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January 18, 2013

I've often wondered why they call them "controlled substances."

Illegal narcotics are not controlled. They are bought and sold outside the law by outlaws, beyond the reach and control of government.

When drugs are legalized, they are brought and sold inside the law where they can be regulated. Legalized drugs are controlled. Illegal drugs are uncontrolled.

What is true of drugs will soon be true of guns.

They call it gun control. In reality, guns sales are being forced outside the law where they will be sold by outlaws, beyond the reach and control of government.

What they call 'gun control' is actually a loss of control.

In short, the most efficient means of losing control of a product is to criminalize it.

• Prohibition begets proliferation

Consider, for example, the drug trade in Kentucky.

The largest cash crop in Kentucky, they say, is marijuana. That's in spite of the fact that a drive through the countryside reveals acres of tobacco, corn, and horse ranches. There's lots of blue grass to be seen, but the casual traveler never sees 'weed'.

Marijuana production thrives because it is highly profitable. It is highly profitable because laws force it out of the free market and into the black market. While the demand for marijuana has not decreased in Kentucky, the risks required to meet that demand have increased. That causes the profits to soar and encourages it's production by outlaws; outside the law where they cannot be controlled by the government.

Reports one source: "'Trying to eradicate marijuana is like taking a teaspoon and saying you're going to empty the Atlantic Ocean,' says Gary Potter, an Eastern Kentucky University professor of criminal justice who has researched the issue for decades."

• Out of sight is not out of existence

A few years ago I was making a sales call in Kentucky. The business manager told me one of his employees had disappeared. On my next trip I learned the employee had been found. He had been executed. His executioners had reduced his body to ashes. They were adept at covering their tracks.

The employee had violated a law of the underworld: Thou shalt not steal from drug traffickers. There was no written law, no trial, no jury, and no jail time. There was nothing more than a death sentence.

We see, then, there are two governments with two competing sets of laws.

When guns are outlawed by the official government, they will -- by default -- fall under the jurisdiction of the underworld government. Gun control laws do not make guns disappear. They simply transfer control of the gun market to the guys who executed the employee.

As the marijuana market abounds in Kentucky,  the gun trade will thrive in America's inner cities.

It will be called 'gun control,' but it will be out of control. And those of us who play by the rule of law will be at a decided disadvantage.

• Why I favor gun control

I am opposed to what the government calls 'gun control.'

I am in favor of true gun control; legalizing the manufacture and sale of guns, controlled by minimal government regulation.

Again, when a product is outlawed, it is placed outside the law where it cannot be controlled.

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