Maybe Gun Violence Doesn’t Have A Legislative Solution


Today Rep. Kevin Cramer held a forum on gun issues in Fargo. It included a panel discussion, and audience participation, and I’m sure all the usual arguments both for and against gun control were heard.

But at the end of this Fargo Forum article about the event, Cramer said something I found to be fairly profound:

Cramer said the larger issues behind this type of violence may not be something to be addressed by politicians and the president, but instead through the church, the family, the school and other parts of society.

“By and large, I think what I heard today was that the solutions are less legislative and probably more cultural,” he said.

The primary argument in favor of gun control from our friends on the left seems to be that because guns exist in our society they inspire crime and violence. I don’t think that’s a sound premise. I think that our society is prone, to a degree, to crime and violence and guns merely facilitate that.

You could argue that removing guns from the equation might make people less efficient at committing crimes, and committing acts of violence, but you’re talking about a marginal gain for policy that is both hugely expensive to enforce and intrusive into individual liberties.

What we should be addressing is why we commit crimes and violence, and to what degree can that be addressed through public policy?

I’m not sure that lawmaking can implement much in the way of social change, which is a statement that runs contrary to what a lot of you believe, but I think it’s true. I think we have far more faith in the ability of public policy to change the way people behave than we should, and we need look no further than the prohibition of alcohol, drug prohibition, etc., etc. to see how true that is.

The solution for crime and violence in America may be, as frustrating and simplistic as it seems, for Americans to choose to be less violent and prone to crime.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Yogibare

    Not everything is explainable, and not every problem has a solution.
    Perhaps, too, government is not the answer to most of the problems of society.

  • borborygmi

    It doesn’t it is a social, behvioral, culture issue and we will have to live with it. Part of the solution as proposed by the NRA is mental evaluations. To make this happen everyone would have to have a baseline brain scan and mental evaluation. Gun owners several once before and then follow up after. I can’t imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Look at the out cry for just registration. Now you want the gov’t to have your brain scanned also.

    Armed guards in the schools payed by a tax on ammo much the same as you pay for the roads with a gas tax. You want to use , pay up.

    • creapy

      No, the mental health issue doesn’t exist. Please get a grip. Less than 4% of violent crime is cause by those suffering from mental illness. I was there today and it was a fairly decent discussion. The mental health issue, if any at all is caused by reactions/side-effects from the prescription drugs these people are taking. Mental health is simply a ploy for the weak-minded to push for more intrusive government. Just ask the former police chief of Frazee, MN and former Iraq vet about the completely bogus mental health issue and how it can be devastating to the 2nd amendment.

      • borborygmi

        post traumatic stress doesn’t exist, Gen. Patton

        • borborygmi

          Does it matter what the cause is. You are assuming off whatever medication they would be better and should own a gun? At odds with the NRA? If only 4% of violent crime is caused by mental illness, ie lack of knowing what they are doing , 96% is caused by sane individuals. I think that is scarier.

          • awfulorv

            I’ll tell you what I think is scary Mr. Boob. That would be To have some concentration camp guard grab a child, perhaps the same age as my four month old grandson, by the feet, and swing him so that his head was impaled on a huge spike that had been driven into a tree. This is what the Pol Pot believers did to children to save bullets, often while the mothers watched. Of course that could never happen in this country could it, Mr. Boob? Of course not…

          • borborygmi

            I am glad you could answer your own hysterical hyperbole, ” Of course that could never happen in this country could it, Mr. Boob? Of course not” You are so right. Could you clarify your rational and methodology, you logic, on how you got from NRA’s request for more mental health checks or the over prescribing of drugs or the existence of post traumatic stress to Pol Pot.

            ON A SIDE NOTE: Killing kids unfortunately just happens in wars, We killed them by dropping an atomic weapon on their home, God killed them because their parents ticked him off, Soviets killed, Romans Killed, Commies Killed US gov’t killed, Native Americans Killed, Again we killed native americans (that would be Indians or INjuns for those not into PC), Black kids get blown up in school, kids get killed by kids in the inner city,,Kids get killed ….what was your point….ABORTION KILLS, Slave kids got killed , kids without the proper medical treatment die. Plenty of blood on plenty of hands. Even Abraham was willing to kill ….you know to show his obedience. You are right most violence is done by sane people, I stand corrected

          • awfulorv

            The point is, and it’s easy enough for a jerk like you to understand. If I keep my guns well oiled, and armed, you collectivist know it all’s will have a much more difficult time killing me, or mine. Sorry about that. And if it were I deciding whether 100.000 Japanese were to die, or 1.000.000 U.S. troops might die, invading their Island, I think you know who I’d side with. And I think you know who started that war too, don’t you? BTW, I think you could add to your list, the white men, and women, who get killed each day, by black car jackers…

          • borborygmi

            Sure I will include white men and women killed by black, green, red or anyother carjacker. Your well oiled guns would me diddly/squat if the more heavily and sophisticated arms of the Guvment was used against you. In fact you would be the first one eliminated. Bang Oops drone got you.
            NOw what does your statement above have to do with mental health evaluations supported by the NRA.?

