Are Guns Really the Problem?

The White House is launching a new assault to bring down the crime rate.

As you’ve likely heard crime, especially homicides, has exploded in many major hotspot cities over the last year or so. President Biden says he knows what to do, he’s been at this for years and he’s got a plan ready to launch that includes several definitive steps.

“The first of those that work is stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violent crimes,” Biden told a group of reporters as he was about to go into a closed-door meeting with visiting police chiefs and city officials. “It includes cracking down and holding rogue gun dealers accountable for violating federal law.”

The new plan includes five new federal strike forces, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE), which will embed with local police departments in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.. Their mission is to disrupt gun trafficking coming into those major cities.

President Joe Biden - wikimedia commons
Mr. President: How About a New Approach?

The President says he wants to “supercharge” the crime fighting effort so he’s also urging communities to invest some of their portion of the $350 billion Covid-19 relief fund in policing and to establish more support programs such as summer jobs for young people.

I wonder if during that closed-door White House meeting anyone broached the subject of the criminals holding those illegal guns the president wants rounded up.

The cold hard fact is this: There are some 470 million guns in civilian hands in the United States right now with new ones – including untraceable, homemade ghost guns – being manufactured every day. Legal, registered gun sales are at record highs.

Royalty free photo from PXFuel
Criminals Can Always Get a Gun

If by some stretch of the imagination we could magically do away with all the guns belonging to criminals what do you think might happen? Do you believe hardcore lawbreakers would simply shrug, walk away from their criminal life and go get a 9-To-5 job? No. They would find other weapons to inflict their terror on innocent citizens. Knives, Molotov cocktails, scissors, an axe perhaps. Criminals aren’t just violent they are deviously creative.

I read a quote recently from a police officer in the Bronx where gangs are currently involved in a spate of revenge killings, which said, “Everybody is walking around with a gun because they are more afraid of getting shot than getting arrested.”

Wow. What does that say about the in-vogue idea that police should refrain from ever stopping, questioning and maybe frisking a suspected criminal? Removing that tactic from officers is obviously self-defeating if we really want to stem the murder rate.

It’s the gang members who fuel much of this nation’s violent crime problem. It seems a smart endeavor for the feds and local law enforcement to supercharge an all-out assault on them, instead of the nearly futile attempt to stop the flow of millions and millions and millions of guns.

Royalty free photo from PXFuel
There Are Way Fewer Criminals Than Guns to Keep Track Of

Please don’t make me fall back on that old saying, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” But it does apply. It’s not the number of available guns that matters its who holds them. Countless firearms are in the hands of responsible, law abiding, constitutionally protected Americans. They remain safely locked up, away from the criminal element.

Back in April, in a forerunner to the new White House plan, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against a Gary, Indiana gun shop it believes responsible for the flow of hundreds, maybe thousands of guns into the Windy City. The suit revealed that for years Westforth Sports has been repeatedly cited by the feds (the same ATFE crew now comprising the president’s five strike forces) for illegally selling guns to convicted felons and others. And the feds couldn’t shut down that gun shop? Let’s hope the new 5-city strike force effort will be more efficient.

I keep coming back to the idea that concentrating on rounding up the worst of the worst gangbangers would be much more efficient. By anybody’s count there are far fewer violent gang members operating in this country than there are guns. Would this get rid of all gun crime? No, but it would make a heck of a dent in it.

Chicago Mayor Sues Gun Shop

Take care of the demand problem and the supply side will surely slow.



  1. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 10:40 am

    nick angel writes:

    Hip Hip Hooray! Gosh it is good to read a point of view which probably reflects a majority of thinking Americans’ beliefs. Funny how common sense has come to be ridiculed by masses of diploma bearing people from so many state and private schools and colleges. I read your piece in the Santa Barbara Noozhawk paper online. I look forward to more from you. Thank you.

    N. Angel. Buellton, Ca.

  2. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Ms Dimond,

    Thank you so very much for your thoughtful (non-emotional) article.
    I don’t know what your political leanings are, but I am a democrat (yes, little lesser as I am not in emersion but more middle of the road), but cannot stand either extreme of either party. Your comments about gun control were right on. I have watched our badly flawed system of crime control and unfortunately have not been able to formulate a reasonable solution that doesn’t involve the methods used for so long in the past. I am very aware of the number of weapons in the realm of those less savory or immoral of our society. I am aware that many of those weapons were gotten thru legal channels, less than legal channels, illegal channels (like burglary, theft and other means) to acquire them and would not give them up without a fight.
    Many years ago, I became aware of the system and how minor criminals learn to become major criminals while in prisons. I notice that people in general were worried (as occasionally happened) that rarely a person would be wrongly convicted of a terrible crime and end up on death row. Perhaps a system could be used where a persons history can be used and if they have committed (convicted) more than a certain number of crimes, possibly rated by value, then they are certainly not rehab able.
    The crime rates started going up when the death penalty was eliminated in states, then there was a huge push not to hurt the criminals feelings and I started seeing (sorry, might express a little emotion, here) all these little snots in front of a judge getting released and dancing out of court with the proverbial s*** eating grin on their faces knowing that they were impervious to the law. Now, all sorts of crimes are going up, because there is no real consequence.
    Meanwhile, in the country, each party seems intent on enacting controls on the law-abiding populace in the traditional ways: by controlling communication (NSA), travel, weapons, education and other things that result in a passive population and defenseless one. If you have studied end of cultural supremacies, you know that when one is on the downslide, the ruling class tries to make its non-elite members more dependent. This only results in those who don’t care about the law license to do what they want.
    One solution, not all, is to make constitutional carry of firearms legal only after demonstrating to the seller that they know how to use and clean the weapon and to create a strong castle law allowing shooting of home invaders and no recourse by the family members who start crawling out from under their rocks.

