January 11, 2016

"And beyond the constitutional argument, adults younger than age 25 are just as entitled to the tools needed for self-defense as older adults."

"Indeed, 18-to-24-year-old women are especially likely to be targets for rape, but more broadly 18-to-24-year-olds are especially likely to be victims of violent crime. It’s one thing to deny the necessary tools for self-defense to people who have long been recognized and children, who are both especially immature and usually under the protection of their adult parents. But I don’t think that it can be justified to deny the same tools to people who have the responsibilities and life patterns (living alone, working, and the like) of adults. Banning gun possession by 18-to-24-year-olds will do little to protect them from violent crime, precisely because most people willing to commit rape, robbery, murder, and the like will also be willing to violate gun control laws. But it will do much to interfere with young men’s and women’s ability to protect themselves from violent crime."

From Eugene Volokh's response to a WaPo column recommending "raising the minimum age to buy or possess (without adult supervision) a firearm to 25."

63 comments:

tim maguire said...

It's nice of Volokh to give Obama the benefit of the doubt that he is stupid and not just dishonest.

cubanbob said...

If being between 18 and 24 is too young to own a gun, it's too young to be a cop or join the military. And too young to drink and too young to vote. Just raise the age of majority to 25 and be done with the selective adulthood.

Sammy Finkelman said...

"long been recognized" - as what?

Tank said...

@Cubanbob

For estate planning purposes, I often suggest that clients set 25 as the "age of majority." Most agree, some pick a higher number. So maybe you've got something there.

Me, I started to really become responsible when I got married (26) and got there when I had kids (5 years later). Yeah, having kids makes you (or should make you) grow up.

n.n said...

Raise the age for self-defense to 25. Lower the age of premeditated abortion to 15?

This is fuel to progress the pedophile orientation and rape culture promoted by a liberal, secular society.

I suppose immigration is intended to compensate for the loss of life during abortion rites and gender corruption under libertinism.

PB said...

And why do we give the vote to 18 year-old citizens if their brains aren't mature?

California wants to start background checks on buying ammunition (and likely other costly measures that will increase the price), instead of focusing on the real problem of making existing background checks more effective/accurate.

Brando said...

So 20 years olds can have kids and abortions, pay taxes, go to prison, and serve in our military, but they're too young to drink beer or buy a gun. You really need a special kind of brain to think this makes sense.

Ground zero in the gun control debate needs to be "why on earth should I not be able to reasonably defend myself?" We aren't talking about large magazines, background checks, safety classes--just simple law abiding people wanting to legally own and carry even a revolver so they can go to an ATM in the city or walk through a parking lot late at night. The anti-gun nuts want to make it all about AR-15s and gun show loopholes, but at heart it is really this--in almost every urban area and most built up suburban areas, you have to break the law in order to protect yourself even in the most reasonable way. Why is this tolerated???

Brando said...

"California wants to start background checks on buying ammunition (and likely other costly measures that will increase the price), instead of focusing on the real problem of making existing background checks more effective/accurate."

Hey, they want government more powerful, not more competent.

Fen said...

Adam Winkler and Dr. Cara Natterson: We should … consider raising the minimum age to buy or possess (without adult supervision) a firearm to 25. Black people under 25 are responsible for a disproportionate amount of America’s gun violence.

FIFY.

Because that's what you really mean - black males under 25 should not be allowed to own a gun, because they are responsible for a disproportionate amount of America's gun violence.

Sigivald said...

Stop letting them vote and it'll be "fair".

Anyone who wants to keep people disarmed while leaving them with the franchise, letting them join the Armed Forces, and letting them sign contracts, and drink, can go stuff it.

They just want people to be disarmed and guns to be "Othered" (well, for those who aren't in their little already-Othering group, that is - "destroying gun culture" is a goal they sometimes even avow openly ... because it's bad, you know).

traditionalguy said...

When will they ever learn? A Lawless time when the old lawful authorities have given up and left town but no authority has come in to replace it is especially a time for looting and rape. Why not? Those old authorities were mean.

traditionalguy said...

Moderation has left town. Uh oh.

mikeyes said...

Eugene Volokh's response was to an article written by his colleague Adam Winkler based on a faulty proposition that since brains don't mature until age 25, then anyone under 25 does not have the capacity to make good decisions. There are so many things wrong with this idea including the meme about maturity and brain development that the idea makes no sense at any level. The 25 year old maturity date has been debunked for years but still makes the rounds with physicians who don't pay attention. Brains continue to change and grow new cells until dementia takes over or you die. Just not at the same rate as a child.
I'm a little surprised that Adam Winkler would endorse this idea, his book Gunfight is well worth reading and he makes the point that one should avoid making these kind of uninformed statements just to make a point. Perhaps he just needs to sell a few more volumes.
This is not President Obama making a statement, rather it is the usual stuff from the left that won't stand under rational scrutiny (or any other kind.)

lgv said...

The only way to have a significant impact on gun deaths is to remove the 2nd amendment, ban gun ownership, and actual start a confiscation program. I'm not talking about restrictions and checks, but outright door-to-door confiscation. Everything else is theater. "Sensible" gun legislation has little to no impact. I wish it were presented as a clear choice instead of wasting all this talk. If Americans want to end gun deaths, the choice is clear, and the inventory of existing guns must be removed. Is this what the majority of Americans want? The answer is no.

campy said...

"And why do we give the vote to 18 year-old citizens if their brains aren't mature?"

We gave them the vote because their brains aren't mature. It makes them lean democrat.

Joe said...

Enough infantilizing of America. How about reducing all age limits but the right to vote and be drafted to 16? And end high school then too. And requiring parents to take care of them. And insurance. And yes, age of consent for all states.

Nonapod said...

I'd be much more inclined to raise the voting age to 25 than the gun ownership age.

traditionalguy said...

Politicians are always helping us out. The better rule should be gun caliber based on age.

1)up to age 29 the guns have to be 22s
2) after age 30 the guns can be 32s or 38s .
3)after age 40 the guns can be 40mm and 45s.
4) only after age 50 can the guns be 50 Cal. and higher. This is the unlimited class and it includes single shoot RPGs.

walter said...

cubanbob said...
If being between 18 and 24 is too young to own a gun, it's too young to be a cop or join the military. And too young to drink and too young to vote. Just raise the age of majority to 25 and be done with the selective adulthood.
--
This area of selective rights should be used more readily to educate the youngins on the illogic/abuse so common in guvment regulations.
But if this age were to be raised, what logic can justify letting a 16yr old to drive a car?

Real American said...

if you can vote and join the military then you ought to be able to drink alcohol, smoke and own a firearm. You are an adult and should be treated like one. If people wonder why college kids are so immature, it's because we increasingly treat the 18+ crowd like children. Treat them like adults and they'll grow up.

Unknown said...

"People under 25 are responsible for a disproportionate amount of America’s gun violence." Inquiring minds want to know the distribution of the age of the source of America’s gun violence by legal guns. Not just guns.

Peter said...

"Killing of 40-year-old man by teen boy ruled self-defense"

http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/killing-of-40-year-old-man-by-teen-boy-ruled-self-defense-b99649327z1-364847121.html

Dan Hossley said...

Ivg..."The only way to have a significant impact on gun deaths is to remove the 2nd amendment, ban gun ownership, and actual start a confiscation program."

Then why have gun deaths declined by half since 1990?

tim in vermont said...

Then why have gun deaths declined by half since 1990?

You clearly don't know what "significant" means.

Big Mike said...

Adam Winkler and Cara Natterson need to take the analysis one step further. They wrote:

People under 25 are responsible for a disproportionate amount of America’s gun violence. According to data collected by the FBI, nearly 50 percent of all gun homicides are committed by people younger than 25. Most of those perpetrators are 18 to 24….

The second question is how many of the gun homicides committed by people younger than 25 were committed with legally-acquired firearms? Because a law banning possession of firearms by people who acquire their firearms illegally in the first place seems destined to fail.

More troubling is Winker and Natterson's unstated assumption that every place and every situation is just like the coastal urban areas they inhabit. In the American Heartland (aka "flyover country") a man younger than 25 may be the head of household on a farm or ranch that is twenty minutes or more from the nearest good road. If they need to defend themselves, from humans or wild animals alike, there's not much hope in calling for cops.

As for lgv's suggestion upthread, I would expect that door to door gun confiscation, in addition to costing the lives of numerous police officers and innocent family members in the ensuing shootouts, would merely lead to large scale black market gun running the way that alcohol prohibition led to bootlegging and the rise of organized crime in the 1930's. After all, the basics of the gun running trades are already in place in the inner cities and merely have to expand out to the suburbs.

PB said...

If Obama feels so strongly about it, he can disarm his Secret Security detail. What can they really do besides block bullets and shove the President in the bullet-proof limo?

Rob said...

