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12 Weeks in Virginia: Why More Laws Will Not Stop Gun Violence

Another day, another silly, uninformed anti-gun story by a liberal media outlet.

This time around, it was The Washington Post tracing where a handgun went over 12 weeks, and from the beginning, you can tell they’re trying to sell you on the horrors one gun can cause. The title alone references “a dozen criminal acts” and “the rapid cycle of gun violence.”

Today, we’ll go over how this gun-tracking experiment worked, and what ridiculous stories like this mean for you as a Virginia citizen.

What Happened in this Gun-Tracking Experiment

The story starts in a Virginia strip mall. Two young men, Jamal Fletcher Baker and Lawrence Monte Morgan, had been on a shopping spree, buying more than $3,500 worth of firearms.

They picked out a used Glock 17 at Virginia Arms Co. In case you’re not too familiar with Glock pistols, the Glock 17 is essentially the flagship model. Glock pistols in general are known for being reliable and easy to use, with a no-frills design.

The Glock 17 is the most widely used handgun by law enforcement. Even though a popular variant on it, the Glock 19, is a smaller version of the gun, the Glock 17 is still fairly easy to conceal, making it a popular choice for concealed carry.

So, Baker bought the gun and got a solid deal at $325. Even though he had just fille out Federal Form 4473 and claimed the gun was for himself, he gave it to his buddy Morgan about as soon as they got out of the shop.

Surprise, surprise – after that, the gun became part of all kinds of criminal activities. Six days after Baker bought the Glock, it was near Nationals Park, where it was used during a shootout at a barbecue. That incident occurred at a man named Romeo Hayes’ home. A friend of his had purchased the Glock from Morgan and got an extended 30-round magazine for it.

A few days later, the gun was in the glovebox of Hayes’ Nissan Altima. After a night of drinking and a brief confrontation at a nightclub, Hayes’ friend drove the car while Hayes opened fire with the gun. An off-duty police officer chased after the Altima, and Hayes shot at her, as well.

The Altima then pulled up to another car that coincidentally also had an off-duty detective, Thurman Stallings, in it. Hayes shot Stallings multiple times, but fortunately, Stallings survived.

Hayes and his friend fled the scene and briefly escaped. Police soon found the car again, since it was badly damaged, and chased it. The police would capture Hayes soon after, although they didn’t recover the gun. It would end up in the hands of an underground gun trader nicknamed “Poppa.”

The Glock 17 was eventually recovered about six months after Baker first bought it.

Stricter Gun Laws Aren’t the Answer

The Washington Post piece says that how quickly a gun can move from being sold to being used in a crime is “breathtaking,” although that is a bit overly dramatic. Of course if a criminal buys a gun, they probably aren’t going to wait long before using it during a crime.

Unfortunately, people draw the wrong conclusions from stories like this. Citizens and politicians hear about how recklessly criminals use guns like the AR-15, and they start calling out for what they consider “common sense” gun control measures. It’s funny how their common sense tells them to willingly give up rights that the Founding Fathers would have died for.

Anyone who understands Virginia’s gun laws would know that none of what happened with that Glock 17 was legal. That’s the problem with using these stories to argue for stricter gun laws. The people involved didn’t care at all about the current gun laws. What good would it do to add more gun laws that criminals won’t follow? The only person who suffers from that are responsible gunowners who respect the law.

Saying we need more gun control laws because criminals use guns illegally is like saying we need to go back to the Prohibition days because people drink and drive. The blame should be on the person who’s committing the crime. For that reason, there’s no need for more gun laws. We just need to enforce the ones we already have.

Virginia’s Gun Laws Are at Risk

As it stands, Virginia’s gun laws effectively balance public safety with the right to bear arms. That could change, though, if we aren’t careful.

The Democrats swept Virginia in early November, and advocates of gun control got an encouraging sign when they had just as many people hit the polls as advocates for gun rights. That hasn’t happened often, because it’s typically the gun rights advocates who come out to vote and protect their Second Amendment rights.

Some called it the “enthusiasm gap,” as the people who supported gun rights were much more committed to their beliefs than the people who supported gun control.

You can bet that the Democrats are going to try to use this victory to institute more gun legislation in Virginia and turn it into another heavily regulated mess, just like California or New York.

It’s important to remember that these things don’t happen all at once. The left slowly chips away at our gun rights, piece by piece, referring to everything as a common-sense measure that’s all about keeping people safe. Then, they gradually take more and more, until we end up with mandatory waiting periods, no concealed carry permits and assault weapons laws that ban just about every semiautomatic rifle you can imagine.

It has happened to other states, and it can happen to ours. That’s why we can’t be complacent just because we’re okay with our gun laws now. If we want to keep our right to bear arms, it’s our responsibility to fight for them.

About Samuel Bocetta

Sam Bocetta is a retired engineer who worked for over 35 years as a defense contractor for the U.S. Navy, specializing in electronic warfare and advanced computer systems. He teaches in Ottawa, Canada as a part time engineering professor and is the ASEAN affairs correspondent for Gun News Daily.

3 Responses to “12 Weeks in Virginia: Why More Laws Will Not Stop Gun Violence”

  1. Bob Shannon says:

    ” we need to hold responsible the person breaking the law”… indeed Sir.
    All of the discussion on reforming criminal sentencing has yet to drill down on this issue with the needed detail it deserves

    Locking up people with substance abuse problems, creates a poor utilization of available jail space. If no violent or aggressive behavior is associated with the drug offense it makes zero sense then to fill limited and available jail cells with someone who is no threat to anyone other than themselves.

    On the other hand a crime where a firearm is used demands the most harsh and punishing sentence that can be handed down. If the criminal charged is a illegal alien he/she is immediately deported to their country of origin. If it is a naturalized citizen then swift and certain long jail sentences should be made mandatory

    Anyone who knows they are engaging in the behavior described in this instance will have no uncertainty, and no doubts that they are going away for a very long time. The sentencing must be mandatory so as to avoid invoking sympathies of a jury who will lessen the sentence because of both real and inflated stories of how the suspect was abused, raised in a bad environment etc etc.

    When you commit a violent act against a fellow citizen you have sacrificed your right to walk among free people. Nothing else will or ever has worked. It is well documented that paroling or releasing people prone to violence always results in them returning to their communities to commit more violence.

    This discussion always leads me back to a point I have made repeatedly for 2 decades. Unless and until as a society we stop subsidizing illegitimacy this simple continues. Boy’s in particular growing up in fatherless homes are the overwhelming cause and the majority of those who engage in this type of behavior. It is the elephant in the room that legislators are reluctant to address because of the tired and ridiculous mantra automatically wheeled out that any discussion of this FACT is racist. One need not be a history expert to simply look at the statements made over and over again by Dr. Walter Williams or his esteemed colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell. Poverty & Racism in their childhoods were rampant, yet this type of violent crime was almost non-existent in comparison to today. The reason ? The male authority figure , the father was present.

    The sociologists beginning in the 1960’s at first subtly suggested that a father was not really necessary, later to actually promote the father wasn’t even needed . Add the move towards a more secular society, the removal of a practicing faith and one shouldn’t be surprised at the ultimate results.

    Mr. Bocetta is absolutely correct–more gun laws will do nothing to alter or stop behavior engaged in by perpetrator who have already demonstrated they care nothing about the law.
    Bob Shannon King William

  2. Chris Campberl says:

    I think more gun laws aren’t the answer. There are many sites like http://www.hinterlandoutfitters.com that sell guns through internet to anybody. It’s no wonder how do criminals get the guns.

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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