Friday, May 23, 2008

The Secondary Handgun Market

After you read this post, which is mostly* factual, you tell ME how to fix the 'secondary gun' problem.

It's VERY obvious from reading the post, folks.

* The "gun-show loophole" is a LOT smaller than the article implies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you can see any single solution to secondary gun sales from the content of the article.

There are several possible solutions presented from reading the article:

1) Close Badger Outdoor - obviously, since many of the guns are sold through badger, closing that store would solve the problem, right? Well, perhaps not. Badger is the nearest gun store to Milwaukee's inner city where most of the reported crimes are committed. Closing Badger Outdoor would simply make the criminals drive farther - to West Allis and the Shooter's Shop.

I can tell you that, as an occasional customer at Badger, the personnel at that store are very thorough and careful about who they sell to. I've seen staff at Badger ask patrons to leave the store when the girlfriend simply asks too many questions of the boyfriend in the assumption that the sale will end up a straw (wo)man purchase. So much for closing Badger Outdoor as a solution.

2) Ending private transfer of firearms to individuals - This is the supposed "gun show loophole". This would make it illegal for a father to give his son a firearm as a gift on his twenty-first birthday, make it illegal for an individual to sell a single firearm to a friend or relation as well as close most gun shows forever.

The closing of gun shows as a solution to secondary gun sales is a canard. From personal experience, I can tell you that I have never seen any suspicious looking Jihadis carrying sacks full of guns out the door to be discretely shipped to the middle east. I have never seen suspected ghetto thugs doing the same. What I do see is an audience composed largely of middle aged, somewhat over sized white men looking at guns that they would like to own but most likely never will but that they are legally able to purchase.

Add to this the fact that almost all sales at gun shows are between licensed dealers and individuals requiring state and federal background checks. Even small time sellers who are not required to hold a Federal Firearms license often end up applying for a license so that they avoid even the appearance of illegality. The penalties for the illegal sale of firearms are, as they should be, extremely stiff. Legal sellers go to great lengths to avoid them. That being the case, by closing gun shows we end up with only preventing the aforementioned gift of a gun to a son or daughter.

Finally, from the data presented in the article, it would seem that one other solution to the secondary gun problem is to forbid the sale of firearms to minorities or the residents of Milwaukee's inner city. Since these folks, according to the article, commit the most crimes with guns and most of the crimes reported are committed in the inner city, this would appear to be a great solution to the secondary gun sale problem. Until one starts considering civil rights, the Second Amendment and that sort of inconvenient thinking. In fact, such a ban would simply prevent law abiding citizens of the inner city from protecting themselves against assault or murder which, of course, occurs mostly in their own neighborhoods.

Guns are a fact of life in a modern society just like cars, bad music and nuclear weapons. We need to find ways to make it difficult for the law breaker to get them while facilitating the needs of the people to protect themselves from the former who slip through the cracks. Ever stronger and more onerous penalties for the actual USE of a gun in a crime come to mind. Still, even stronger sentences won't end up preventing all gun crime any more than strong sentences will solve the problem of drunk driving. Criminals will always find a way to commit their crimes. As evidence, look at the inventive and creative ways that convicted criminals use to make weapons of death while IN PRISON.

Closing Badger Outdoor or ending gun show sales and private transfers between individuals will only add to the plethora of gun laws already on the books that do nothing to actually prevent gun crime but do enable political types the ability to breathlessly proclaim that they've "done something" about the problem.