance.

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