    On an aside, I also believe that a woman is smart and competent enough to decide what to do with her own body despite religions being involved in government to control women until someone says to start charging them taxes if they want to be in government. Then the screams of separation of church and state fill the air.

    Thanks again, for your attention. Respectfully,

    Brad Jones
    Santa Fe, NM.

  3. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Robert Sedberry writes:


    Thank you for your article on this issue!

    I couldn’t agree with you more!! The criminals with the guns are the true problem!

    As a law abiding gun owner who used to teach gun safety classes and recently got my concealed carry (which is all about gun safety) I hate it when people (like the White House ) blame ‘Guns’ for all the crime!

    Things have gotten bad here in ABQ too!

    Again, thanks for your article! I hope some liberals read it!!!

    -Bob Sedberry

  4. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Jd Garcia writes:

    About time someone has the courage to call out the gangs who are doing the killing. And yes, the ones pulling the trigger are responsible for this killing madness.

    Great job.

  5. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Proud Deplorable Texan Chump writes:

    Of course guns aren’t the problem – if guns were the problem, cities in TX and other pro-2A states wouldn’t have the lowest rates of gun crime.

    For example, in Dallas-Fort Worth, there are numerous gun stores actually within the city limits which will sell you a hand gun, an AR, or any weapon you want, with all the ammo you can afford, right then and there, no waiting period and no mag capacity limits or other silliness. All you need is a TX drivers license. Heck, there’s even companies that will finance your purchase right at checkout.

    And with all that instant availability of firearms, TX has extremely low rates of gun violence, and of course we also have far less home invasions, too.

    Gangs, horrible schools, drug cartels, crime cartels, lack of jobs for unskilled people that have been failed by the horrible schools, families destroyed by the welfare society – those are the causes of violent crime. Not guns.

    (Side note: the UK is virtually a gun-free country, and knife-free also – many common kitchen knives are illegal there – but they have the highest rates of home invasions on the planet.)

  6. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 10:46 am

    kvn sutton writes:

    Inanimate objects are incapable of being a cause.
    The person behind it and using it is the cause that results in the effect.
    If the person has evil intent, they will use whatever tool they have to cause the evil effect. If it weren’t a gun it would be a knife, if not a knife, a stone, etc.
    To illustrate to the ridiculous, if a ton of marsh mellows are pushed off a building someone is going to get hurt. So do you outlaw marsh mellows? To change the effect, change the person.
    Creating an coercive society through a coercive government is not the answer

  7. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 10:47 am

    JSP Wagner

    No. Period.
    Humans kill humans. They use any means possible to do so.
    A gun is a tool. Just like a hammer or a knife or a shovel.
    By the way, each of those can and have been used to kill people.
    Restrictions on anything gun related are only going to hurt law abiding citizens and make it easier for criminals to commit crimes. Why? Criminals don’t abide by laws.
    All gun bills out there are there for one reason only…to hurt conservatives. 2A has become a political tool against us used by the Leftists. This is why I am a member of the NRA. They are still the only organization fighting to preserve 2A rights, regardless of who they back as president.
    The second amendment is there for a reason. To ensure that we don’t lose our rights. Which is why they put it second. Our founding fathers were very forward thinking when they wrote our founding documents.
    Are guns the problem? No. Lack of punishment in gun crimes and holding criminals accountable for their crimes would be the problem.

  8. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Patriot1st writes:

    criminals will always get guns no matter how many laws you make.

  9. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Roxyann Medford writes:

    Well, I hate to tell you folks but when you turn violent criminals loose, refuse to punish violent criminals, decriminalize crime, legalize & promote drugs, the crime rate is going to go up. Is that too hard to understand?

  10. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Timothy Hopkins writes:

    Evil does not exist within a gun. It exists within the heart and mind of the person pulling the trigger for evil purposes.

  11. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Steve Liddick writes:

    Criminals will get guns and a law that says they can’t have one means nothing to them. That’s why they’re called criminals. A mandatory sentence for anyone with a criminal record, similar to New York City, might have some effect. NYC imposes a jail sentence on anyone with a firearm who is not licensed to carry.

    • Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      Diane replies:

      Actually, several states impose an extra sentence (usually 5 years) on anyone who uses a gun in the commission of a crime. I like that as a deterrence.

  12. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Arthur Kramer writes:

    Every gun owner I know is responsible and has no problem registering their weapons. I like the concentration you suggest on the worst users of guns to commit violence and cracking down on dealers who fuel the illegal sales market.

