Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Why Most Economists Oppose Gun Control Laws

From the Mises Institute:

We see car bombings in the news almost every day, but mass shootings are so rare that we remember them all. We remember the Columbine shooting, and we will remember the Virginia Tech shooting. Why do we remember these things? Because they are so rare! However, we don't remember how many people were killed in Iraq this week, or last week, or the week before. Why not? Because there are so many car bombings that we are nearly immune to news of them. Mass shootings are extremely rare, which makes them news.

However much some people might yearn for gun control, it seems unlikely that it would have prevented Cho from achieving his ends. He had substitutes available (like a car bomb), he had more than one means available to achieve his ends, and he plotted long enough to hit upon other means — especially since those other means are described in detail on TV, in the newspapers, and on the Internet every day.

Economists recognize the relationship between means and ends, including the role played by substitutes. Economists understand that when government restricts one market, consumers merely move into another market, and when government tries to foreclose one means, individuals will simply shift into other means to achieve the same ends.


At 5/02/2007 11:44 AM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

Not to be a gun nut here, there are lots of other blogs for that, but I would like this sentence on the back of my Michigan Concealed Pistol License removed:

"However, a licensee shall not carry a concealed weapon at a school, on school property, day care center, child placing agency, sports arena, stadium, bar, lounge dining room licensed to serve liquor, church, synagogue, mosque, temple or other place of worship, entertainment facility seating more than 2500 people, hospital, dormitory or classroom of a college or university, casino or as prohibited by law.

That’s “Gun Control.” The only problem in Virginia was that the wrong person was armed.

At 5/03/2007 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right, that statement is a form of gun control. It is most likely there for a purpose, perhaps at some point in time an individual has failed in the first line of gun control, one's own common sense, and precipitated the need for such a statement on the license.
However speaking of purpose, what is the purpose of a gun? Perhaps this is another discussion on another board but a gun is a tool for death, it's intention is to kill. To intend to carry a tool for death into a densly populated social area again is a failure of the individuals control over self, or lack of common sense.


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