A Market Approach to Gun Regulation

OK, we lost the argument over gun regulation. They won.

“Regular folk” not only passionately demand a gun, they passionately demand a powerful gun. They want the assault weapons, they want the Glocks, they want large magazines so reloading often is unnecessary. They want to walk into Wal Mart, put money on the table and walk out with a slick pistol that can spit lead fast. rat a tat a tat a tat.

The argument about second amendment rights transcends hunting and self defense. I had someone tell me,“The reason Russia never tried to take us was because they knew we were all armed with good solid weapons!” Think about that one. Russia, Putin if you will, would march over here — tanks, helicopters, stealth bombers, all landing on the White House lawn — and all the “regular folk” would run to D.C., Glock in one hand, semi-automatic, assault rifle in the other, ready to save our President from …..Putin? Because, the only way to save our country from a take-over from Putin would be with, well, our “regular folk” arming themselves with assault weapons. Let that one sit a moment.

That mindset along with all the money NRA spends on promotion, ads, donations to politicians, says, it’s over. The argument has been won.

“Regular folk” do not like regulation because it is a free country. If there is a problem, the market will work it out. (We say, but, hey, the market didn’t work it out in 2007, but they then place hands over ears, and yell “na na na na na. I can’t hear you. na na na na”).

So, market approach it is.

First, to do market a approach, we have to make sure Republicans do not pass federal recipocracy laws. A federal recipocracy law would preclude states from imposing their laws on those traveling to their state from other less restrictive states. For example, if Connecticut requires background checks, licenses, permits for handguns etc, and you — gun in hand — visit Connecticut, traveling from your home state, Arizona — where you were just released from the hospital ( psychosis) and had recently decided to stop your meds, then had walked into a gun show and purchased a Glock in five minutes flat — a recipocracy law would allow you to ignore Connecticut gun laws. In other words, the Arizona gun laws would be with you wherever you go, not back at home with your ignored meds.

Let’s pretend Republicans reconsider their fierce desire to pass this recipocracy law. Each state has recipocracy laws, but that would become part of our market analysis.

Market regulation would work something like the following: We all look at a variety of factors when planning future residence, vacation, or business relocation. Schools. Property values. Property taxes. Friendly neighbors. Labor force. Beauty. Popular attractions. Now, we all make sure everyone adds one more huge factor, in bold with an exclamation mark. Risk of being mowed down by bullets! For this risk we must evaluate state gun laws.

We can go to Wikipedia and search each state’s gun laws, but the laws are complicated because guns are complicated. I found it easier and more accurate to simply review gun lover sites for this information. Because when you want to be safe from being mowed down by bullets? Look out for states that rank high on gun loving sites!

There are lots of these sites and blogs, all telling each other which states are friendly to the armed “regular folk”. Since these sites basically sell certain states to gun lovers, you can be sure the states they love are probably filled to the brim with guns and people who like to walk around with them.

I checked out a few sites, one called Cave Armor. I had to stop and ponder that name a while. Guns and Ammo was pretty good site. Most sites ranked states from best to worst for their gun loving crowd.

The best states, according to a write up by Cave Armor (typing that just makes my skin crawl) are those that allow everyone to carry a gun, no license, no permit. That is called “permit-less carry”. They particularly love open carry and high points are given to states that allow concealed carry. They love “black rifles,” which are semi-automatics, like a AR-15s. They do not want any restrictions on “assault weapons”, which are defined as modular rifles that have detachable magazines etc. Any restrictions on these assault rifles are considered a constitutional crisis! While the National Firearms Act regulates silencers and machine guns, some states ban them. The gun loving sites do not like bans on silencers and machine guns.

So, let’s see which states gun lovers love to live.

Arizona!

Hands down Arizona is the best state on earth for gun lovers. There is no need for a license. One can carry concealed weapons.There is that “stand your ground” law, similar to the one in Florida, where you can blast away if you feel threatened, even if the person you are frightened of has no gun.

