Today, May 7, 2014, 100 women congregated on Capitol Hill to take part of the second annual 'Moms Take the Hill' event with the misguided attempt to influence federal legislators. Larger attempts have been tried in recent years with little success and the U.S. Supreme Court is going in a direction opposite of what these mothers are seeking. The women are also trying to get Americans to sign their Gun Sense Voter pledge.
While everyone can feel for mothers who have lost their children to crimes which involved a firearm, there efforts may be better placed getting more guns in the hands of more Americans. The group is in D.C. this week meeting with lawmakers demanding universal background checks for gun purchases. What the group fails to acknowledge is such laws do not thwart those seeking to do harm or engage in illegal activity. Those failing a background check to purchase a gun legally at a gun shop, will simply purchase it through other means and potentially illegally.
It has been proven repeated the more gun ownership in a geographical area, the less crime that area will experience. Prohibiting gun ownership, or even highly restricting their ownership has proven to be the best way to increase gun violence in an area. Prohibition did not work for liquor, has not worked for marijuana and would not work for guns. Prohibition often has the opposite effect of the desired goal, which we have seen in different experiments across the U.S. Chicago is one example of having the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, yet has had the highest gun violence rate of any major city in the U.S.
"We are taking this fight to the states," says Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "What we want Congress to know is that we are watching them, but we are not waiting for them. We are getting ready for the midterms and we are going to hold them accountable for their failure to act."
Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire, pledged $50 million this year to support Everytown for Gun Safety - a combined group of Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The goal of the $50 million effort is to elect gun control advocates to public office and force ineffective gun laws on the nation.
Libertarians believe law-abiding, responsible citizens do not and should not need to ask anyone's permission or approval to engage in a peaceful activity. Gun ownership, by itself, harms no other person and cannot morally justify criminal penalties, so they feel the Bloomberg's of the world may have their heart in the right place, however have the wrong strategy.