Cop killers and under­ground guns

A serial felon shoots his girlfriend then assassinates two cops, and this is all caused by the “gun lobby.”

I have a pet theory that one reason the gun control industry has been losing favor with the American public is that their talking point sound evermore like PETA (a.k.a. psychotic).

We have all now heard about Ismaaiyl Brinsley gunning down two New York cops. What did not immediately hit the news cycle is that the former Mr. Brinsley (who saved taxpayers a wad of cash by killing himself after the two officers) had a rather lengthy criminal record. According to a dispatch from the New Republic, an organization never guilty of journalism, the last year in which Brinsley was eligible to legally buy a gun was 2008.

So how did he get his hands on one? With all the “tough” criminal control laws, who failed?

Nobody, aside from perhaps the federal government (they rarely enforce their gun crime laws) or the State of Georgia who caught Brinsley with a stolen handgun in 2011. This lack of enforcement, nor the absence of evidence concerning where Brinsley acquired his murder weapon, did not stop the anti-gun agitprop masters from blaming the lack of background checks between civilians for two dead cops.

This, we know from the criminological data, is a scam.

Bureau of Justice Statistics - crime gun sourcesThe bureau of Justice Statistics releases a decadal analysis of gun and crime, the latest installment arriving just two years ago. In Firearm Violence, 1993-2011, there is a tally of the sources from where crime guns were obtained.

A full 40% of crime guns come from completely underground sources – through exchanges designed to be criminal in nature and outside of any regulatory control. Specifically:

  • 25% from drug dealers or “off street” vendors (dudes selling “hot” armament from the trunk of their car)
  • 7.5% from theft and burglary
  • 7.4% from the black market and fences

Call me a gambler, but I bet the late Mr. Brinsley did not bother to go to a federally licensed gun store when there were plenty of career criminals from whom he could buy a gun.

The numbers game gets even quirkier when you look at the next nearly 40% of crime gun sources. The same BJS report notes that 37% of crime guns come from “family or friends”. Among these transfers, often into the hands of known felons, we have seen stories that include:

  • A drug dealer “friend” giving/selling/loaning a gun to another drug dealer
  • Thugs who con their girlfriends or wives into buying guns for them (strawman purchase)
  • Family members who willingly arm felon relatives “for their protection”

The BJS report does not (and likely cannot) breakdown this 37% group further, so there is no way to know how much we should add to the total. But the range is defined. On the low end, 40% of Brinsley-style crime guns came from places no background check will touch, and upwards of 77% are untouchable. 40-77% is the big target, and one Michael Bloomberg aims to miss.

Gun shows are 0.8% of the problem.

If New Republic, the New York Times and Everytown were actually interested in stopping violence committed with guns, they wouldn’t waste their time, their money or our patience by trying to make your Uncle Bob go through a background check when you sell him your old Glock. He isn’t the type to shoot cops.

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