From reader John Fritz:

The latest wisdom from the Washington Post editorial board: ‘Prince George’s proposed gun registry is a reasonable approach to crime.’ There’s that warning word, “reasonable.” I’ve been saying for years that the sex offender registry would mission creep into keeping track of repeat drunk drivers and/or drug offenders. I was wrong. It’s going to be folks who commit gun crimes who get to enjoy being tracked like sex offenders. I ran this story by two of my friends, well-educated and successful guys. Neither could see anything wrong with this proposal and they thought I was out of line for not being a supporter myself. I got angry and yelled at them. And they think I’m the crazy one.

32 Responses to Prince George’s Gun Registry ‘Would Target Only Law Breakers’

  1. As the sex offender registry has spawned many assaults and murders. An angry relative of or the victim of such offenses can look up an offender and exact revenge. Regardless if it was the offender in their case or not.

    The law of unintended consequences at work.

    You have to love the short sighted nature of people.

  2. Before we regulate firearms,we reasonably should regulate more common tools of criminal behavior first.Ergo,buying a new car -regardless of how many you already own-should be subject to a ten day waiting period.Considering the thousands of people who die from car accidents,its only reasonable.

    Anyone who buys a cell phone should have a criminal background check completed before sale.The 9/11 hijackers and terrorists all over the world use cell phones to coordinate attacks.Its a reasonable restriction for the good of public safety.LEOs can also be sure anyone with a cell phone is responsibly able to use and possess it.

    Speaking of LEOs,they should be empowered to search any vehicle containing a cellular device,either in use or in a container.What if the owner is buying drugs with it?Its only reasonable to take these drastic steps in ‘drastic times’.As we all know the Bill of Rights, like the Ten Commandments and personal integrity ,is obsolete.

  3. I can only wish my life was so serene and simple that I had the time that these clowns seem to have to constantly think up new regulations and laws to interfere with the behavour of other people. And the word “reasonable” just frosts my cake. Who defines “reasonable”? What is “reasonable”? If I don’t agree with their definition of “reasonable” does that automatically make me “unreasonable”? And if it does, why?

  4. Well, they’ve got one thing right: “Congress should stop treating facts as illegitimate threats to gun rights.”

    More facts (assuming they’re accurately reported and researched) would be a very good thing. They probably won’t all make gun owners look good, but I’m pretty sure the vast bulk of them would support our belief that gun ownership among law-abiding citizens is a positive thing.

    You’ll never convince the anti-gun true believers, but among people who are willing to listen and maybe think a little bit, actual evidence collected by a credible organization (like the CDC or NIH) would go a lot further than political lobbying and fearmongering. The NRA is its own worst enemy sometimes.

    The little bit of good information that is out there went a long way toward changing some anti-gun misconceptions I had. We need more of that.

    • Would you mind sharing some of the anti-gun misconceptions you had and how your mind was changed? Living in gun-grabber-land as I do, I’m very interested in that kind of info.

      • I learned how to shoot rifles when I was 13, but we weren’t a gun-owning household (not anti-gun, just not gun owners), so I hadn’t spent much time around firearms (especially not handguns). So I was never fully anti-gun, but in my later teens/early 20s I heard a lot of anti-gun rhetoric and believed a lot of it.

        For one specific example, there’s the claim that you’re more likely to be killed by your own gun than to be saved by it.

        Oddly enough, I had bought a rifle and been using it for a while before that became a problem again — adding a handgun to the mix made for more uncertainty, and I worried that I was putting my family in mortal danger simply by owning a gun. I wanted to know if I was crazy to believe my gun could be a defensive asset.

        I finally found out about the studies done by Gary Kleck, which point out the massive problems with most anti-gun statistics and blew that one — which relies on numbers that include suicides (in a city with a high suicide rate) and exclude all firearm incidents where nobody died — completely out of the water.

        Gary Kleck’s research is online at http://www.guncite.com/gcdgklec.html — title is “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun.” It’s a long and complex article, but definitely worth the time.

        That one single collection of unbiased research, done by someone with serious credentials, did more than anything else to change my mind about guns. I’d still be a gun owner without it, but I wouldn’t have been a full believer in gun ownership as a fundamental individual right.

