This week, Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline announced that he introduced a bill to Congress that would effectively ban semi-automatic weapons.

Over 150 Democrats have signed on to support the legislation according to a Tweet from Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida.

In the fine print of the legislation, 205 weapons are specifically named for the ban, including the AK-47 and AR-15.

If passed, the bill would prohibit, “the sale, transfer, production, and importation” of the following:

-Semi-automatic rifles and pistols with a military-style feature that can accept a detachable magazine; 

-Semi-automatic rifles with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds;

-Semi-automatic shotguns with a military-style feature;

-Any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds;

-And 205 specifically-named and listed firearms.

This bill would outright ban some of the most popular guns in the world, and seems to be gathering support from most people who are in favor of gun control. Although it is odd, these are the same people who have said that they “aren’t coming for your guns,” but they obviously are when legislation like this is being introduced.

When people make comments like “we aren’t coming for your guns, we just want common sense gun regulation,” what they mean is that they want to ban everything except for handguns, shotguns and rudimentary hunting rifles. They also think that since they are not yet calling for direct confiscation, that taking the guns off the market is some sort of compromise. There are many problems with this type of thinking, the first being that it overlooks the importance of an armed populace is preventing the rise of tyrannical governments.

History has shown us in many different cases that as the disparity in arms between a government and society grows, the more authoritarian that regime becomes. Take your pick of any dictatorship throughout history and you will find that disarming a population is one of the steps that are essential when establishing a tyrannical control system. From Nazi Germany to the Communist empires of China and Russia, and even on the fiefdoms of the Middle Ages, authoritarian rulers made it a priority to ensure that they had their citizens out armed.

The idea wasn’t necessarily to keep the peasants from revolting, although that is a factor that eventually comes to into play as a dictatorship takes its inevitable turn down the path of self-destruction. The main effect that this disparity in force causes is a psychological one; it establishes the general idea that an individual is powerless in comparison to the State and its agents, thus creating an atmosphere where people thoughtlessly submit to authority out of their natural and sometimes unconscious desire for self-preservation.

Gun control is one of the many cases where the consequences of the law are much worse than the problem that the law is seeking to solve. Even with gun prohibition, criminals will still be able to get any kind of gun that they want, crazy people will still be driven to commit horrible acts of violence when they feel that they nothing to lose, and when they have no emotional bond with society as a whole. These terrible things will continue to happen so long as our culture worships violence and structures our whole civilization around the threats of force. Gun control can’t solve these problems, but an evolution of consciousness can.


Image: sirtravelalot/Shutterstock.