The Eclectic One

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Archive for the ‘Stupid Idea Watch’ Category

California Police Chiefs Back Off On Gun Control Measure

Posted by Bill Nance on January 13, 2010

Well, they did it. The California hoplophobes, a decades-long majority in the state legislature  has finally managed to come up with a gun control idea so stupid even the notoriously anti-gun California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) can’t support it: Microstamping.

In case you don’t know what microstamping is, here’s a good description along with California’s iteration of the process:

Firearms microstamping is the process by which firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin, so that in theory the information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired. Legislation mandating microstamping in California was signed into law in 2007 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) and was slated to take effect this New Year’s Day (2010); however, since the technology remains encumbered by patents it cannot be certified by the California Department of Justice and therefore has not been implemented.

Other people have written about this incredibly bizarre idea California is trying to mandate, but I thought I’d add my 2¢, with the excuse of the letter the California Police Chiefs Association (Which has rarely met a people gun control idea it didn’t like) sent to the California AG saying essentially, “woops.

{From the letter: } Publicly available, peer-reviewed studies conducted by independent research organizations conclude that the technology does not function reliably and that criminals can remove the markings easily in mere seconds. We believe that these findings require examination prior to implementation.”

In other words, the technical flaws of the idea without any other argument needing to be made makes this a stupid idea. But the letter itself is a perfect example of the ignorance and hypocrisy inherent in the idea of requiring the microstamp in the first place, much less registering individual gun owners.    In it’s own words the CPCA references the fact that criminals can easily find a way to evade detection via a firearm registration scheme as one of it’s reasons for opposition to the bill.

“Criminals can remove the markings easily in mere seconds.”

The antis can’t manage to come up with even a remotely plausible scenario in which this stuff would solve many crimes, even if they got everything they wanted. But they want it anyway.

To many who don’t know or care much about guns, gun registration doesn’t sound like a big deal. And if you don’t know anything about microstamping, and much more importantly the assumptions that its supposed efectiveness rests upon, it might not sound like a bad thing. I mean, it’s supposed to help the cops solve crimes right?

The only problem is that this simply isn’t the case.

Microstamping guns and registering individual gun owners depends on a large number of things for them to make more than the very slightest difference in catching bad guys. And trust me, I was a crime reporter for years in an area with high gang violence and lots of shootings. I know whereof I speak.

First, and most easily shown to be false, is the required assumption that guns used by criminals are legally owned and obtained by said criminals. Otherwise having the murder weapon (or shell casing in the case of microstamping is useless.- There’s no connection to the shooter. Microstamping, or even posession of the weapon used will only provide a connection to the gun shop that originally sold the gun or if there is registration of guns as well, a connection in some cases to a previous owner of the firearm.

That won’t help.

We have actual numbers on this stuff. They are released by the FBI and most states every single year, and wide-ranging reports, even those submitted by Clinton Administration appointees and staff in the justice department have concluded that the vast majority of crimes are committed by people with previously existing criminal records, which bars any legal purchase of a firearm, people under age to posesss a firearm legally, and in a staggeringly large percentage of cases, where the gun is stolen or obtained from an illegal black market, so far removed from the original source that tracing is virtually impossible.

Essentially, their excuse for logic is that the thing they want to use for crime solving is the one thing they are absolutely certain to not have, even with the most stringent of registration/microstamping provisions.

First, there are a grand total of about 500-600 unsolved homicides in California each year. About 2/3 of those (following national statistics) are committed with a firearm. Many of these are caught the following year, so the real number of cases where absent more information on the gun could possibly help solve otherwise unsolved cases is already very small. Knowing who used to have the gun legally is of very little help in most cases.

Microstamping, even if it were trivial to do and worked every time rests upon the idea that there are lots of cases where:

  1. A registered gun is used in a crime by a legal gun owner or someone to whom he knowingly gave the gun
  2. Which isn’t a revolver
  3. The perpetrator doesn’t pick up his brass
  4. The perpetrator keeps the gun after committing a crime with it instead of reporting it lost/stolen
  5. The perpetrator is not otherwise tied to the crime
  6. The perpetrator hasn’t altered the gun to defeat registration/microstamping requirements

Is this true for more than a handful of cases? For this they want to spend millions, make ammunition AND firearms prohibitively expensive for all but the well-to-do and cost the state yet more jobs as anyone who is in the firearms business or cares about their human right of self defense, rapidly flees the Golden State.  Like the famous “assault weapon” ban, where the Justice department noted that fewer than .75% of gun crimes were committed by “assault weapons” and that hi-capacity magazines seemed to make no difference in terms of numbers of people injured or in rounds fired, this is another solution to a problem that doesn’t exist outside Sarah Brady’s fantasies.

