By John McClaughry
One of my favorite writers on current affairs is Kevin Williamson, who posts a piece every Tuesday at Nationalreview.com. Last week he did an illuminating piece on President Biden’s current concern about “ghost guns,” unserialized and untraceable firearms that can be bought online and assembled at home.
It concluded with these interesting facts about gun crimes in general: “About 90 percent of murder suspects in cities such as New York and Chicago have prior arrest histories; in Charlotte, half of the murder suspects have had prior gun charges dismissed, which is a genuine scandal; … the No. 1 thing people being convicted of violent felonies have in common is a prior arrest for a violent felony, which is the case for two-thirds of violent felons.”
“(For context, be aware that the majority of murder victims are criminal offenders, too, a finding that has held true in the big cities for half a century. A 2012 survey of New York murder victims found that 20 percent of them were on probation or parole or had an active arrest warrant, 10 percent were confirmed gang members, 71 percent had prior arrests, etc. Only one in five male murder victims in New York did not have a prior arrest.)”
“If prior offenders make up 90 percent of our murderers, and ‘ghost guns’ are involved in less than 1 percent of our murders, why are we concentrating on the ‘ghost guns’ rather than on the murderers?”
The tripartite answer, Williamson concludes, is “politics, theater, and cowardice.”
Good point, Kevin. Let’s ask our anti-gun legislators to give us a coherent answer to that.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.