  5. I have lived in Prince George’s county for over 22 years, to understand this stupid “double secret probation” that is being floated here, one must the nature of the county. it is the second most populous county in MD and an “urban” one to boot. The sponsor of this is Karen Toles, a county council board memberhttp://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/council/CountyCouncil/District7/index.asp?nivel=subfoldmenu%280,0,0%29&printy=yes

    who represents some of the most hood areas of my county “forestville, capital and district heights neighborhood. these are the most crime laiden towns in the county. this is essentially a political “we are tough on crime” move, that will solve nothing, add to the bureaucracy of the county and state and will solve……..not a damn thing. our awesome LEO’s will continue to shoot dogs at will and use swat to serve simple warrants, while the criminal trash (Crips, MS-13 and the like) will continue to murder each other at their leisure, (which sounds great to me btw)

    this “registry” is targeted towards the hearts and minds of the fearful and law abiding folks who live in these areas and mind their business, when they should be the ones with lawfully purchased home defense weapons. don’t even get me started on the fact that one cannot buy ammo in the country at wallmart b/c it has been banned, or that i have to go out of my county to visit ANY decent gun shop.

    the best part is that you can see the presidential aircraft (white top helos and the blue and white planes) regularly in this county as the flight path to Andrews AFB goes over top of the area. how’s that for irony?

    • You left out “and because her constituency is composed of a bunch of criminals and their families, bashing criminals and the culture that creates them is verboten”.

      I lived in PG county for more than a few years myself. Still work there, in fact.

      • I’m pretty sure criminals with records did not vote this idiot into office, either way the motives behind this are purely local politics and contributes nothing to reducing the crime amounts in those sections of the county.

  6. I am wondering what is so evil about registry? I’m not saying I’m a proponent, I’m saying I don’t understand the problem. We have ssn’s, file taxes, use facebook, have emails, have homes, have phones, sign tons of contracts, purchase insurance, etc. Is it because it wouldn’t be voluntary? We have destroyed the illusion of privacy the day the internet was invented. The illusion of privacy is directly proportional to the amount of time it takes for someone to find something out about you. Before the internet that took months, now it is seconds.

    • A big problem is that they say “gun offenses” and people think “mugging someone with a Glock” when it really means “stopping at the 7-Eleven on the way back from the range” or whatever other silly, obscure gun laws they feel like passing. It’s a backdoor way to target gun ownership without being so blatant about it.

      So, let’s say you get dinged for one of these stupid obscure offenses. Now on top of the loss of your gun rights, you’re put on this registry for all the world to see.

  7. Regarding Megan’s Law, i have four kids, and its not the offenders listed on the website that i’m worried about. For every 1 on the list, there are probably 10 others out there.

    • Actually, to be a complete geek about it, the line goes:

      Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.

  8. So this proposed “registry” is a list the police keep specifically of people who have been convicted of committing a crime with a gun.

    Maybe I am missing something, but dont the usual conditions of parole and probation run like this: No Drink, no smoke, no guns, police up your @ss for every little thing, check in with your Designated Police minder etc etc.

    What is wrong with the police keeping tabs on folks that have been convicted of committing violent crimes? As already noted, the cops are (or they are supposed to be ) doing this already by way of Probation Officers checking in/up on their charges.

    Want to stay off the list? Then fer-chrissake behave yourself and dont get convicted of violent crimes.

    • “Crime with a gun” does NOT equal “violent crime.” “Crime with a gun” sounds scary but the term encompasses many many more situations than armed robbery and murder. Accidentally straying into a “gun free” zone with an otherwise legally possessed weapon is a “crime with a gun.”
      Remember the lady who saw the “no firearms” sign in NYC and then asked a police officer where she could surrender her weapon so as to comply with the sign? She committed a crime with a gun. Bam! A registered “gun criminal” for life! Yes it is a citizen’s responsibility to know the laws but if you mess up all of a sudden you are on the same list as the real murderers and armed robbers and you are assumed to be one and can expect to be treated like one.

