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If We Just Record Enough…

Centuries ago, Native Americans once practiced rain dances in the belief that their dances could bring the rain. So many gun control proposals today make about as much sense, only instead of rain dancing, if we just record enough things, we can fight crime. This is the latest out of California:

Some Sacramento gun dealers say a proposed ordinance requiring them to keep track of all the ammunition they sell will hurt business. But police say it’ll help catch criminals. City Council members are set to vote on the ordinance Thursday.

There is no way to trace ammunition or ammunition components back to an individual. All you get is a manufacturer, and sometimes maybe a lot number, or year of manufacturer. That’s about it. Someone needs to explain to me how having the gun shop owner record ammunition sales is going to catch a criminal, given that ammunition recovered at a scene of a crime isn’t going to be matchable to those sales records.  You can match a bullet to a gun, and sometimes a casing to a gun, but you can’t match a bullet to a piece of paper.

This seems like a case of politician rain dancing.  If only we could force some more record keeping, it will magically translate into lower crime, no matter how absurd the idea is.  Do a little dance, and hope for the best.

4 Responses to “If We Just Record Enough…”

  1. Ahab says:

    As much as I love to visit California, I am very, very glad that I moved away from that state.

  2. BobG says:

    And to put things more in perspective, illegal owners of guns probably purchase the least amount of ammo (when they are not stealing it); it is legal gun owners who do a lot of shooting. Criminals only shoot when committing crimes, that is why they are usually such bad shots.

  3. bob r says:

    The recording of the sale is only the start of the costs. Think about the cost of dealing with the government for audits or when they want to “match” a sale to a crime. Recording the buyer was done for many years; it didn’t seem to stop ammo sales.

  4. Ian Argent says:

    I’d have made a reference to the Ghost Dance, rather than Rain Dancing; but a) I’m a Shadowrun player from way back, and b) it has more relevance to GWFs – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_dance – in which it originated as a method of “driving all the evil out” and certain practitioners believed that it would protect them from bullets.

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