            As far as Japanese vs Americans it shows that killing is relative. You condone killing of kids as a trade off to saving American LIves. Just a numbers game for you.

          • $8194357

            Liberals with guns aren’t “sane” so no worries mate.

          • borborygmi

            When a person is buying a firearm, how can you tell if they are Liberal or Conservative? Surely not by background checks which you don’t support.

          • $8194357

            Most liberals don’t want one in the first place, but when they do go insane they use them on innocents instead of for defense.
            Proven track records lately, huh.

  • Jerry

    And while we’re patiently waiting for a more civilized society, I’ll keep my guns and protect my family from the unsavory elements that surround us.

  • The Fighting Czech

    From what I heard on the show, (when I was able to listen anyway) Not a whisper was mentioned about the Big elephant in the room.. One of the main purposes of the second amendment is to protect the citizens from an overbearing,, tyrannical government. as well as protecting ones home. and family.
    I hear this continued attempt to change the 2nd amendment as your right to hunt gophers, or shoot clay pigeons. If we accept that definition, a few more massacres, No one will accept the right to shoot skeet, over the killing of innocent people. and the Second amendment will most certainly be castrated….

  • 11B40


    I’m still serving my deportation to the San Francisco Bay area, living several soviets south of what the locals refer to, for some unknown reason, as “The City”. On this evening’s PBS NewsHour program there was a report about how gun ownership and gun violence is morphing (being morphed) into the latest medical crisis. While the requisite lady doctors emoted their concern and compassion for all the dastardly multigenerational effects of Americans’ obsessions with firearms something occurred to what’s left of my rational mind.

    Just about everything they said about guns applied to homosex.

    I guess that report will be showing up in another day or, perhaps, two.

    • Jerry

      Fascinating, poignant analysis. Seriously.

    • $8194357

      (Several soviets south of the city)..
      2 dang tru 4 skool…
      America “is” set up on the corperate marxist soviet system
      and has been for a very long time.

  • awfulorv

    I have no doubt that, a person, or group, intent on instilling their particular ism on these United States, has spent countless hours, and sleepless nights, pondering what to do about those 600.000 Deer rifles to be found in Wisconsin homes.

    Then there’s the, herculean, task of their disarming the other fifty six states. Though our founders knew nothing of Communism, or other isms for that matter, they had been witness to the actions of despotic Kings and, rightly, surmised that an armed populace was the way to insure freedom .

    And aren’t we, at the moment, being asked, cajoled, even shamed, by the “completely unbiased” media to give up our guns? By golly, it would seem those old timers were right as rain, weren’t they?

  • banjo kid

    Putting God back in the schools would be a monumental start, morals are at an all time low in our country . The down ward spiral started around the time of the supreme court decision, to remove any mention of God in our schools . Those that refuse the idea to teach morals through spiritual means are part of the problem . What we are producing is young adults who have low morals and are more prone to break law instead of make a living for them selves . I know there are those that do not not believe and that is fine , teach your kids at home and leave us alone . By all accounts of history we can see it like a big bill board, the country was founded on a firm belief in God, denying that is like saying your house did not burn down while looking at the ashes which is all that is left of you house laying on the ground .

  • camsaure

    And I am sure that if the Govt were to be giving us all mental exams it would not be politically motivated at all(sarc).

  • Sue

    I sent a letter to the Editor of many papers across ND last night. Legislation and strict laws are not working. We have a Judical body that varies in extreme gamuts from one end of this State to the other. Murder, bonds and considerations have a vast difference in views depending on the Judge. Williston released a man in for murder, attempted murder, terrorizing and his bond was fifty thousand dollars. He was allowed to leave ND and given a whole county in Texas(his home) to roam. A man commits murder in Fargo and is issued a million dollar bond because he is not from around here, no real ties to the area and considered a flight risk. A man commits murder in Westhope, he is issued a half million dollar bond.
    Legislate behavior all you like, Judicial has the final say. All we will manage to do is keep the honest man – honest.

  • Stuart

    Here is the solution! Get back to the basics of traditional values where life is sacred, marriage is sacred, and selfishness is put on the back burner until your children are born . Go back to Church and listen this time, and every time you want to challenge the Bibles teachings,study a good smart Intelligent apologetic . Like C.s. Lewis or others of this caliber. Quit making putty out of the Scriptures and listening to professors or teachers that attempt to destroy your faith. Learn gun safety at all the programs available to the public. And never forget that guns are not toys.

    A little bit of history. Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens stated, that he had but one regret in his life, and that regret was that he destroyed his wife’s faith in Jesus Christ.

    Be not found embracing this worlds ideas..and be that light on a hill we are commanded to be regardless of how popular Satan wants us to be. Jesus requires we be different.