Belling the cat

As seen at Slate:

Two Guns Per Person
Why is this legal? I’m not talking about why we don’t require reporting multiple sales of long guns to federal authorities (which we don’t). I’m not talking about the bump stocks the shooter used to make his semi-automatic weapons fire like machine guns. I’m talking about why people are allowed to own more than, say, two firearms without a really good reason.

TL;DR: The Second Amendment doesn’t say how many guns you can have. Nobody needs more than two guns. If someone wants a third gun, it’s full NFA procedures and taxes.

Doug Pennington notably does not address how to figure who might have more than two firearms. Nor does he explain how the powers that be will go about collecting the extant extras. Certainly he isn’t volunteering to collect them; possibly he’s seen my observation regarding the wisdom of kicking in millions of door because the occupants are well-armed.

Perhaps he believes all the government has to do is pass a law and everyone will meekly “turn them all in”.

That doesn’t seem to be working in Chicago where repeat felons — prohibited persons who lawfully shouldn’t have any guns — are found with… guns. It’s almost as if they don’t obey laws.

In 1990, California instituted “assault weapon” registration and got a whopping 2.33% compliance rate.

The NY SAFE Act yielded a slightly better 4.45% compliance rate.

Connecticut gun owners are a little more obedient. That state saw a huge “assault weapon” registration 13.44% compliance rate, although they must have been disappointed with the “high capacity magazine registration 4% compliance rate.

Come on, Pennington; you can’t even get people to comply with universal preemptively-prove-your-innocence checks.

Conclusions The enactment of CBC policies was associated with an overall increase in firearm background checks only in Delaware. Data external to the study suggest that Washington experienced a modest, but consistent, increase in background checks for private party sales, and Colorado experienced a similar increase in checks for sales not at gun shows. Non-compliance may explain the lack of an overall increase in background checks in Washington and Colorado.”

(That was funded in part by the anti-rights Joyce Foundation and they still couldn’t show compliance.)

If blue states like California, New York, and Connecticut have such poor participation rates with simple registration, imagine how places like Georgia will respond to door to door confiscation.

So, Mr. Pennington; who is going to bell your cat? You haven’t volunteered. When California toyed with the idea, a police union spokesman declared that if confiscation were ordered they’d see the largest outbreak of blue flu in history. And we bloody well won’t kick in our doors.

Let’s pretend law enforcement will play. Consider:

  • The FBI estimates a total of 698,460 law enforcement officers in America (federal, state, local).
  • Estimates of gun owners range from 60 million to 120 million.

Let’s use the conservative gun owners number: 60,000,000. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that The Pennington Edict magically reverses the usual compliance ratios and only 10% don’t turn in their extra guns.

6,000,000 vs. 698,460

The cops are going after heavily armed Americans, so they’ll use SWAT teams. This suggests a typical team size of 12, for 58,205 teams (sure, we’ll also pretend every cop is put on this, ignoring all real crime).

Each team will have to conduct 103 raids. Figure 8 hours for the standoff (remember, you’re going after cantankerous curmudgeons already proven to be uncooperative), and another shift to do the paperwork: 16 hours per raid. 16 x 6,000,000 = 96,000,000 man hours. Better give the guys time to sleep, another 8 hours. So each team runs a one raid per day

Assuming 58,205 teams (-giggle-), the snatch and grab is going to run well over three months. With 8 hours of overtime per day per 698,460 officers. This not only going to take a while, it going to be expensive.

And that doesn’t even factor in attrition, funeral costs, and death benefits. In reality the Pennington Patrols are kicking in doors of heavily armed, noncompliant SOBs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an average of one officer lost per raid. Which means Pennington runs out of suckers before the HANSOBS run out of people and guns.

Fewer door-kickers, fewer teams, more raids per team… Suddenly this is taking longer than projected. Oh, well. At least there’ll be fewer officer drawing expensive overtime. Those pensions and death benefits though…

Maybe Pennington can bring in the military, too. Activate the Reserves alongside the active duty folks, add them to the cops…

And they’re still outnumbered by HANSOBs by more than 2 to 1.

I wonder how many of those LEOs and mil-folk are multiple gun owners. And how compliant they are.

That’s a best case scenario for the Pennington Proposal. What if there are 100 million gun gun owners, and they have a compliance rate closer to historical rates of 10%?

Now the 2,791,360 police and military are outnumbered by 90 million pissed off, noncompliant heroes. They’ll be outnumbered 32 to 1.

Sure, a lot of hold-outs will fold when the cops show up. But a lot won’t. The average won’t be pretty, or conducive to long-term police survival. Blue flu, Pennington; try to keep up.

If even one-half of one percent of the noncompliant shoot back, that’s 30,000 to 450,000 shooters (depending on the scenarios above).

Please recall that Pennington’s little trip down Tyranny Lane started with — as of latest claims — a single shooter killing 58 and wounding hundreds — in approximately ten minutes.

So tell us: How will you achieve your two-gun goal?

