Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Gun Show Loophole

According to information provided by Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post's Fact Checker, the importance of the so-called gun show loophole which supposedly allows criminals across the country to get guns at shows without getting a background check is a bit overstated:
Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, will report data from a 2004 survey of inmates in state prisons in a chapter in a book titled “Reducing Gun Violence in America,” to be published Jan. 28 by Johns Hopkins Press.

The offenders were incarcerated from (sic) crimes committed with handguns, and this is how they reported how they obtained the guns:

Licensed gun dealer: 11 percent
Friends or family: 39.5 percent
“The street:” 37.5 percent
Stolen gun: 9.9 percent
Gun show/Flea market: 1.7 percent
Licensed dealers, by the way, are required to perform background checks whether they are selling at their store or at a gun show. Only private individuals who are disposing of some of their own guns, i.e. not dealers, can sell at a show without performing a background check.

So, all this hullabaloo about loopholes, and bad guys get only 1.7 percent of their guns there. I suspect that any self-respecting violent criminal could think of ways to make up 1.7 percent if they wanted a gun.

It does not matter at all how many people get guns without background checks. The only thing which matters is how many criminals do so, and the number doing so because of the so-called gun show loophole is trivial. Just as TSA brags about how many "weapons" they have confiscated from airline passengers, when the only meaningful number would be how many weapons they have confiscated from hijackers and bombers. They don't tell us that number, do they? Could that be because the number is zero?

This is a bit like the attack on so called assault rifles, when only 323 deaths by all types of rifles combined occurred in 2011. It's a bit like fraud.

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