  9. I agree with your two friends, Dan. There’s too much gun violence in the country, why not do everything we can to diminish it?

    You and your friends are good at finding something wrong with any and every proposal. That supports my theory that you are responsible.

    • Because these rules do nothing to stop gun violence. Look at DC, NJ, Chicago…These rules simply make it harder and more expensive for normal people to protect them selves and do not work. Criminals don’t give a crap how many laws are passed, they tend not to listen to them… NJ is a prime example of this in Trenton and Camden.

      • Listen, when Camden NJ has a wall around it and it requires a passport and Visa to get in there from Philly, and they install metal detectors at every entry point, then get back to me with that bullshit argument that gun control laws don’t work.

        • Do any Gun Control laws require that? Nope.
          Have any of your proposals suggested that? Nope.

          I’ve mentioned that I wouldn’t be so bothered by GFZs if the laws allowing the creation of them also required metal detectors and armed guards. But they don’t, so GFZs are just a place where law-abiding citizens go disarmed and criminals (who you just admitted will not be stopped without Walls and Metal Detectors) are free to remain armed.

          Mike, IF that Wall were built, then any drop in crimes that involve guns wouldn’t stem from the gun control laws, it would stem from the giant freaking wall.

          (By the way, Eastern Berlin had such a wall, as well as strict gun control laws. Contraband such as Guns, Food, People, etc made it across the border constantly and in significant quantities. Smuggling is a lot easier than preventing smuggling.)

          Mike, you’re proposing laws. If those laws will not be effective without some other thing not currently in existence (the wall), you have to include that in your proposals.

    • Show me how one of your proposals diminishes the ability of criminals to perpetrate violence using guns they acquired in violation of current law (~85-90% of guns used in crime).

      Use some evidence to do so, since evidence is how science works (even social science, which is what we’re talking about).

        • 80+% of criminals were not legally allowed to own a firearm at the time of the offense in which they used one.
          thus:
          80+% of guns used to perpetrate Criminal acts were acquired illegally.

          So, how do any of your proposals stop the Criminals from acquiring Guns in an Illegal manner?

        • First of all I think you’re doing what you keep accusing me of doing, putting forth unsubstantiated claims. Who could possibly know if that figure is 60% or 95%. Somebody interviewed a bunch of armed robbers and you’re passing that off as fact now?

          Secondly, the fact is that almost all those guns used in crime originally came from lawful gun owners. That’s you, Dan. You and your friends and your FFL guys and your gun manufacturers cannot hold on to your property, therefore you need to be controlled better by the government.

        • Mike, you don’t get to lecture me on the quality of my evidence until you first provide evidence for your own arguments.

          As for the original source, so what? The laws you propose do not limit the number of guns available, simply the number (and more insidiously type) of people who can own them. Since most criminals (80% per a study that stands as evidence until you find better evidence that contradicts it) already were ineligible to own guns, new Laws making them extra-ineligible won’t change anything.

        • You’re a beauty, Dan. You can cherry pick a study, not link to it, and it stands as evidence. Meanwhile in every comment to me you demand evidence.

        • When I linked evidence, you discounted it because it didn’t fit your preconceived notions of where the evidence lead.

          Meanwhile, you have NEVER linked any evidence whatsoever. When you claimed that the US had 5 times the UK murder rate (the only time you’ve so much as presented evidence), you didn’t bother to link it. I decided not to call you on that, because it was a good first step for you. Apparently giving an inch is a terrible idea.

        • Oh, and Mike, if you’d like to require citations for all studies referenced, I’d be happy to follow your lead.

          But you have to reference studies every time you make an argument from now on.

          Fair is fair, after all.

        • “There would be many factors to account for this tremendous difference, but for my money, gun availability is one of them.”[citation needed]

          Also, saying gun availability is one factor is a meaningless phrase. Unless you can account for the magnitude of the factor it’s like saying the gravitational pull of Mars has an effect on a baby. (Strictly speaking, it’s true, but the nurse delivering the baby has a larger gravitational attraction to it).

          You have to account for all the “many factors to account for this tremendous difference” before you can claim that gun availability matters.

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