Monday, October 12, 2015

Shooting case highlights gun sales' flaws

As a high-profile crime-gun civil case - - the two severly-wounded victims were police officers - - winds up today in US District Court in Milwaukee,  I'm reposting an earlier item laden with gun crime data - - including the stunning finding that 1% of the nation's gun dealers have sold almost 60% of traceable crime guns.

Subsequent estimates have put that "bad apples" ratio at 5% of dealers accounting for nearly 90% of crime gun sales.

Regrettably, this is a tragic, persistent reality: I was part of a team of Milwaukee Journal reporters in the early '90's that produced an award-winning investigative series about crime, gun sales and lax oversight.


DC Homeboy said...

From the non-existent middle of the gun control "debate" I offer this:

I bought my first gun, a Sears and Roebuck .22 cal. single shot rifle at about 12, with lawn mowing money. It is now 50 years later and several more have accumulated in my collection, locked in a steel cabinet and bolted to a wall. I don't have a "right" to own firearms but I exercise my "privilege" to own them.
As with the privilege of driving the privilege of gun ownership comes great responsibility. I think we should heap great amounts of responsibility on the shoulders of gun owners, of whom I am a member about 12 times over.
To wit:
- Carrying loaded firearms, concealed or openly, in public is disturbing the peace and is reckless endangerment of the public. It should be punished accordingly.
- Every firearm should be registered in a central data base with the current owner’s residence and contact information.
- Every sale or purchase of a firearm should be recorded into said data base. When a gun is destroyed or surrendered, it should be removed from the data base.
- If you own a gun, then you own responsibility for everything that happens with that gun, regardless of who pulls the trigger. If you allow your gun to be stolen and then used in the commission of a crime, then you are party to the crime.
- If your gun is used in a suicide, regardless of the victim, then your negligence makes s you party to the manslaughter. Keeping a gun around a teenager is as to give rope to a depressed man.
- If you own a gun and your child accidentally kills or injures a friend or sibling while playing with it, you are party to the tragedy, and are liable for criminal and civil damages,
- No gun should be allowed to be transported unlocked, uncased or loaded. Until a few years ago, that was Wisconsin law.
- Threatening someone with a firearm results in the confiscation of all the owner’s firearms and the loss of privilege of ownership, forever. This regardless of whether or not a gun is actually brandished during the threat.
- Surplus guns may be sold to the government at fair market value for destruction. The medical cost of a single accidental shooting would buy plenty of guns.
- Using a gun to prevent a property crime is murder, or attempted murder.
- Using a gun for self protection or the protection of another results in a criminal charge and results in a jury trial of peers. If the jury believes the fear was justified, then you are innocent. This allows abused women to kill their abusive partners if they are so threatened.
- Anyone convicted of a violent crime is ineligible to own firearms, forever.
- Anyone who is under a restraining order for fear of potential violence is ineligible to possess firearms. Their firearms must be surrendered. Only the judge issuing the order, or his/her appointee may restore the guns to their owner.
That is where I’d start to address the problem, which is a cultural problem first and foremost. We are a society that wallows in the glorification of violence and death. We allow our young men to be steeped in it to the point where they are desensitized to it. We allow them to harbor adolescent fantasies about violence well into their adult years. When people grow up and act responsibly, we will gradually solve our problem. Until then, zero tolerance.


James Rowen said...

Thank you for the thoughtful comment.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware of the fact that out of 90 million Americans owning guns; the NRA MEMBERSHIP IS ONLY 4 MILLION. This tiny minority claims to speak for all gun owners but the NRA's extreme positions are at odds with most Americans and even most gun owners. They get away with his by getting most of their money from gun manufacturers and then buying Republican congressional votes to deny legislation that could probably curb much or our nation's firearm violence. IT IS SO WRONG THAT SO FEW CAN ALLOW FOR THE KILLING OF SO MANY!

Anonymous said...

What all of you fail to understand is that we already have laws in place. Murder is against the law. Armed robbery is against the law. How has a law stopped these crimes? Answer it hasn't. Do you really think that more gun laws will reduce crime? NEWS FLASH laws only keep honest people honest. Criminals have no regard for current laws, and certainly won't for new laws. Guns do not kill people, people kill people.

For the sake of discussion, let's say that all guns are banned, and turned in. Do you really believe that will end murders, and violent crime? The first recorded murder in history, Cain slew Able not with a AK47, or a Glock but with a rock. Tell me about Oklahoma City, and Nickels and McVeigh. what kind of guns did they use? Oh yeah that's right, they used fertilizer, and diesel fuel. How about the terrorists on 9/11/01? Oh yeah , they didn't use guns either, they used jets, and box cutters. The point is, people will still find a way to kill. Guns are not evil, but some people are evil.

Let's take this one step farther. Again for sake of discussion, let's divide the city of Madison in half. In one half owning a gun is against the law. In the other half, gun ownership is mandatory. Now you are a burglar in Madison, which part of Madison are you going to target? The part that law abiding citizens have no guns to defend themselves, or the part where all law abiding citizens have guns to defend themselves. I think we all know the answer to that one.

Anonymous said...

DC, While I agree with a few of your rules, some of them are absolutely moronic. If a guy steals your gun from your house and commits a crime with it, the owner should be charged? Really flipping dumb. If a guy hotwires my car and steals the beer from my fridge after he breaks into my house, then kills someone in a crash, by your new rules I'm a killer.
When is the carrying of a firearm in public actually in public? We have a public rifle range, if I shoot there I'm in public. I could name hundreds of exceptions you would need to allow. Heck, if I'm hunting I am usually on public land.
If a guy jumps off my barn roof to kill himself, it must be my fault. After all I left the ladder out.
What determines a property crime? Some fool holds matches to my house while I'm in it? Then your going to charge someone without due process? Realize the law must show an imminent deadly threat already.

You are exactly why we can not have common sense gun control in this country. Never once did you mention the obvious, mandatory training, better background checks, or restoring waiting periods. Yet you would design rules which would treat a gun owner as a criminal if he defended his family from a deadly intruder. As soon as you start spouting that kind of crazy, you bring out the crazy from the other side.