What — signs demanding an end to something don’t stop people from doing it anyway? Who’da thunk it? Sean Davis argues that the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah “accidentally destroyed the case for gun control” last night.
If so, you can be very sure that it was accidental. After rightfully poking fun at a local Minnesota businessman for posting a “Muslims Get Out” sign, Noah expands on the silly nature of futile gestures … like posting signs aimed at everyone over an issue that relates to a select few:
You know what’s also strange is this man genuinely thought people who go around blowing people up would be stopped by a sign? You realize you’re talking to terrorists, not vampires. They don’t need to be invited in, all right? Or maybe he’s onto something, because if you think about it, we’ve never tried that. We’ve never actually tried to repel terrorists with signs. Yeah, maybe that’s all the airports need is a sign that says “No Terrorists,” yes? Yeah, and then guys are going to be walking going, “Oh, I was going to blow up the airport, but the rules are rules and they said I can’t come in. They said I can’t. They said I can’t come in.”
Is it true that we’ve never tried to repel terrorists by using signs? Actually, no — we do it all the time, to prevent terrorism and other crimes. And as Davis argues at The Federalist, it’s just as ineffective as Noah admits:
Contrary to Trevor Noah’s snarky assertion that “we’ve never tried to repel terrorists with signs,” our country has fecklessly tried for years to “repel terrorists with signs.”
The Sandy Hook massacre? Gun-free zone. Columbine? Gun-free zone. The Aurora movie theater shooting? Gun-free zone. The shooting last year at an Oregon community college? Gun-free zone. The shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette? Gun-free zone. The attack on a military recruiting center in Chattanooga? Gun-free zone. The Ft. Hood shooting? You guessed it: gun-free zone. The San Bernardino attack?Gun-free zone. And the massacre perpetrated by an ISIS enthusiast at an Orlando night club? Gun-free zone.
While Noah clearly doesn’t grasp the logical implications of his argument, his particular insight — that evil people who want to do evil things will find ways to carry out their schemes regardless of what signs you post or laws you pass — forms the foundation of the entire argument against gun control.
Bad people who want to murder you don’t care about your stupid signs and stupid laws.
Gun free zones are nothing more than misguided and nonsensical virtue signaling, the same as the ubiquitous “drug-free zone” signs in residential neighborhoods. Are they really drug-free? Who knows? Is there some sort of verification in place to keep drugs from entering that specific neighborhood — border checks, body-cavity searches, drug-sniffing dogs? Er … no, and we wouldn’t want that, either. It’s nothing more than a futile gesture, one that no one takes seriously, a civic absurdity that tries to dress up communities with shabby lies on every street corner rather than deal with the actual issue.
Gun-free zone signs are much worse. They intimidate law-abiding people from adopting proper self-defense while having absolutely no deterrent on those with malicious intent. If anything, it signals to those who want to kill indiscriminately that they may have a much easier time in committing heinous acts, thanks to a disparity in effective force.
And as Davis also argues, this doesn’t just apply specifically to “gun-free zone” signs, but to gun control in general. We do have laws against murder, terrorism, and so on, just as many cities and states have passed strict gun-control regimes — Chicago and Washington DC come to mind. Do criminals obey those laws just because they got passed? Do they obey gun control laws while plotting murder and terrorism? Of course not. Gun control limits the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves against the very people who are aiming to kill and/or terrorize them.
Will Trevor Noah apply his apt lesson on “No Terrorist” signs to gun control? Don’t bet on it, but at least he gave his audience the opportunity to let the progressive scales fall from their eyes. The most amusing part of Noah’s “comedy” bit here is that neither he nor any of his writers apparently thought this argument through … at all.