Best thing written lately about gun control

The Seen and the Unseen in Gun Control

Incorporates the wisdom of 19th Century French economist Frederic Bastiat.  He wrote that you cannot understand the true consequences of a policy by looking only at its immediate effects.  There will be other consequences that require special insight or they will remain unseen until they materialize.  Then it’s too late to avoid them.  Most people have heard of “unintended consequences.”  That’s a term used to excuse the failure of policy makers for not thinking through their rush to judgment in passing new legislation.  As Thomas Sowell famously says, the question, “Then what will happen?” is usually ignored by politicians and bureaucrats intent on “doing something” to justify their existence.

As the author of this piece notes, Henry Hazlitt was the 20th Century intellectual descendant of Bastiat.  His widely read book, Economics in One Lesson, offers the general reader an easy to swallow entrée into economic theory and reality.  Hazlitt identified the “persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be, not only on that special group, but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.”

Of course.  The secondary consequences may not occur until much later, or even if the occur quickly, they may not be understood to have been a result of the new policy until long after it is implemented.  By then its authors have obtained all they wanted from it and have either left office or moved on to something else.

The Seen and the Unseen in Gun Control is highly recommended.  Read it all.

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