It never ceases to amaze me how studies are required to explain things that should be patently obvious.
In a recent study from January of this year Dr. Anthony Fabio, PhD, and his team from the University of Pittsburgh looked into the actual numbers behind firearms related crimes. What they found, while shocking to those who are against the Second Amendment, will surprise no one who is not. When breaking down the numbers Dr. Fabio discovered that 79%, of all cases he looked at that involved a firearm, the gun was obtained by illegal means.
The team conducting the study worked with the Firearms Tracking Unit (FTU) of the Pittsburgh Police to track firearms related crimes in 2008. Of the 762 cases that they analyzed from that year, 478 of those cases, 79%, involved a criminal that was illegally carrying a stolen firearm. In 12 cases, 2%, the owner of the firearm committed an offense while illegally carrying a firearm. For 10 of the cases examined, 2%, the owner of the firearm was illegally carrying it, and finally in 86 cases, 14% the owner committed an offense while legally carrying a firearm. In 21 cases, 3%, there was insufficient data on the case to place them in one of the previous categories.
The takeaway is this, crimes involving firearms are far more likely to be committed by people who are already breaking the law. On the first page summary Dr. Fabio’s team states directly,
“Given that 79% of perpetrators are connected to firearms for which they are not the legal owner, it is highly likely that a significant amount of theft or trafficking is the source of perpetrators’ firearms”
The study goes into more detail about the demographics, rates of theft reporting, and more as well. If there is anything else to take away from this study, firearms owners should record the serial numbers for all of their firearms and have them ready for the police should they be stolen.
New Laws Are Not The Answer
Theft is already against the law, but criminals will still break the law to obtain guns. They will steal them from law-abiding citizens and bypass the system that we have for keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals. The answer to this is not to impose more restrictions on law-abiding citizens who follow the law, but to deal with the criminals who are breaking the law in the first place.
“Assault” weapons bans, restrictions on magazine capacity, and all of these other, “sensible” gun control measures fail to understand one thing. Gun control only affects those who will follow the law. It disarms peaceful law-abiding citizens and prevents them from defending themselves when attacked by a criminal.
Not only do we have our common sense that shows this to be the case, we have ever mounting data to tell us this in no uncertain terms. Yet the media refuses to report the facts. Instead they spin their own narratives about what they want to make people think.
What are your thoughts on this study and the issue of gun control? What should we be doing to deal with these issues? Sound off in the comments below.