Oh, let’s pause to discuss something. Even federal background checks can be tip toed around. There is a loophole in federal law that says if a buyer has as state permit to buy and own firearms, if “certain conditions” are met, federal background checks are not necessary. This loophole allows Arizona and other states like it to loop themselves around certain federal background check requirements. There are no state mandates in Arizona for firearm dealers to conduct background checks. Those checks required by federal laws are initiated through the FBI directly. Private sellers do not have to conduct background checks. Guns and Ammo are thrilled with Arizona. From the site:

“Arizona gets full points in every category with both permit-less and permitted carry, strong self-defense laws, a “shall sign” NFA statue and a thriving competitive shooting scene. Whether you’re into ISPC-style shooting, 3-Gun, long-range rifles, Cowboy matches, shotgunning or just shooting machine guns in the desert, Arizona has everyone covered.

I don’t know about you? But that “..or just shooting machine guns in the desert..” concerns me. No hikes in the desert!!

Vermont

This ranks very high, but Guns and Ammo are concerned about the potential for liberal changes in gun laws in Vermont due to it “being populated by all the New Yorkers. ” Bills keep popping up that threaten background checks and permit requirements. But that’s OK, they get voted down. So Vermont (oh, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie, we thought we knew you!) is amazingly friendly to gun lovers. Permit-less carry. No universal background check. They do not ban silencers. You can buy any gun, anywhere, no background check, huge magazine, and if you meet certain standards with federal regulators, you can slap a silencer on that baby and blast away, precluding a need for earplugs. (Speaking of silencers? Can we have one of those for vacuum cleaners?) Of course, if you are a mass murderer or a hitman for the mob no one can hear you either!

I think I am rethinking ski vacations.

Utah and Alaska.

Utah requires permits but they are trying to institute permit-less carry. The bill died. But, hey, they passed a bill protecting the gun manufacturers and dealers from law suits and they passed legislation allowing guns to be carried on buses. How wonderful for that mass shooter who needs to hop a bus to get to the mall parking lot!

Alaska has permit-less carry laws — open or concealed. Basically no state law there restricts anything beyond federal mandates. No background checks for privater sales, no license, no permit, assault weapons allowed. Just get your gun and go!

Alaska is too cold for me anyway.

Kansas and Tennessee.

Gun lovers adore Kansas because they have great laws protecting use of guns for defense. This basically means, like Florida, one can blast away if threatened, even if the individual is unarmed. These laws are referred to as “Castle Doctrine” laws. Kansas ranks high in this category. (if you travel through there, don’t get into any arguments with a gun carrier). Also, they have lax concealed weapons laws in Kansas.

Tennessee is interesting. Just this year a bill was passed allowing employees and students in public post-secondary school to carry a gun. Thinking of sending your child to college? If they go to Tennessee, they get to pack a gun!

Oklahoma, Montana, Texas.

Good ole western states with that western love of guns. Oklahoma is a state for assault weapons. No restrictions. You need a permit but they are trying to change that. Here is the biggest thing about Oklahoma. They protect the rights of employees to keep guns on employer property. The gun has to be locked in the car. Thank God. But you can still have one there, just in case that boss really pisses you off!

Montana does require permits but has great self defense laws (again, don’t get into argument with a gun carrier here). There is no assault weapon restriction.

Texas requires permits but then you can stroll down main street openly carrying a gun. Assault guns are no problem and open carry of long arms has always been legal. Yahoo!

Florida

I include Florida, even though gun sites are not in love with Florida. They are not in love with Florida because Florida outlaws open carry. But with a license, you can conceal that sucker and walk.

Florida is famous for it’s “Castle Doctrine” which eliminates the usual requirement that a person retreat if outside of their home. In Florida, citizens can “stand your ground.” This means if threatened one does not have to retreat anywhere in Florida. One can use force “with force.” This of course was tested in the famous Trayvon Martin shooting, where the shooter, George Zimmerman, was found innocent by a jury, even though the victim was unarmed and had committed no crime.