  13. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Baxter Porter VI writes:

    I don’t know of any “career criminals” who’s final act was a mass shooting of a school, movie theater, church, shopping center, etc.
    So this in my opinion is a false equivalence.
    And also, why does it have to be one or three other? Why not both?

    • Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:43 pm

      Diane replies to Baxter:

      Both would be great…but that’s not the current plan, Baxter. All new fed $$/efforts are going toward flow of illegal guns. BTW, mass shootings are rare compared to the everyday “regular” shootings that occur in the U.S. in cities like Chicago, New York, DC, Baltimore, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Dallas – and they are usually not carried out by career criminals but profoundly disturbed individuals. The suggestion in my column was to concentrate on those career criminals who perpetrate so much of the violent crime these days. I maintain that would put a huge dent in the problem.

  14. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Jeff Gold writes:

    Availability of guns is a serious problem.

    • Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      Joyce Jacques-Singular replies to Jeff:

      Jeff Gold especially the high-powered automatic or semi-automatic, meant for war. Have no problem with people owing handguns for home protection but having seen the carnage in the courtroom of the Aurora theater shooter and the autopsy photos of the victims, particularly the 6 year old, I was deeply impacted. It’s a good thing his gun jammed.

  15. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Cliff Darnell writes:

    Ridiculous , we have a Parenting problem .
    Not a gun problem.
    We have a lack of respect for life problem.
    Not a gun problem .
    Look at the ” New World Order’s ” petri dish in South Africa , see which neighborhoods survived without looting.
    Did stop and frisk work yes obviously….

  16. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Guy Turk writes:

    Project Exile worked. Love him or hate him Guliani’s strategy worked.
    Yet neither of these will be used.
    The problem isn’t rogue gun dealers. It’s rogue prosecutors who have gone “progressive” with the bail system.
    And than there is good old fashion parenting. The government can’t replace that.

  17. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Bob Burtis writes:

    Let’s keep in mind why the 2nd Amendment was written. If you do not think this could happen in the USA you have a poor background in history. We have a crime problem with a joke of a judicial system.

    My brother in law who was anti gun presented me with information on how much more likely there was to a gun accident in the home of a gun owner.
    BTW he is an avid Harley Davidson Rider.
    I asked how much more likely a motor cycle owner was to get in a motor cycle accident than a non motor cycle owner.
    My guess is there are not 400,000,000 plus motorcycles in the USA. I am also guessing that there are more people killed and maimed on motorcycles every year than guns.
    BTW Florida is the best place to be if you need an organ transplant. The no helmet law substantially increases the supply of healthy organs for transplant.
    We have a crime problem not a gun problem. Listen to the retired police chief from Detroit. Listen to the Lt. Governor of South Carolina.

  18. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Sharon Rager writes:

    The seemingly impossible task of controlling illegal drugs and the HUGE CRIME associated…… NOT to defund police but to modernize their training, methods, and weapons — not only for OUR protection but for theirs!!! Any reduction of guns will occur ONLY if fear for safety is reduced. The POOR liberals….. stimulate the increase of gun ownership by attacking police and blaming them for whatever they can.

    • Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:51 pm

      Steve Robel replies to Sharon:

      Sharon Rager very well put!!

  19. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Sam Chapman writes:

    Criminals, of course. Your own math tells you that law abiding citizens are the gun owners.

  20. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    How on earth writes:

    Wait a minute joe, you should remove Chicago from your list. Lightfoot has everything under control, crime is down in Chicago, just ask her. Oh,…no, that wont work. She won’t call on you, you are white.

  21. Diane Dimond on July 19, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Hari Seldon writes:

    Take a pistol, a tire iron, a baseball bat, and a knife – and place them on your kitchen table. Give them permission to run amok and go kill. Then sit back and watch. Gee, nothing happens.

  22. Diane Dimond on July 20, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Steve McPartlin writes:

    I agree guns aren’t the problem!
    The lack of effort and legislation to make sure that the wrong people don’t have easy access to them is the problem.

  23. Diane Dimond on July 20, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Anthony Flacco writes:

    Guns are DEFINITELY the problem when you want to take over society without the public being able to fight back. But first you have to mock the People for even thinking they can. Tell them they would need F-15s and nukes. Get them good and scared before you send the gun-grabbers around.

  24. Diane Dimond on July 20, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Joe Bob Nunez writes:

    It’s a proven fact that if you shoot a criminal they won’t commit more crimes

  25. Diane Dimond on July 20, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Charles King writes:

    I really don’t think in terms of one or the other. Allowing military grade weaponry into our society has only contributed to our tribal fractionalizing. I’d like to educate the white supremist gun fetishist AND take down the gang culture, which can only be done with alternatives offering hope.

  26. Diane Dimond on July 20, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    James M writes:

    People without a conscience, no moral compass, raised on the streets … That’s the problem.

  27. Diane Dimond on July 20, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Sonar writes:

    How long has the war on drugs existed? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent and it has just gotten worse.
    The government can’t control drugs or people coming across the border.
    Does anyone believe they could control the resulting influx of foreign guns or the existing hundreds of millions of guns that would go on the black market?

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