February 14, 2023
By David Codrea
“The most expansive federal report in over two decades on guns and crime shows a shrinking turnaround between the time a gun was purchased and when it was recovered from a crime scene, indicating firearms bought legally are more quickly being used in crimes around the country,” the Associated Press reports. “It also documents a spike in the use of conversion devices that make a semiautomatic gun fire like a machine gun, along with the growing seizure of so-called ghost guns, privately made firearms that are hard to trace.”
The report in question is the “National Firearms Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA): Crime Guns - Volume Two.” It covers everything in seven parts from the “National Integrated Ballistic Information Network,” with a “National Tracing Center Overview,” to “Crime Guns recovered” (both foreign and domestic), “Firearm Thefts,” “NIBIN & Ballistic Evidence,” and where they’re going with all this, “Recommendations and Future Enhancements” (that is, ways to actualize ATF Director Steve Dettelbach’s assertion in the introduction to the report that “Information is power”).
That’s pretty obvious from the attention he’s getting with all of his claims repeated by powerful media groups. They’re saturating their readerships with selective information designed to establish a nonexistent correlation /causation inference. And just the day before the AP used its megaphone to give Dettelbach a de facto press release masked as news, he was being quoted by ABC News to “talk... about enforcing gun laws amid [a] surge in mass shootings.”
As an aside, note how often our so-called “gun rights leaders” and NRA “A”-rated Republican politicians use the same terminology when they oppose new infringements with the admonition to instead “enforce existing gun laws.” It doesn’t seem out of line to wonder how successful the Founders would have been had they urged the Red Coats to “enforce existing Intolerable Acts.”
But naturally, the current infringements are not enough, and Dettelbach admits as much when he adds, "There's a lot more that needs to happen."
Like what? With the latest mass shooting being exploited happening in California, coincidently given top marks by all the leading gun-grab groups like Everytown, Brady and Giffords, how further restrictions and bans aimed at those inclined to obey the law would stop anything is left unsaid. And that’s intentional. Because those screaming “Something must be done” never have a definitive answer for “What?”
“With an estimated 393 million guns, there are more firearms than people in the U.S., and the problem is continuing to get worse,” the ABC “news” report opines, repeating the implication that the problem is with guns, and that “their numbers need to be reduced.
By how much? When will “enough” be “enough,” who decides, and what criteria are they using? The gun-grabbers will never answer that because they want them all. That’s ultimately what this is all about, and we have admissions on record to that effect from Gun Control Act of 1968 author Sen. Thomas Dodd, who wanted the world to say “Destroy them all,” to the founder of what would become the Brady Campaign admitting incrementalism had an end goal “to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition...totally illegal.”
“[A]t ATF, our job is to take the rules and laws that Congress has passed, the tools that we have, and to do everything in our power to enforce them, to protect the community,” Dettlebach falsely attests. He’s confident that no “reporter” will challenge him with unequivocal questions about ATF’s “lawmaking” authority. Nor will any press him on arbitrary, inconsistent, and contradictory rules it has no Constitutional charter to impose on devices like pistol grips, bump stocks, and frames and receivers.
The Fourth Estate Fifth Columnists are all for those bans anyway. On that score, though, Second Amendment advocates arguing that such regulation is the purview of the legislative branch mustn’t forget that “shall not be infringed” was especially intended to be binding on Congress. That means lawmakers shouldn’t be doing it, either.
A main thrust of ATF’s latest is that time-to-crime between when a gun is purchased and when it shows up on law enforcement radar is shrinking, and that the reason is because more Americans are buying guns. Even if true, it doesn’t alter that the most current Firearms Trace Data reports still carry a disclaimer: “Not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime.”
It also doesn’t alter another admission, and since the news reports seem to be glomming onto California to exploit the latest highly publicized killings, let’s look there: The average time-to-crime is 8.92 years, vs. a national average of 6.24 years. That hardly seems to support the contention that guns bought within the last few years are major drivers.
Still, getting into the weeds of ATFs new report (which curiously categorized pistols, revolvers, shotguns, and rifles, on may of its detail charts, but not “assault weapons” that the Democrats are so hot to ban and confiscate), we do find one other thing that’s to be expected: The numbers are dominated by cities that share more in common than just being Democrat-controlled members of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal (read “Your”) Guns Coalition. Perhaps it’s time to consult another study.
“Murders in United States are very concentrated, and they are becoming even more so,” a new paper by economist and author John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center demonstrates. “Most counties experience no murders, a smaller subset of counties where there are a few murders, and then a minuscule subset of counties where murders are very common.”
No career bureaucrat interested in keeping his snout in the public trough will dare admit that, though, since no pandering politician would want to commit political suicide by admitting reality and thus alienating both their string-pullers and their constituents. Instead, the push is to do exactly the opposite of what needs to be done, which is separating those proven to be ruthless killers from their potential victim pools until such time as they’re no longer a danger and it’s safe to let them out again.
If proven violent persons are still truly dangerous, the late Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his 1973 classic Gun Control, equating their release from prison with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result. If there is “clear, convincing, admissible evidence” that a supposedly “restrained” party is a danger, how is it responsible to allow such a menace access to the rest of us until such time as it can be established that he is no longer a threat? Does anyone think he couldn’t kill with something else? Or, noting routine headlines from places like Chicago and Baltimore, that he couldn’t get a gun? Why wouldn’t he be separated from society, after being afforded real “due process,” with all appropriate protections of course?
That’s a political nonstarter that would instead result in the permanent cancellation of any suggesting it. Now endorse “no bail,” funding for “non-violence programs” and “defund the police,” and “universal background checks,” “red flag laws,” “gun-free zones,” and “assault weapon bans” as the solutions to “gun violence,” and perpetual “subset” incumbency is assured!
No amount of producing taxpayer-funded charts and graphs to “justify” disarming the “law-abiding” will change that. Denying to the people “every terrible implement of the soldier,” what Continental Congress delegate Tench Coxe properly called “the birthright of an American,” won’t either, nor will attempting the impossible of wasting law enforcement resources on home-made (and thus unserialized) firearms.
Not that such truths will phase Steve Dettelbach, his ATF, and the prohibitionist politicians wielding it as a club one bit, or the corps of “legacy media” narrative parrots hanging on and spreading every word. And though lies of omission, they’ll make sure evidence contradicting their “commonsense gun safety law” lies is confined to niche gun owner echo chambers, at least until such time as those can be silenced.
About the Author
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms News he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.
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