PB wrote, "If Obama feels so strongly about it, he can disarm his Secret Security detail. What can they really do besides block bullets and shove the President in the bullet-proof limo?"

This is actually an inspired idea. Once we recognize that the function of the presidential protective detail is to block bullets and push the President to safety, without the need for being a good shot and nimble, we can open up opportunities for the overweight and slow to join the Secret Service. In fact, wideness should be a plus factor.

Birches said...

My 19 year old cousin just left today for bootcamp. But he shouldn't be able to purchase a gun. Riiiiight.

The Godfather said...

I was 26 when I was in Army Basic Training, and there was one other trainee (another Reservist) just a few months younger than me. All, or almost all, of the rest of the trainees were 18-22. If only people 25 and older could have guns, I think that would pretty well have eviscerated the Army's combat effectiveness.

Birkel said...

I say we invent a time machine and go back to a kinder gentler time. You know, back when warring tribes had to kill each other up close and personal, women were often chattel property and nobody owned icky guns.

Or, we give people the right to defend themselves with deadly force if they reasonably believe their lives are in danger, regardless of age or gender. And we quit pretending the government either can, or is disposed toward, protecting us.

Jane the Actuary said...

If 25 is the new age of adulthood, then we'd better rethink our military. Isn't it a violation of human rights to have child soldiers?

Rusty said...

Ground zero in the gun control debate needs to be "why on earth should I not be able to reasonably defend myself?" We aren't talking about large magazines, background checks, safety classes--just simple law abiding people wanting to legally own and carry even a revolver so they can go to an ATM in the city or walk through a parking lot late at night. The anti-gun nuts want to make it all about AR-15s and gun show loopholes, but at heart it is really this--in almost every urban area and most built up suburban areas, you have to break the law in order to protect yourself even in the most reasonable way. Why is this tolerated???


Ask a democrat or any of the usual suspects.

Bob Ellison said...

An 18-year-old is also old enough to risk his life to save you from a burning house, to burn through his trust fund at the roulette table in Vegas, and to emigrate to a country with a terrorist regime.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

This does not require a great deal of analysis. The leftist agenda works to deny real power to everyone not firmly within their own groupthink boundaries. Power, as Mao Zedong helpfully described it, grows out of the barrel of a gun. So far the left can't take this power away in one swoop, because some of us still have guns. The only thing left to them is to nibble around the edges. Veterans who appoint fiduciaries, Social Security beneficiaries who don't meet the State's defintion of competency, and now 18-to-25-year-olds. They will take what they can get, until there's nothing left. Gun rights advocates who decry the "thin end of the wedge" are not paranoid, merely observant and pragmatic.

Bob Ellison said...

...and to be jailed for statutory rape.

Dude1394 said...

I can see no justification for limiting anyone's rights who can be forced to serve in the military, NONE. So drinking age, guns, abortions, everything should be open for 18 year olds...OR raise the age of those who can be drafted.

Marty Keller said...

Still trying to discern the asterisk that states "over a certain age to be determined by Congress," as in "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people* to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Ah, with all the other asterisks, it's easy to overlook this one.

Unknown said...

"For estate planning purposes, I often suggest that clients set 25 as the "age of majority." Most agree, some pick a higher number. So maybe you've got something there."

I understand the point and have made similar recommendations to clients. But how fast you mature depends in part on the demands made on you. At the age of 22, I graduated from college, got married, and got commissioned in the Marine Corps all within the space of about three weeks. I rose to the occasion, and I don't think that was unusual.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem, as someone above pointed out, with this proposal is that it isn't all people under 25 who cause most of the gun violence and mayhem out there, but rather, a small demographic subset - black males living in lower income communities, and esp. if they were raised without a father in the household. A white female in that age group is notably less likely to commit a gun related crime than a black male in such a community in the next higher age bracket or so. But, of course, you can't mention race here, despite the high correlation, because that would be racist and not politically correct. Except that you aren't going to survive the increased Constitutional scrutiny required by Heller and McDonald if the higher correlation is by race and sex, and not by age.

David Begley said...

If a person is old enough to join the armed forces, he's old enough to buy a gun in private life.
In the military, they shoot guns.

Same deal with liquor. If a person is old enough to fight and die for one's country, old enough to buy a beer.

Libs should just leave these young adults alone. Nanny state must end. It breeds disrespect for the law and cynicism.

David said...

Unknown said: "But how fast you mature depends in part on the demands made on you. At the age of 22, I graduated from college, got married, and got commissioned in the Marine Corps all within the space of about three weeks. I rose to the occasion, and I don't think that was unusual."

