Like millions of Americans, I own an AR-15 that I built from scratch. It wasn’t a “ghost gun.” The lower receiver has a serial number. I underwent a background check to buy it as hunk of metal. I didn’t purchase the parts over the Internet (gunbroker.com won’t ship AR parts to California lest they fall afoul of the gun grabbers’ zeal). I assembled my AR-15 with parts from my local gun store, including the Wyndham upper receiver. But it’s still perfectly legal to buy a so-called 80 percent lower” and other AR parts and roll your own. But for how much longer? While Senator Kevin De Leon’s ghost gun legislation failed, all it really needed to sail through the Cali legislature was an example of a heinous crime committed with one of the guns. Like this . . .
In late July, police say 21-year-old Scott Bertics showed up at a house in Walnut Creek and shot and killed 19-year-old Clare Orton before using a second gun to kill himself. While both had been in a relationship, police are not saying what prompted the young man to commit this crime.
But police told ABC7 News that both handguns were homemade, built by the Bertics who ordered the parts through the mail.
In the infamous video above, DeLeon waved around a scary home-built “assault rifle,” not a handgun. Does that matter? Apparently not. As far as DeLeon and the media are concerned, an unregistered “ghost gun” is a “ghost gun,” right? But if the gun’s untraceability is the problem, why isn’t a handgun with the serial number filed off – a common practice amongst criminals – also called a “ghost gun”? Because guns.
I feel sorry for my soon-to-be-former home state of California. Shootings are common, especially in the Bay Area, and gun control laws are many. You would think by now that this would be enough evidence that laws and more laws and still more laws don’t work. Sadly, it isn’t.
Luckily, it’s still legal to build your own rifle or pistol, even in California. And even if it wasn’t, criminals would do it anyway if a home-built firearm was cheaper and easier than buying a previously stolen or illegally purchased gun. But it isn’t so they don’t. Next?