Florida regulation preempts local regulations. They allow concealed licenses — which are valid everywhere. Open carry is not allowed however there was an open carry bill, which died in the Senate, that was approved by the House — which at least tells one where the politics in Florida is heading.

If you want to purchase a long gun in Florida, it’s pretty easy and the guns are sold everywhere. You do not need a license or firearm registration. In fact, it is a felony in Florida to maintain any record at all for legally owned firearms.

It has sound reciprocity laws, so recognizes concealed carry licenses from any other state.

Georgia.

You do need a license in Georgia, something the gun lover sites do not like. But if you have a weapons license in Georgia, you can carry openly or concealed. You can carry a firearm without a permit in a car. Here is the best thing about Georgia. Due to a 2014 bill signed into law by Governor Deal, Georgia cannot regulate hardly any aspect of gun ownership except where the gun is shot. And this year, Georgia expanded areas you can carry a gun. Guns everywhere laws make Georgia an interesting place to live if you like a beer every now and then. Bar owners can no longer ban guns in their bars. If you want to drink? Be very careful not to argue with anyone in a bar. Furthermore, you can carry a gun into the Atlanta airport. That’s right. An airport.

(may want to connect through Charlotte).

Nevada

The state of Nevada dictates laws and for the most part state gun laws preempts local law. Local authorities can regulate certain aspects of handguns but registration is at the state level. And no registration is necessary. No license, no permit. Open carry is OK. No concealed permit is needed for long guns, only handguns. The Nevada voters forced a referendum which resulted in passing a law requiring background checks for private sales; nevertheless, the Attorney General said the law was unenforceable. So, the tax payers voted, and the employees, paid a salary by the tax payers, refused to acknowledge the vote. Political insubordination. But truly, look who’s setting an example for all government officials now. Don’t want to work? Don’t work then, play golf. Don’t like the laws? Don’t follow them. Don’t like certain people who complain about you? Then threaten to tell FEMA not to save them. A company’s news network complains? Then threaten to interfere with a merger. It’s called modeling behavior. Officials are watching. And then, well, behaving.

Fear of bullets and living with politicians who, like our president, ignore tax payers’ desires, are not the only reasons to hesitate on Nevada. If you are looking for retirement homes, you may want to read this article by New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/how-the-elderly-lose-their-rights

So, who do the gun loving sites hate. As expected, gun lovers hate northeastern regions and California. Illinois is only slightly disdained by gun lovers, because they are liking it better in districts outside of Chicago, where assault weapons are legal and permits are easier to obtain. States that gun lover sites love to hate include: Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Hawaii, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois and Rhode Island.

So, planning a vacation with the kiddies? A wee bit concerned about Billie having to dodge bullets on the way back from the bathroom? You may do well to head to California, maybe enjoy some New England bucolic coastal tourist attractions. And if you want to move your business, taxes may be higher in some of these safer places, but you will be hiring people with families. And they may want safety first.

Another interesting fact to consider is the correlation between gun loving cultures and female freedom. For the most part, states that have loose gun laws — limited requirements for gun buyer background checks, open carry laws, no restrictions on assault weapons, no requirement for permits or licenses — generally vote into office political leaders who want all kinds of regulations put on a female body. In fact, analyzing it regionally, one can almost conclude that the more passionate the region is about MORE restrictions on females (limited access to free birth control, no reproductive choice if a sperm gets inside a woman) the more passionate they are about LESS restrictions on guns. Exceptions to this rule are Vermont and Nevada. So, if you have a daughter and want her safe and free? Well…

So, hopefully we can all plan our trips, business ventures, place of residence with gun laws in mind. And if you are a woman, or a man who thinks a woman is as human as you, by adding gun laws to your analysis, you may be also adding female freedom too!

So, let’s try this market gun regulation a while and see how it works.

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