My father, a 22 year old Lieutenant with one year of college and experience working as a retail clerk, in early 1943 became the armament officer of the 317th Fighter Squadron of the 325th Fighter Group of the 15th Air Force of the USAAF. The 15th Air Force was commanded by Jimmy Doolittle and was the main American air force in the Mediterranean Theatre, conducting operations as far as Berlin, Austria, Poland and the oilfields at Polesti.

My dad was a small cog in a very big machine, but a hugely important cog for the pilots of the 317th. It was his job to be sure that the guns worked. That was not easy given the technology of the time, and the dusty muddy airfields where they operated. He did his job extremely well, so well that Herschel ("Hecky") Greene, the C.O. of the 17th recommended him for a Distinguished Service Medal. The recommendation was declined by Green's superiors because my dad was never in direct combat.

He left the United States in December 1942 as an inexperienced youth and returned in April of 1945 as a man who had splendidly exercised a large responsibility. And most of the pilots flying the planes he serviced were as young as he was (and in the last year or so younger.)

As the man said, we rise to the responsibilities that are expected of us.

Sebastian said...

Prohibition: because it worked so well the first time.

It's all nice and sweet of Volokh and some commenters here to discuss the under-25 confiscation notion as a serious idea offered in good faith, but of course that's a classic AA mistake. Words, ideas, proposals are just tools for Progs; so is the "Constitution" (scare quotes deliberate). No "arguments" or "evidence" are going to make any damn difference with those characters.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Below the age of 25 is generally considered too young to rent a car, isn't it?

Sammy Finkelman said...

Black people under 25 are responsible for a disproportionate amount of America’s gun violence.

The only reason it stops at around age 25 is that by that time a career criminal winds up in prison for a long time. Even if someone wants to continue violating the law after that, they strategically pick what kinds of crimes to do.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Well those "youngsters" are responsible for a grossly disproportionate share of motor vehicle fatalities. Lets start by prohibiting those dangerous persons from owning or operating a motor vehicle.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Bruce Hayden said...

if they were raised without a father in the household.

And attended urban public schools.

It is said that criminals meet each other in jail and learn how to commit crimes. But what is true of jails is even more true of schools. They'd be much better off dropping out.

Michael said...

Not so long ago men of this age flew fighter planes and blimps and led men on the ground into battle.
We are fucked. Totally. To even write about this is shameful.

wildswan said...

There is an initiative Called Healthy People 2020 which sets targets for improved health. In itself it is voluntary but a lot of public health departments are judged by the Federal government or judge themselves based on progress toward these targets. This leads to social initiatives completely divorced from anything people want and since the targets rise every ten years it leads to increased pressure to carry out social initiatives - like gun control. One of these Healthy People 2020 initiatives is reduction in firearm violence.

I believe that state legislatures should look at whether state employees are being judged on whether they are making progress on these goals in their appropriate department. For this is a way of removing scrutiny from the people and putting it - well, where? - but, anyhow, when people know they won't be promoted unless they show progress toward specified goals then they try to show progress. The result is that the huge majority saying America is going in the wrong direction is disregarded by state employees and media allies hoping for foundation grants (Healthy People is foundation thing) because the state health departments have met their Healthy People quotas. So there's no reason for discontent and so no reason to listen, or to change course. Probably also this secret Healthy People agenda and the need to show progress causes the obvious reluctance to fight certain crimes if, as a consequence, certain statistics would start going south.

How to take on the administrative state? Which in Cologne used water cannon on a right wing demo but could not break up a mob assaulting 500 + women. One incident fit the statistics (show progress toward racial understanding); one did not (A huge percentage of Muslim men think it's OK to assault unaccompanied women but this belief can never be acknowledged by the administrative state - an irrational refusal carried to the point that women cannot even be warned that dangerous mobs have formed and assault is certain in a given location. That refusal to warn is the administrative state at work, protecting its progress toward its quotas and goals, not its citizens.)

Michael McClain said...

Remember kids, politicians and terrorists prefer unarmed peasants.

David Begley said...

Haven't we seen cases of young people under the age of 25 fly over to Syria and join ISIS.

Isn't that against American law?

But not sharia law.

BN said...

I just sped read through these posts. It seems to me that everything you posted today needs to be tagged "signs". The end is nigh.

And David Bowie, while he didn't start it, he reveled in advancing it.

But i did love him even so. Maybe BECAUSE so! (i'm not stable myself, y'know.) He was my Dylan. And sometimes my Stones. If you ever were totally fucked up in some bar dancing like you just didn't care, like nobody in the whole fucking universe cared, with some beautiful weird strange chick--with so many "fantastic possibilities"-- to some tight ass, garbage-can-bashing, precision-guitar-surgeon garage band playing "Rebel Rebel"... well then, you know what I mean. If not, well, try it sometime (just don't get too carried away).

"Planet earth is blue and there's nothing i can do."

elkh1 said...

Gun buying age should be the same as drinking age the same as voting age the same as joining the army age = 18.

Jupiter said...

"People under 25 are responsible for a disproportionate amount of America’s gun violence. According to data collected by the FBI, nearly 50 percent of all gun homicides are committed by people younger than 25. Most of those perpetrators are 18 to 24."

Yes, and how many of them obtained their guns legally?

Over-educated liberals are responsible for a disproportionate number of the tendentious lies printed in the WaPo. Perhaps these two could be deprived of their First Amendment right to lie like rugs until, oh, say, their 99th birthdays? A small price to pay for truth.

Static Ping said...

Tend to agree with Sammy Finkelman. A good partial explanation for the high percentage of under-25s involved in gun homicides is that the adults that lack self-control get themselves killed or imprisoned by the time they are 25 and therefore are no longer available for the older cohorts.

The logic presented by the "no guns until 25" camp are not very good.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

At age 26 the children must be dropped from Daddy and Mommy's Obamacare policy. That would be a good age for them to be allowed to operate a car or other dangerous machinery. They'll have a whole 2/3 of their life ahead of them!

BN said...

"How to take on the administrative state?"

MUTINY! Massive society-wide and military-wide mutiny.

REVOLUTION! And only mass starvation can cause that (unless you're a bunch of fookin' intellectual white assed "foundin' fathers" or soompthin).

But... best be prepared to kill your relatives then--half of them work for the "administrative state" after all.

Oh. And Zombies! Masses of Zombies! That would help a lot too!

...orrrrrrr... maybe...maybe... just maybe...

TRUMP!!!

Just maybe Trump could do it!!! Do it WITHOUT the massive starvation, the mutiny, the revolution, the Zombies!

...maybe... probably... perhaps!!!

I'll bet he can just gol damn swelly well do it!

...maybe. (...sigh).


...nahhh... I'm going with the Zombies.

Bob Ellison said...

It has been argued, I write most assuredly with passive voice, that testosterone levels are the best predictor of behavior among men. Wait until the testosterone level goes down, and then release the man. He may be a civil kitty at that age.

You must imprison him first, though, and carefully, before he learns high-testosterone ways from other male assholes. Imprison him at maybe age 9, and release him at maybe 27. All society problems solved.

RonF said...

If young minds under 25 cannot form the requisite judgement to handle firearms, they don't have the requisite judgement to buy and consume alcohol and to vote.

Rusty said...

RonF.
This is just another leftist tactic the eventual goal of which is total firearm confiscation. The next gambit will be a national gun buyback.

mikee said...

How can a government buy "back" something they never owned in the first place?

Bruce Hayden said...

Tend to agree with Sammy Finkelman. A good partial explanation for the high percentage of under-25s involved in gun homicides is that the adults that lack self-control get themselves killed or imprisoned by the time they are 25 and therefore are no longer available for the older cohorts.

But, keep in mind that this is not universal, or, maybe that this plays out very differently for different racial and socioeconomic demographics. Upper middle class white or Asian males in that age demographic are not very likely to be involved in gun crimes, and, esp. if they go to and graduate from college. And, what about the young women? Rather, as I point out above, most of those involved are young black males growing up in poor inner city communities who rarely graduate from high school. Rather, instead of learning what we supposedly learn in high school and college, they learn how to be gang banging criminals, and part of that is to be viciously violent, and that often includes the use of firearms, on each other, and the innocent public.

And, this is why, I think, that this proposal would not pass Constitutional muster. It would deny an enumerated fundamental right to a group of people who are not at risk of being violent criminals, misusing firearms. Indeed, the vast majority of people in that age group do not pose such a risk. Instead, it is a small subset of them. And, thus, the proposal is not nearly narrowly tailored enough to pass Constitutional muster.

Rusty said...

mikee said...
How can a government buy "back" something they never owned in the first place?


Beats me, but that's liberal logic.

ken in tx said...

Mark Twain said that teenaged boys should be put in a barrel and fed through the bung-hole. At age 16 the bung-hole should be stopped up.