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BBC Article

Both War on Guns and Armed and Safe have offered their takes on this BBC article.   I have one as well:

Police commander Michael Anzallo says the capital has seen an influx of handguns from neighbouring states where there are fewer controls.

“The police department recovers more than 1,000 guns a year,” he says.

“The problem is easy access to firearms. Most of the motives for homicides are arguments or robbery related and the quick pull of the trigger means somebody’s life.”

This seems to be a common tactic; blaming the neighboring states.  The way this is always presented suggests the gun law of the controlling jurisdictions are strict, and effective at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, but that criminals can just cross over into another state and buy a firearm because of the lax laws there.

Given that most people aren’t aware of what current gun control laws actually are, this is an effective tactic to deflect the criticism that gun control will never work.  Most people don’t know that it’s illegal to buy a handgun out of state, or that someone with a criminal history will fail a background check, and aren’t aware of the current laws about straw purchasing.

It’s effective to evoke images of a criminal heading to a Maryland gun store and picking up a gun because of the “lax” gun laws there, rather than explain the existing laws, or the black market networks through which criminals obtain firearms.

3 Responses to “BBC Article”

  1. Carl in Chicago says:

    Sebastian:

    People have extremely short memories, especially when it’s convenient to them. Regarding this “new” “easy access to firearms”…

    See the following passage from: Polsby, Daniel D. and Don B. Kates. 1997. Of Holocausts and Gun Control. Washington University Law Quarterly 75 (3): 1237-75. http://ls.wustl.edu/WULQ/75-3/753-4.html

    Undeniably, the murder rate in this country (both perpetration and victimization) increased rapidly among teenagers, especially among minorities, from 1983 to 1992. However, firearms are not “more accessible” to today’s adolescents than they were to yesterday’s. In fact, until 1968 anyone in this country could readily mail-order Army surplus .45 automatic pistols, German Lugers, high-powered semi-automatic rifles, or even trench mortars and bazookas, along with ammunition for all. Munitions of all sorts other than fully automatic weapons (which have been banned since the mid-1930s) could be purchased anonymously by anyone who would check a box on a mailing coupon that said “I am 21 years old or older.” Despite this laisser faire regime, in the twenty years following the end of World War II, America’s crime rates, including its murder rate, were much lower than today.

    Also undeniably, this notion that “the problem is easy access to firearms” falls flat on it’s face.

  2. Michael says:

    Mmmm, where have I heard this before? Oh, yeah. Bloomberg coming down to Georgia and blaming places like Adventure Outdoors for the same thing.

  3. Carl in Chicago says:

    People like Bloomberg, and like Anzallo, are simply wrong intellectually. I don’t know if they are ignorant of that fact, or deceptively try to hide the fact. But we know they are wrong, and we can demonstrate that they are wrong.

    The challenge for us is to reveal their intellectual bankruptcy to the “general public.”

    That is why I have noted before that Heller stands “proudly before” the Supreme Court. In as much as the SCOTUS demands evidence for assertions, people like Bloomberg and Anzallo have a very difficult row to hoe when their assertions are subject to scrutiny.

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