Archive for the ‘crime guns’ Category

Part II

I decided it was better to divide the last post into two parts since this is really unrelated to the point I was making in my previous post. This is just me engaging in mental masturbation.

One finds that 2,000 guns cross the US-Mexico border to drug gangs.

For example, one cannot make a blanket statement that gun control does not work in reducing that number. This is especially true if we see that “one gun a month” has changed the internal dynamic of illegal guns within the US. Likewise, the only firearms registration program that has existed in the US has been the NFA: how many NFA weapons are found at crime scenes? If a firearms regulation has an effect internally, why not with guns smuggled externally?

We also know internally within the US that guns move from regions of weak regulation to those of stronger regulation. Likewise, the amount of gunrunning from Nations with strong firearms regulation is next to nil (e.g., how many crime guns come from Britain?).

The answer to Mexican Crime guns might indeed be stronger regulation of US firearms, but how likely is that to happen? the problem is that one cannot let their conclusion be clouded by their own opinions if the evidence shows that answer is stronger regulation of firearms, then that should be the conclusion. If Mexican crime guns came from New Jersey, then you might be able to show that gun control had no effect on the issue.

Another point, is that gun control isn’t seen as a panacea, but as a method of reducing the flow. Looking at internal US figures, is that a possibility? I believe there are studies showing that “one gun a month” reduces the amount of crime guns from those states and the figure shifts to states without that regulation. SO, if the amount of guns IS reduced by “gun control” one cannot state there is no effect.

OK, there are a lot of factors involved in the above example, but the primary one is that the person who made it “believes in the Second Amendment” freedoms. I could assume some things from that statement, but I can see that her argument is coloured by her belief. The belief isn’t challenged and the result is confusing.

That is a blanket statement that gun control will not reduce the amount of crime guns. Likewise, that whatever reduction resulted from US gun control would beneficial.

Of course, the drug lords have enough money that they could set up their own firearms factories making any gun control moot. Which is also a flawed statement on my part as I think about it. Is it more economically sound and practical to set up clandestine gun factories in Mexico? Is it more viable to smuggle guns from the US than make illegal guns in Mexico? This comes in contemplating her point about making weapons from parts kits.

Again, if it is more economically feasible to make a firearm starting from a kit and only produce a receiver in a clandestine factory (Considering all the other factors), this leaves us with a load more questions. Especially if the source for parts kits is the US. Does that mean an even tighter restriction on firearms parts?

Is the actual answer incredibly tight gun controls rather than gun controls are ineffective?

Anyway, it seems I have glommed two posts into one. More as a musing in the Second half. I do like to challenge my beliefs.

Well, I do like a challenge!

NRA Has Yet to Explain Why It Wants to Help Killers, Criminals, Lunatics, and Imbeciles Acquire Guns

Because that’s its membership base?

A N.Y. probe exposes loopholes that let criminals buy firearms — and the need for greater regulation.
LA Times Editorial (Editorial comment: For the fucking morons who don’t understand a page link)
October 16, 2009

For shock value, they may not rank with the videos released last month showing ACORN workers giving tax advice to a couple of undercover investigators posing as a prostitute and her pimp. But New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s covert recordings of what really goes on at gun shows are appalling nonetheless.

In the midst of a reelection campaign in a Democratic-majority city, the Republican (sort of) Bloomberg has latched on to an issue that appeals mainly to liberals: gun control. Though New York state has fairly restrictive gun laws, Bloomberg believes firearms bought out of state play a big role in Gotham’s crime problems. So he sent private investigators to seven gun shows in three states between May and August and posted the results, including video shot with hidden cameras, on a city-sponsored website.

“So no background check, right?” the investigators ask. “Because I probably couldn’t pass one.” The response, over and over, is laughter, a shrug or even admissions from gun sellers that they couldn’t pass one either. Out of 30 vendors approached, 19 sold guns to people they knew were barred from owning them. Also captured on tape were dealers selling weapons to an obvious straw buyer — someone who buys a gun for someone else, usually because the actual buyer couldn’t pass the federal background check. Sixteen of 17 vendors approached sold guns to straw buyers, which is a felony.

Gun shows are thought to be a key supplier of guns used in crimes, though how big a role they play is the subject of heated debate. To understand why they’re considered a problem, one first has to understand the contorted nature of federal gun laws.

New-gun retailers are closely regulated, with laws forcing them to obtain licenses, keep transaction records so that guns used in crimes can be traced, and perform background checks on buyers to ensure they aren’t legally barred from owning guns. Convicted felons, drug addicts, the mentally ill and illegal immigrants are among those who fall into that category. Meanwhile, nonprofessional used-gun traders are subject to none of those requirements, although even resellers are forbidden from transactions in which they know the buyer couldn’t pass a background check (something Bloomberg’s investigators caught on tape repeatedly).

The absence of regulation of second-hand sales is often referred to as the “gun-show loophole.” Any criminal can go to a gun show in most states and buy an armful of used firearms, including semiautomatic assault weapons, knowing they’re untraceable and that no one will check his conviction record. Bloomberg and other activists seek to close this loophole, and they have powerful friends. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama agreed, as did his Republican opponent, John McCain. Yet bills that have sought to close the loophole have never gone far, and there’s little reason to think that current efforts, including a bill from Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), will be more successful. That’s because the gun lobby enjoys political power that greatly exceeds the number of hard-core gun enthusiasts in the United States, and because many Democrats believe they lost their congressional majority in the mid-1990s because of their aggressive pursuit of gun-control laws — and they’re terrified of a repeat.

Democrats’ cowardice is distressing, particularly when it’s exhibited by Obama, who has been silent on the issue since the campaign and has made no attempt to back Lautenberg’s bill. But even if it were to pass, it wouldn’t go far enough. In truth, the phrase “gun-show loophole” is a misnomer, because unregulated secondary sales don’t just happen at gun shows. Used guns are sold at swap meets, through classified ads and even over the Internet. What’s more, criminals get their guns from many sources besides gun shows, including straw buyers and licensed dealers who break the law.

What’s really needed is a federal law patterned on California’s tough restrictions on firearm sales. Lautenberg’s bill, S. 843,:S.843: regulates gun-show transactions exclusively. In California, it is illegal for anyone to sell or transfer a firearm, whether at a gun show or not, without processing the transaction through a licensed dealer, who must perform a background check. Opponents claim that this would be overly burdensome, but it has had no discernible effects on gun sales in California, which, according to a recent UC Davis study, hosted 100 gun shows in 2007 and like many other states saw a 30% year-over-year sales increase in late 2008 and early 2009. Though there’s little evidence that this law has reduced gun violence in the Golden State, that’s probably because it’s still so easy for criminals to get guns from elsewhere, especially from anything-goes border states such as Nevada and Arizona. A federal law would change that.

But it still wouldn’t go far enough. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigates a gun show only when it gets a tip that illegal activity is expected; as a result, it conducts operations at less than 5% of them. If nothing else, Bloomberg’s investigation proves that more attention is badly needed. The agency should be given the funding, and a mandate, to post undercover operatives at most if not all gun shows. Though the lunatic fringe that believes the ATF to be a Gestapo-like arm of a repressive government would loudly object, most legitimate merchants wouldn’t, because they’re tired of unfair competition from resellers who don’t follow the rules.

None of these measures would restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens; their intent is solely to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Though the gun lobby raises a hue and cry whenever such proposals arise, it has yet to explain why it wants to make it easy for murderers, armed robbers and other criminals to obtain the tools of their trade. Bloomberg’s gun-show expose has the whiff of a political stunt, but if it gets politicians and the public talking about gun control again, it’s a stunt we can applaud.

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times
Another editorial comment for assholes too stupid to understand the word “plagiarism”: this article is not my own but an editorial from the LA Times. I never took credit for it, but you are too fucking stupid to understand that.

So

FUCK YOU!

Posted 16/10/2009 by lacithedog in Crime, crime guns, Gun Laws, Gun Shows, guns, NRA

Crime and deterrance

I’ve always had this thing for the guillotine. It puts the capital in capital punishment. There is a deterrence effect to chopping people’s heads off and putting them on poles.

Not sure what it deters, but it is a deterrant.

Actually, there were pre-guillotine machines around since the middle ages. such as the Halifax gibbet
Halifax had held the right to execute criminals since 1280. Although there is early reference to a gibbet, including a report that the first person to be beheaded by it was one John of Dalton in 1286, formal records of victims did not begin until 1541, when the town acquired a fixed machine which used a heavy axe-shaped iron blade dropping from a height of several feet to cut off the head of the condemned criminal.

And the Scottish maiden that was used from 1564 to 1708 when it was withdrawn from use, over 150 people were executed on the maiden. Notable victims included Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll, executed following the Restoration of Charles II, and his son Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, executed for leading a rebellion against James VII.

I have to admit that yet another of the Constitution’s flaws is the lack of “cruel and unusual” punishments. Among other famous English and Scottish traitors, two of the gunpowder plotters’, Catesby and Percy, heads were stuck on spikes on top of Parliament House for all to see, as a warning that treason wasn’t a good idea, which is what is pictured to the left. It would have been fun to have done the same to rebels throughout US history.

I’m sure Benjamin Franklin liked giving head and should have in that manner. It would also make a really nice Mount Rushmore knock off: Jefferson, Sam Adams, Washington, Hancock and the rest of them on the Old State House Roof in Philadelphia (AKA Independence, or Treason, Hall)

That would make the point that the Second Amendment wasn’t about fighting the government.

Alas, Choppping heads off and putting them on poles, hanging, drawing and quartering, and burning at the stake are tools barred by the US Constitution…and probably a few human rights treaties to boot.

There is also this fun toy that you can buy at buy.com for a mere $8,053.45 or here for a mere $6,850.00. One seller even offer a time payment option. The description says The blade comes screeching down at high speed and a strobe light kicks in as your patrons are sprayed with blood (water). An unsettling effect that sends them running and screaming!

Yeah, I bet!

More RKBA illogic

I read that the “gun control” crowd is the “guns for criminals” crowd because they prevent law abiding citizens from having guns. That’s a lot of a distraction from reality there. I mean John Allen Muhammad, Steven Kazmierczak, and Seung-Hui Cho bought their guns legally, not through the black market.

Gun enthusiasts often claim that there is no link between legal ownership of guns and gun crime – legal guns are legal, illegal guns are illegal and, according to them, never the twain shall meet.

The problem is that guns are the only commodity that start out legal and then end up on the black market. Some are bought directly from a gun dealer (above), some enter through straw purchase/traffickers, and others are stolen. To understand how guns are acquired on the illicit market, we must also look at the legal trade, since the majority of guns on the black market began as part of the legal trade. In the United States alone, approximately 500,000 small arms enter the black market every year due to theft from private citizens.

Legal gun ownership creates a pool of weapons from which crime weapons can be obtained through theft and other means such as fraud. The more guns in circulation, the larger the pool of guns that can end up in the hands of criminals. This is especially true if the penalties for selling to disqualified persons are non-existant, or weak enough that they could be non-existant. Also, we have seen the Government give immunity from lawsuits to gun dealers who sell to disqualified persons.

It’s funny how we hear the “Guns for criminals” crowd scream about enforcing the gun laws on the books (which they have structured to be ineffective) on one hand, yet work to repeal them or make them weaker on the other. More than enough times I have pointed out that a finding of an individual right in DC v. Heller will lead to litigation regarding existing firearms laws. It is not strong guns laws that put guns in the hands of criminals, but weak and ineffective ones.

DC’s experience shows that having strong gun laws in one jurisdiction while another jurisdiction has weak laws will indeed lead to criminals having guns. DC’s crime guns come from outside DC and from legal sources. Crime guns don’t come from outer space. Ambiguous or ineffective domestic laws concerning the purchase of small arms contribute to the quantity of guns available on the black market. For example, “straw purchasers” can buy several weapons at once and then illegally resell them if there are no limits to how many guns a person may buy at one time. These illegal weapons are often sold across state lines from a State with lax regulations to one with quite strict gun laws.

On the other hand, the “guns for criminals” crowd refuses to allow for the tools to prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals. Even simple actions like reporting stolen guns are fought as infringing upon the rights of “law abiding” citizens. The problem is that “stolen guns” find their way into the hands of criminals. In fact, stolen guns by definition have entered the black market. The Tiahrt amendment blocks law enforcement from accessing useful statistics regarding the source of illegal firearms.

