The Fragility Of Control

I’m a fan of the concept of defense in depth, which is one reason why I hate any solution that is dependent on everybody acting in a particular way. Prohibitions are just such a solution. Gun control advocates like to point to countries such as Japan as proof that control works. Of course gun control relies on everybody in society being unarmed so as soon as one person breaks the prohibition the entire solution falls to pieces. Even though manufacturing firearms is verboten in Japan, at least for the serfs, one Japanese man managed to build numerous firearms in his home:

A 60 year old man in Japan was recently arrested for building homemade guns of his own design. According to him it was his hobby for the last 40 years. He used scrap anvils as a source of hardened steel and crafted his own ammunition using toy caps and casted lead bullets.

In this case the man was merely building firearms as a hobby and no evidence exists that he meant to sell them to nefarious sorts. Although they’re a bit rough overall the firearms actually look pretty well made. More importantly, due to Japan’s strict firearm restrictions, the man was probably one of the more heavily armed individuals in the country. Had he decided to either use or sell his firearms nefarious purposes it would have left the general population at a severe disadvantage.

No solution that depends on everybody in a society to act in a specific way can succeed because there will always people that act outside of those specifications. That’s why I prefer solutions that can be decentralized. Restricting access to firearms only works so long as everybody is unarmed. Allowing individuals to arm themselves reduces the overall advantage a firearm provides to a single individuals. Arming individuals is a better solutions to gun violence than restricting gun ownership precisely because it relies on hardening individuals instead of expecting them to act in a specific manner.