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Invest in Revolvers

Summer's End. Lexington Green, 11 September 20...

Summer’s End. Lexington Green, 11 September 2002. Photo taken in Minute Man National Historical Park. Sculpture : “Minuteman” by sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson (1863-1947), dedicated April 19, 1900. Erected 1899 : SIRIS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The late Professor Joself Altholz, one of the best professors I ever had, once mentioned in a lecture that “an idea, once adopted by a major political party, will inevitably become law.” To put his statement in context, he was a British historian talking in terms of decades or even centuries, and not in terms of American biennial election cycles. But the lesson still resonates; it doesn’t matter if it takes six months or forty years, there will be a comprehensive federal gun ban on most rifles and semi-automatic handguns. It just won’t look like an outright ban.

The current strategy among gun control advocates is obvious: they’re not going for any ban on guns or gun sales, they are being selective about their targets. By regulating the size of a magazine down to seven rounds, they can effectively ban semi-automatic handguns that use magazines (along with civilian tactical rifles) without actually banning any particular style of weapon. And, they can claim adherence to the second amendment while they’re doing so.

There will likely be some form of gun buyback program to go along with it, so there won’t be any illegal confiscation of property (which would be a violation of the Constitution, assuming the Constitution means anything by the time all this happens); I doubt there will be a grandfather clause, if that’s what you were banking on to protect your current armory. The good news is there is not going to be an outright gun ban, at least I don’t believe there will be, because it will have a dramatic electoral cost. Many people own guns, gun ownership crosses party lines, and these numbers have been relatively stable for several decades. And based on current gun sales, gun ownership will have a lot of electoral inertia going into the future. But, eventually the trends will shift, with fewer and fewer households having guns, until the coalition of gun owners will be powerless against the majority. At that point, only the Supreme Court will stand between the people and the regulators.

Anyone who was studied the history of the Supreme Court knows the Court reverses itself all the time, often based more on the vicissitudes of current political trends than on the Constitution itself, so there’s no guarantee the recent Heller and McDonald cases will remain the primary interpretation of the second amendment. I would say it is likely the Supreme Court will always say some form of gun ownership is legal, but there’s no way to know for sure. I believe the worst-case scenario for second amendment advocates will be a Supreme Court decision allowing only firearms with collector value, made before a certain date, and muzzleloaders. But who can be sure?

So, projecting all these trends into the future, my conclusion is that people should start transitioning to revolvers. If there’s a significant probability that I’ll have to surrender large capacity magazines and tactical rifles, and that purchasing guns will get more expensive and more difficult in the future (in fact, I believe heavy taxes on new firearms will be another way to regulate the sale of firearms without actually regulating the sale of firearms), the logical response is to purchase those firearms that are least-likely to be subject to future regulation. Revolvers, shotguns and bolt-action hunting rifles are the firearms to buy if you’re thinking about the longterm viability of your personal gun collection. And you’re better off making the transition now, like it or not.

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