Most pro-gun reactions to gun control legislation require a bit of thinking. This morning, I tried to explain how Massachusetts’ move to limit gun sales to one per month per customer could endanger lives—by limiting the self-defense options of a person in danger of attack. My case for allowing multiple gun purchases is a pretty compelling argument if you’ve got a stalker. But if you see the law through the prism of an “all guns are bad” perspective, or simply don’t pay much attention (as is the wont of journalists and people who’ve got to put food on their family’s table), it’s an obscure not to say invisible point. But some anti anti-gun arguments are what Hollywood used to call “high concept.” For example, microstamping.
The microstamping process uses lasers to make tiny markings on a gun’s firing pin and other internal surfaces, identifying the weapon’s make, model and serial number. When a gun is fired, this information is stamped onto the bullet casing. That sounds like a very smart idea to us. The bill has the support of 100 mayors and more than 80 police chiefs around the state.
Things would be so much easier for The New York Times if they didn’t have to appear to be fair and you know. They could just say mayors and cops are for it so, to quote Gary Gilmore, lets do it! Unfortunately, the Gray Lady has to mention the opposition’s POV.
The gun lobby is pushing back hard. It predictably minimizes the public safety value of microstamping, claiming that criminals would file down all the markings. It exaggerates the cost of the process and claims that it would curtail the availability of handguns in New York. The State Assembly rightly ignored those arguments and has passed the bill. The Senate’s Codes Committee, which deals with criminal justice issues, is scheduled to take up the measure on Tuesday. Committee members should approve it, and Democratic leaders should then quickly bring the bill to a full vote.
Did you get that? Criminals will file down the markings! To which the Times replies . . . nothing. No reply. Because there isn’t one. Criminals will file down the markings. Thirty seconds. Done.
As for changing the way guns are made (simply to satisfy PC Poobahs), someone needs to tell the Times that NO ONE DOES THIS.
Implementing microstamping would mean new designs, new tooling, new production processes and new costs. Until and unless other states follow suit, the manufacturers would be unable to amortize those costs through volume. They’d have to charge New York consumers extra for the privilege of affirming the New York Times’ and its urban acolytes’ misguided belief that government intervention in the firearms market is the key to reducing gun violence.
Bottom line: the price of New York-compliant guns would sky-rocket. If the state passes this microstamping misegos, many gun manufacturers will react as they did when California got all hinky about what could and could not be sold in state. They’ll opt out. Which would, yes, limit the availability of handguns. in New York.
But that’s just common sense. And why let common sense interfere with the holier-than-thou body-guarded hypocrisy of news executives and politicians?