Another school shooting, another round of controversy about “common sense gun laws.” Of course, besides the fact that the shooting in question violated the laws against mass murder, the 17-year-old student, who shot up an art class, violated the laws that were already on the books by possessing a handgun and a shotgun that he had apparently stolen from his father. He did not use a so-called “assault rifle.”

Nevertheless, the latest tragedy at Santa Fe High south of Houston has sparked an ugly turn in the gun debate. The increasing extremism on the part of gun control advocates is not just manifest in people tweeting obscene invectives against the NRA, accusing it of being a terrorist group.

Now, the mask has fallen, and people, like Esquire’s Dave Holmes, are openly advocating what they wanted all along, the total and complete abolition of private firearms in the United States.

The magical thinking behind gun confiscation.

Let us perform a thought experiment examining what it would actually take to make all privately held firearms in the United States disappear. First, apparently, we have to repeat the 2nd Amendment, which enshrines private guns as a civil right. The standard procedure for amending the Constitution is for two-thirds of both houses of Congress to propose the amendment and then three-fourths of the states to ratify it. A convention of states can also be called to propose amendments as well.

In any case, we can leave it as an exercise to the gentle reader the likelihood of that happening.

However, let us imagine that the stars have aligned and an amendment abolishing the 2nd Amendment has been passed. The Congress will have to pass a law and the president sign it outlawing the private ownership of firearms. If you are someone who likes hunting on the weekends or are a single mom who carries a Glock in her purse for protection, you’re out of luck.

Time to turn in your guns.

Gun confiscation advocates point to a similar initiative that was passed in Australia a few years ago. It is entertaining to look at what happened in a different country with a diffident culture and debate whether it made indifference. We live in the United States, a place where 100 million people own 300 million firearms of various sorts.

One suspects that there would be a grace period during which people will be allowed to turn in their firearms at the local police station. However, when inevitably the response seems to be inadequate, what happens then? Very likely things start to get ugly very fast.

Gun confiscation advocates imagine that law enforcement and even the armed forces could be tasked to go from house to house to take peoples’ firearms away from them by force. Leaving aside the idea that many police officers and soldiers might disobey such an order, one can also imagine a lot of state and local governments declaring themselves sanctuaries for gun owners.

In any case, outlawing guns will work about as well as banning booze during prohibition and recreational drugs in the modern era.

The level of gun violence and gun deaths, which has been on a sharp decline in the United States, Parkland and Santa Fe High notwithstanding, will start to spike. The very thing that the gun confiscators claim they are against will get worse.

The political fallout

Of course, before this nightmare scenario comes to pass, the political backlash will become manifest. Indeed, the response was already started. Both memberships and contributions to the NRA have begun to swell. Gun owners and second amendment advocates who resent being called terrorists will go to the polls to express their ire in no uncertain terms. The gun confiscation extremists will have reaped what they sowed and in abundance.

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