October 2, 2023

Guns In Philadelphia

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This morning there is an editorial written in the Philadelphia Inquirer about how to stop gun violence in the city. Most of us, referring to lawful citizens and hunters, know that anti-gun zealots believe that the only way to stop gun violence is to take guns away from law abiding people like you and me.

This editorial has nothing new to offer in the debate about guns. The writer is advocating that the city enact a new law that would limit gun purchases to one a month per buyer.

That proposal makes no sense. The real issue here is the writer’s reasoning for wanting to take guns away from everybody. It’s the same old story about how if they could succeed in taking the guns from lawful people, there would be no guns for the criminals.

Here’s what they wrote about how crooks get their guns.

Criminals often get their handguns through an underground market that begins with a transaction called a straw purchase. It works this way:

A gun trafficker barred from buying firearms because of a criminal record finds a go-between (a “straw buyer”) to buy handguns legally from a shop. The trafficker then sells those guns on the street, usually to people who also couldn’t buy them legally.

Clamping down on straw purchases would stem the flow of illegal guns into the city.

Their theory may in fact be true. The last sentence is the basis for what gun rights advocates have been saying for years. Clamping down on the crooks is the only way to stop the gun violence. Put your money where your mouth is. There aren’t enough police to clamp down and existing laws aren’t being enforced.

The letter writer admits that the vast majority of guns used in violent crimes where purchased illegally through underground markets, yet somehow, once again, they think stopping the legal ownership of guns to people who don’t kill other people will work.

The editorial’s biggest complaint comes from the purchase of a gun through what is called a “straw purchase” – that’s when someone who can legally purchase a gun does so for someone who can’t. They believe if we just stopped selling guns to anyone, murderers wouldn’t have any guns to kill with.

There are many other “weapons” that are used in senseless killings everyday, yet nobody is screaming to take those weapons away from lawful people. I’m talking about cars, golf clubs, baseball bats, kitchen knives, pipe wrenches, the list is endless.

The writer is correct. If the laws that are on the books would be and could be enforced, the straw purchases would cease or at least be minimized. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the only places where guns are used more than anywhere else to commit crimes is in cities where guns are not allowed to be owned by lawful citizens.

We need to allow those in good legal standing to be able to protect themselves and enjoy their guns while at the same time, cracking down on those who break the laws.

Tom Remington