Decades later, we're still having this debate.
First, in the Heller decision, the Supreme Court stated we do have a right to keep and bear arms. So that means, you are proposing to violate my civil rights. That's a dead end issue right there. If you're trying to find ways to violate my rights only to a certain degree in certain ways, you have to expect that I'm going to fight you as much as any other activist fighting someone who is trying to violate their civil rights. Hating me for that is irrational, and unless you hate other activists for protecting their rights, there's a word for you--the same word that applies to anti-porn crusaders, anti-religion crusaders and anti-press crusaders.
But, if you still want to have this debate, take a look at this:
A Smith & Wesson. It dates from 1882. I have older ones, but this should prove the point. Guns don't wear out easily.
I fabricated this (completely legally) in my garage. It's a nice garage, but that's all you need.
Consider this project by another gentleman:
And it works for Browning 1919A4 Machine Guns, too:
(With a few mods to keep it legal)
Guns are a 700 year old technology. There are modern machine tools that connect to a PC that will produce just about any automobile, machine or gun part. The barrel is the hard part, but it's perfectly doable—rifled barrels date back only 500 years. All that's left is knowledge, and then you run into that tricky First Amendment.
Now, even if it became illegal to do so, the knowledge and tools remain. If there's a black market for illegal drugs, and there is, why wouldn't there be black market for illegal guns? Britain has a near total ban on firearms and a ready supply from Eastern Europe. You don't think Central and South America will be happy to meet our illicit needs? They already produce of a lot of legal guns for our markets.
But even if you manage that, there are millions of existing guns, almost all of them untraceable, in that I mean the only record is of the original buyer from the original dealer, since 1968. If you make them illegal, most of them will disappear somewhere, because most people do think that being able to defend themselves is a pretty good idea. And also: Black market.
By the way, if you only want to ban certain guns, such as "assault weapons" (Which is a meaningless term, but if it makes you feel happy, enjoy it), we tried that. First, it had no effect on all the existing ones. Second, the same rifles kept being made, with minor cosmetic changes to meet the law, because there isn't a workable legal definition of "assault weapon." The courts ruled that attempting to ban by name wasn't workable, by function was too vague, and as long as the silly cosmetic rules were followed, they were perfectly legal, by the millions.
Actually, I MIGHT be able to come up with something that would work to define, say, an AR15 in a way that would legally differentiate it from other weapons. However, I have no intention of helping you find a loophole to violate my rights, you hater (That's what we call people opposed to civil rights, isn't it? Hatey hating haters).
But even if you manage that, and somehow get a Constitutional Amendment AND supporting laws through, then you have the fact that you have to pay for the guns you're seizing—curse that pesky 5th Amendment. It seems as if the entire Constitution is against you. And you're right. It is.
So, AR15s, times 15 million, times $1200 average value = a shit ton of money. Okay, $18 billion. EIGHTEEN FUCKING BILLION DOLLARS just for one type of weapon. Figure an average of $500 per gun times 280 million guns…I'll let you do the math.
Take a deep breath.
Okay, this is reality vs your desires, as I've discussed with quite a few other groups. You can't get what you want. The end.
Guns are here, readily available, they're not going away, and half the country will fight your attempt, so you're not going to get it.
Now, would you care to discuss some rational approach to fighting crime? May I suggest we scale back the War on Drugs? Improve help for the poor and improve education? Aren't those things liberals support?
And tell those profiteering media types to stop glamorizing killers. The First Amendment is about political dissent, using lead type and sketches. Certainly the Founding Fathers never foresaw instant downloads of graphic death into every phone, for the purpose of selling advertising dollars. How can one defend a "need" for that right?
Food for thought.