Who will bell the cat?

Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!


21 thoughts on “Belling the cat”

    1. I wouldn’t even try to guess how high noncompliance would go. There’s no data; the seriously noncompliant aren’t going to tip their hands by answering a poll. But yeah, I think it’s bound be more than that. I wanted Pennington to see just how catastrophic even a “best case scenario” would be (and yes, I informed him of this column; no reply).

  1. OK, I’ll bite: what’s a HANSOB? Google search comes up empty. Wish the author would take the trouble to expand his acronyms when they’re first presented, unless he’s deliberately trying to send a message, “If you don’t know what this means, you’re not part of the in-club and shouldn’t be here.”

    1. It’s shorthand for how he described the gun owners in the previous sentence.

      ‘Heavily Armed, Noncompliant Son’s Of Bitches’

  2. You forgot a few details:

    1) At least 10 more police will be needed to close of the streets around the targeted property. Additional non-sworn staff may be needed to conduct surveillance prior to the raid.

    2) The smart HANSOBs will band together. Sympathizers will assist as lookouts, infiltrators, etc. Leaks will happen and ambushes will be set. HANSOBs may lay in wait or leave the target home empty and strike as the police setup.

    3) HANSOBs will take it to the government. Maybe Sally the Social Security Administration office secretary gets grabbed, killed and the body put on display. Perhaps an anti-gun rights state legislator gets shot at while dropping the kids off at school. Maybe a cell kills some kids of prominent Democrat or RINO donors. Maybe a sympathetic “hooker” knifes a “john”. This is the sort of thing that happens in dirty wars.

    I hope none of this comes to pass. But there are people in this country making plans, gathering intelligence and generally preparing.

    1. I hate to say this, because America has led a charmed life so far, but just because it hasn’t happened here –yet– doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen here, and every year my faith that it won’t happen here is eroded because of the provocative nature of the Leftists.

  3. Remember, too, that a paramilitary unit is combat ineffective at 20% losses. That means you can cut your “time to grab” down by 1/5, because once they have lost 20% of the cops, the other 80% are going to be deserting.

  4. The Left must be using some seriously strong hallucinogenic drugs to believe their fairy tales that they can disarm Americans.

    People who are not as nice as me and even more patriotic will punish anyone who tries to generally outlaw firearm ownership or confiscate.

  5. Doug is like many on the left. To him WHEN we shoot back is justification of the creation of a far left totalitarian police state. The entire bill of rights and the constitution overridden. You have no freedom, all rights are null, you no longer own property and you don’t even have the right to live. You are property of the state and so are your children. The mass killing of us as the well of many in law enforcement and the military is aFEATURE not a bug. They WANT us to kill each other in large numbers as we (law abiding gun owners, police and military) are natural allies to the left and there agenda. Having us all kill each other to get us out of the way is a major roadblock out of the way where they can bring in as I said a far left, totalitarian police state where the North Koreans have more freedom than us and the government is treated as above god himself.

    I have posted this many times before but the left hates us. They hate our country and all it stands for. They hate conservatives, they hate law abiding gun owners, they hate the police, they hate the military. They hate that we have freedom of any sort and they hate that they are alive. They hate everyone any anyone not exactly like them and they feel they have the authority to KILL EVERYONE not like them. I have no illusion that if they got in total power they would literally nuclear holocaust us all. Because to the far left the extermination of at minimum 100 MILLION gun owners if not 200 to 250 United States Citizens on United States soil using nuclear, chemical and bio weapons is a justified acceptable action to bring about there utopia. In fact if hilary won I would’ve been expecting that. After all a lot of us don’t live on the coasts and almost none share the same progressive liberal freedom hating ideology; therefore we are all unworthy of life. We to them are not human. We are pests that must be exterminated like rats or roaches. And they think the same of law enforcement and any in the military not in lockstep to them.

    1. “Doug is like many on the left. To him WHEN we shoot back is justification of the creation of a far left totalitarian police state.”

      That may be giving Pennington too much credit. I suspect the possibility of people shooting back never crossed his mind. Seriously: He proposes having everyone turn in extra arms and doesn’t consider that folks might want to keep their property?

  6. Seem to recall that back when dinosaurs ruled, and American history was actually taught in schools, we learned about some government or other that sent some enforcers to a couple of Massachusetts towns to try and take some HANSOBs’ weapons from them by force. As I recall, that didn’t work out so well for the gov’ment folks.

  7. There’s a great joke I saw.

    “The government asks me how many guns I have. I said ‘four’. The government then makes me turn in my guns. How many guns do I have left?”

    “15. I lied about the four part.”


    I take NEVER AGAIN! very seriously… I will NOT be disarmed.

    1. It’s better to not lie. When they ask how many guns do you have, misdirect with, yes I have “A” gun. Then if they take or you decide to give it to them you will have 18 remaining.

  8. This also assumes everyone is at home. It’s entirely possible that while the local SWAT team is Bob’s place.
    Bob is at one of their houses burning it to the ground.

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