Featured image by Peretz Partensky. Follow the link for more of this artist’s work.
I have written before about HR 127. My liberal co-worker and I have the occasional argument about these types of things. He is a diehard Democrat, and I am a diehard Libertarian. My personal opinion is that he is misinformed and misguided, and I am sure he feels the same about me. I am grateful to live in a place where the police are fairly readily available to respond to emergency calls. I am for alternative resources for non-emergency situations and am happy to talk about those types of things. Police do need more training, and do need more resources until such time that we can relearn better values and ethics, and rebuild a society that can live by fundamentally empathetic principles. Quite the pipe dream, right?
But HB 127 is being promoted by those people who believe that gun ownership is the root of most gun crimes. In 2016, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics,
If you haven’t read the highlights, Only 1.3% of prisoners (state and federal) obtained a gun from a retail source and used it during their offense. Let that sink in, this law is being pushed because less than 2% of gun crimes take place with guns purchased through legal means. Per the BJS study, “Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%).”
I am inherently skeptical of people who want to ban things. Time and time again, there is more to meet the eye when it comes to the motivations and money behind these types of things. But to attack our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms in this manner is reason enough to be mad as hell. HR 127 will not solve the problem of gun violence, it will make things worse. People intent to do crimes with illegal guns don’t care about gun laws. People who are determined to use guns to cause violence will not follow those laws. The intended consequence of these laws is to strip the rights of most Americans away, leaving gun ownership in the hands of the rich and well connected.
The Washington Post even agrees with my logic. According to their reporting, 79% of gun crimes are committed with illegal guns. Their article talks about straw man purchases, and if you don’t know your history, during the Obama administration, the ATF sanctioned sales of hundreds of guns to straw purchasers, allowing them to cross over into Mexico and get into the hands of the cartels. This operation was known as Fast and Furious. Some of these weapons ended up being used to murder a US border agent. According to the reports, there were at least two ATF agents that had brought up concerns about the operation who were reassigned.
I cannot trust the government to roll out this kind of operation, especially when they provided weapons to the Mexican cartels.