Sorry, by doing everything in their power the alphabet soup of “gun rights” organisations (NRA, SAF, GOA, CCRKBA, SAS, etcetera) have ensured a steady source of guns for criminals. This is a pool which won’t dry up anytime soon even if SCOTUS does the correct thing and upholds the Miller standard.

Unfortunately, instead of talking about gun responsibilities and enforcing gun laws which had teeth, the “gun rights” organisations have been working to eliminate gun laws. This means more guns for criminals. Gun owners would have been far better served had the talk been of gun responsibilities.

So, to be quite frank with you, crime guns start out as legal guns. We have to look at who is responsible for blocking any serious solution to this problem until the flow of legal guns into the black market is stopped.

Posted 24/03/2008 by lacithedog in crime guns, gun control, Gun Laws, RKBA

stolen guns

We never hear about how many guns are stolen from their owners in all this talk about the efficacy of handguns for self-defence. I am curious as to what the actual number is of guns stolen which end up in the hands of criminals. I asked the ATF agent I worked with if they kept statistics on this, but she told me that most traffickers say their guns are stolen.

By definition, stolen guns are available to criminals. I mean who the hell else is going to buy a hot gun other than a criminal? The guns for criminals crowd won’t admit to straw purchases or want to prevent people like Steven Kazmierczak and Seung-Hui Cho from buying guns. No, they would rather deal with the aftermath of shootings than attempt at prevention. So, let’s just deal with the issue of stolen guns.

Now, there are several thoughts on this. the first of which is that anything which can be taken away from you and ultimately used against you is a lousy tool for self-defence. Even more so if having that object means that you will become a target for crime.

The reason for sci-fi studies such as John Lott and Gary Kleck is that it is a no brainer that having a gun in the house makes it more likely that you may suffer gun injuries. I mean you can’t suffer from injuries if you don’t have a gun, unless you are hit by a bullet from your neighbour’s gun. Likewise, guns aren’t the best choice for self-defence if are likely likely to be stolen, or, worse, they make you a target for crime.

Actually, what is interesting is that the Lott and Kleck studies allegedly show people engaging in “criminal behaviour”. So, we have most of the alleged defensive gun uses being made by criminals! That’s why I am sort of hoping that SCOTUS does find an individual right since it WILL be guns for criminals time! More work for criminal defence attorneys and more criminals with guns on the streets.

So why does the NRA fight laws that require stolen guns are reported to the police? I mean that’s rather a no brainer. The first thing I would do if i were robbed is report the crime to the police if only for insurance reasons. I know that gun stores report robberies. I believe they have to as part of their licensing requirements. On the other hand, this law is being fought for no apparent reason.

Unless, of course, this is indeed because the traffickers are saying that their guns are stolen once they turn up at a crime scene. personally, I think the owner should be charged in such an instance if he didn’t report it to the police. Given the gun lock argument during the Heller oral arguments, this might not be an issue.

Even sillier are the laws that allow for people to keep guns in their cars. I had my car broken into a few weeks ago in what appeared to be a secure parking garage. And, as a criminal defence lawyer, I know that theft from auto is pretty hard to prosecute. Keeping guns in cars is one of the most idiotic thing to do. Why not hand out guns to criminals in the first place.

But then again, I now call the RKBA crowd “guns for criminals”.

The problem is that there are no good statistics for how many guns are stolen. I mean really stolen, as opposed to someone who traffics saying his gun was stolen. The guns for criminals crowd don’t want any good data out there regarding crime guns which means this data won’t become available. I mean we have Tiahrt blocking gun trace data and the stolen gun data has never been available. Well, there is this little blurb which is pretty much useless:

Victims report to the Victim Survey that
handguns were stolen in 53% of the
thefts of guns. The FBI’s stolen gun
file’s 2 million reports include information
on ¾
1.26 million handguns (almost 60%)
470,000 rifles (22%)
356,000 shotguns (17%).

Of course, this data doesn’t adaquately reflect how many guns are stolen, just reported. And there should be better data available given this is the only source which the guns for criminals crowd will admit. On the other hand, the guns for criminals crowd might get caught feeding the illegal gun supply if they draw too much attention toward thefts.

Posted 24/03/2008 by lacithedog in crime guns, public safety, stolen guns