In a painstakingly researched and thoughtfully reported piece (click the image above to view it) from Sacramento’s kcra.com, the threat presented to the populace by the spreading scourge that are “ghost guns” is laid out for Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public and the rest of the low information types watching at home. Reporterette Melinda Meza rounded up – or, more likely, was rounded up by – BATFE agent Graham Barlowe to let Golden Staters know that there’s trouble, right there in River City. With a capital ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘G’ and that stands for GHOST GUN! The problem is that, against all odds, California governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senator Kevin de Leon’s bill last fall that would have required anyone cobbling together his own firearm — even a shadetree gunsmith working in his own garage — to ask our friends in Washington for permission and a serial number . . .
Of course, the report neglects to mention that if the bill had been signed into law, it would only be observed by law-abiding citizens rather than the bloodthirsty killers de Leon and the ATF claim to be concerned about. For some reason, criminals show a puzzling tendency to avoid compliance with regulations such as these. Still, control is the objective here and the legality of crafting your own unregistered gun — something that’s been legal in all 50 states since, well, forever — presents an unsustainable challenge to authority.
Which means it’s time to rouse the rabble and let them know what a danger un-serialized firearms pose. As Agent Barlowe told Meza,
“People buying these know there is no paper trail — no way to trace, no accountability.”
Well yes. But that’s only part of an 80% lower’s charm. There’s also the fact that they’re inexpensive, giving the average Joe the ability, with the application of a little elbow grease, to make his own rifle.
And now, with the advent of 3D printing and tools such as Defense Distributed’s provocatively named Ghost Gunner CNC mill, it’s about to get even simpler. Which means it must be stopped.
“It’s as easy as making a pizza in an oven. You put it in there. You lock it into the jig, and push a button, and the machine does the rest of the work.”
Again, the goal is control. Hence the need to raise the alarm. As reporterette Meza intones,
“Federal agents say buyers of these types of guns are buyers who would not be able to buy a gun legally.”
A claim for which they have precisely zero proof. Gang bangers and C-store jackers have never had trouble coming by firearms through extra-legal means. And it’s far easier to buy one than to go to the trouble of building one. In places with far stricter gun laws than California, even fully automatic weapons can always be had. And as for the serial number issue, God knows no criminal mastermind has ever conceived of anything so nefarious as filing a serial number off his gat to thwart a subsequent trace.
Never mind all that, though. The ATF and KCRA have a point to drive home. How best to do it? Agent Barlowe apparently decided that pulling numbers directly from his rectal region was as good a strategy as any.
“There could be as many as 500,000 on California streets right now,” Barlowe told KCRA 3.
Nice use of a weasel word. There could be. That’s a number that’s so wildly improbable that only a federal employee would have had the straight-faced chutzpah to blurt it into a microphone. Still, the average guy on the street will probably never spot that as the flopping whopper it is.
Finally, as the rhetorical cherry on this journalistic cow pie sundae, why not end things with an inflammatory non sequitur just to leave the folks at home with something to think about.
“When you’re asking yourself, why would someone spend $5,000 on a machine gun that they’re purchasing from a convicted felon gang member, I think the answers are all bad.”
Somewhere we’ve taken a detour from 80% lowers and pizza ovens to enterprising would-be Dillingers buying Tommy guns on the street corner from the Cripps and the Bloods. Right there in Stockton! Scared yet?
“The bill’s author, Senator Kevin De Leon is pushing for passage once again. He says laws have to keep up with technology like 3D printers which are being used to make guns.”
Keep the faith, Californians.