I gave up on Democrat politicians showing any common sense on gun control a long time ago, but this is enough to make my jaded opinions sit back in awe.  This is beyond stupid. As a matter of fact:

Posted in Crime, firearms, gun control, Guns Dammit!, hoplophobia, Left-Wing Nut-Jobery, Politics, Prison and Justice, Stupid Idea Watch | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Stupid Idea Watch -Gun Registration

Posted by Bill Nance on April 10, 2009

Recently Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated that she wants guns to be “registered.”

This is typical of the complete stupidity of the gun-grabbing agenda. It’s not stupid because Bill doesn’t agree with it, it’s stupid because it serves no possible purpose whatsoever except to add layers of government spending and be a stumbling block and intentional legal  “gotcha” for lawful gun-owners.

Under most registration schemes (And I live in a state where there is one in place) New firearms purchases must be registered with a government agency. The registration generally include the model and the serial number of the gun and the name and address of the seller and buyer -oh, and lets not forget a tax in most places.

Now here’s the question: How would this ever prevent a crime from occurring?

  1. If the owner of the firearm purchased it legally and kills someone with it, registration won’t prevent that. As for tracing the gun, that’s easily done through existing ATF records, since all firearms transactions are already recorded by that agency.
  2. If a criminal obtains a gun, well, obviously they won’t register it. -Duh
  3. The vast majority of guns used in crimes are stolen. the only way to fix that would be a wholesale confiscation of all firearms, something that would both start a revolution in this country and would violate existing supreme court rulings.  -And criminals would still get guns, they’d just be a bit more expensive due to temporary scarcity. Registration wil not help that situation.

However… there IS one reason to have mandatory gun registration -If you’re a gun grabber.  If they are all registered then it’s easy enough to ban certain types of guns that gun-phobes think look scary and confiscate those under the canard of “reasonable restrictions.”

So the next time you hear someone talking about registration of firearms, remind yourself that this doesn’t prevent crime in any way, shape or form. It would add yet another layer of government bureaucracy and expense in keeping up with the additional paperwork and would be used as a tool to selectively prosecute lawful gun owners who simply don’t like being required to register their private property with the government.

Before you go along with this “reasonable” plan to accomplish nothing, cost a lot of money  and add yet more ridiculous laws to the books, ask yourself and your legislator why they’re even talking about it. Two wars, an economic crisis, an already bitterly divided polity and the Democrats want to waste time on this foolishness?

-Gimme a break

Posted in Crime, firearms, Guns Dammit!, Stupid Idea Watch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stupid Idea Watch

Posted by Bill Nance on April 8, 2009

As my regular readers will know, I have no objections to meeting with and talking to our enemies. I figure it can’t hurt, and might very well help.

It’s another thing altogether to meet and compromise with criminal gangs.  these aren’t nation states with whom we have policy differences or conflicts. these are armed thugs deserving of no compromise whatsoever.

Enter the latest fiasco in the piracy game. As those of you who’ve been watching the news already know, an American-flagged merchant vessel, the Maersk Alabama was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. I won’t go into the details, which appear to still be developing.  But  I will again restate that arming the fucking ships would prevent this. I don’t know how many times it need be said, but gun control, which is what in effect what ships traversing international waters and multiple ports of call face, simply emboldens criminals who have no compunctions about ignoring said laws.

The latest entry into the completely stupid ideas category is this gem from Nikolas K. Gvosdev published at The National Interest today.

Money quote:

Piracy flourishes because it is successful in bringing in income. Pirates perform a Somali version of trickle-down economics because ransoms that are paid for hijacked ships provide an income stream not only in terms of donations to clans and religious leaders, but also supporting the entire infrastructure for piracy, down to paying the families of those who guard, feed and house captured sailors. If clans, however, could be paid (in cash and services) for serving as “coast guard auxiliaries”—with a clear understanding that payments would continue only if there was a corresponding drop in the number of pirate attacks—this might help to undermine the economic rationale for piracy.

I fail to see how how someone who is a professor of national-security studies at the U.S. Naval War College could have forgotten the line in the Marine Corps Hymn:  “..to the shores of Tripoli” That line was inspired by the attack on Derne by U.S. sailors (later officially called Marines) and was a result of, you guessed it, piracy against American merchant vessels.

To quote a great American of that time:

“Millions for defense, not one penny for tribute!”


Posted in International, National Security, Stupid Idea Watch | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »