Saturday, April 22, 2006

Shell casing stamps? Let's get real

Found this this morning, seems that the glorious state of California has come up with a new way of combating gun crime. The premise behind it is that when the weapon is fired, it makes a mark on the casing that will identify the gun. The write doesn't go into detail on what the marking is, but say that it will identify the make and model, but if it's going to be attached to a statewide database then it will most likely be serial number as well.
Let's think about this in reality though. I disagree with the inventor's position that the firing pin is unalterable, number 1: where there's a will there's a way, up to and including swapping out the firing pin to an unmarked one, it won't take a brain surgeon to figure out how to make that part. A few points of the article:

"All it takes is a few swipes (on the pin) with a sandpaper or nail file, and (the marker) is gone," he said."

If the pin is indeed hard as diamond, it will take more than a few swipes, but probably not much more than that.

"He called the technology "laughable," saying trigger-happy criminals could outwit police investigators by picking up spent shells at a shooting range and sprinkling them at a crime scene."

Disagree, no guy who just sprayed a few bodies with about 10 rounds a piece are going to stop when they're done, pick up their shells, drop a few other shells on the ground then speed off into the darkening night. When a firearm goes off, you hear it, people look out their windows, and call the cops. They know that and aren't going to waste time.

Nearly 1,800 Californians lost their lives to gun violence in 2004, according to the state Department of Justice. But police make arrests in only 55 percent of homicides due to the lack of sufficient evidence.

The question is, what evidence is lacking? The author doesn't make that clear, letting the reader think that it's the lack of gun evidence. Evidence can be many things, and in my understanding, are only loosely related to identifying the gun's serial number. We came up with serial number and ownership databases for the same reason, and while it has helped, all the lawbreakers did was file off the serial number or buy guns off the black market.
"I question people who opposed something so straightforward," said Griffin Dix, California state council president of the Million Mom March. "You can put an identifying number on every container of yogurt you sell, but not on a gun?"

I get rather frustrated at people who phrase their viewpoints this way, attempting to take the moral high ground in a debate like this. Like the greenies who ask regarding poor environmental legislation: "I questions x's stance on why he doesn't want our future generation to not have to breathe through a mask all the time", All law abiding citizens would love to stamp out crime, especially crime that takes the life of another human being, but the point being, criminals act outside the law, hence the term criminals. They're not gonna go out and buy the latest gun because they wanna go out and shoot someone. They're gonna go to the black market where guns are sold and bought under the radar, not to Tom's Gun and Ice Cream Shoppe. Also, just to be picky, every gun has an ID number on it Griffin, it's called a SERIAL NUMBER.

In wrap up, I don't necessarily disagree with the law requiring ID's stamped on every shell that a gun spits out, just don't think it's going to do any good, and if it won't then why in the world do we waste our time with poor legislation to put on our books? We've got serious issues to deal with, and worrying about putting a stamp on a shell casing is a little lower on the list than others.

No comments: