I know the anti-gun readership of Bearing Arms isn’t all that large, but I’ve got a question for the few brave souls who aren’t afraid to see what the other side is saying.
What gun control law would have prevented this?
According to an affidavit, a 14-year-old went to the area near the Edgehill basketball court to buy a gun from another juvenile, who was an acquaintance. When he arrived, two other people were also there: [Michael] Ferrell and a third juvenile.
The juvenile pointed a gun at the victim and demanded his money, according to Metro police. When the juvenile tried to grab the victim’s money, he reportedly knocked the gun away and they began physically struggling over the money.
Metro police said that’s when the victim was shot twice and his $600 was taken. Investigators learned Ferrell may have been the only person close enough to pick up the gun and shoot the victim, who was already struggling with the other juvenile over the money.
So, a 14-year in old in Nashville goes to buy a gun on the black market from another juvenile and a 19-year old, and ends up getting robbed and shot instead. Again, tell me the gun control law that would have prevented this?
If we had universal background checks, do you think the illegal gun sale would never have taken place? Or maybe the 14-year old would have been denied when the underage seller put him through a background check?
“Assault weapon” ban? Nope. It was a handgun.
Magazine ban? No, because the 14-year old was shot twice. Even a six shot revolver could have been used by the robber with the same results.
Smart gun technology? Not bloody likely. There are already 400-million privately owned non-smart guns in the United States, and they’re not going anywhere, even if the smart gun technology were mandated on all new gun sales. Besides, smart guns aren’t so smart that they can’t be hacked by even the dumbest of criminals.
How about a gun “buyback”? Does anybody truly believe that the juvenile would have turned the gun in for a $150 gift card instead of getting $600 in cash from his underage buyer?
The fact is that no gun control proposal could have stopped this crime from happening. The juvenile who was illegally selling the gun didn’t legally obtain it, though police haven’t said if the gun had been reported stolen. No matter how badly anti-gun activists want to believe that there’s some new gun control law that we could put on the books to stop something like this from happening, the truth is that by focusing on the gun (and restrictions on legal gun owners), gun control advocates ignore the actual issue.
Why did this 14-year old want a gun in the first place? Did he feel like he needed it for protection? Was he planning on using it to pick up some quick cash in a carjacking or robbery?
What about the seller? Why did he think he could be so brazen as to sell a gun to a teenager in a public park at 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon?
What about the shooting suspect? Why did he decide to pick up the gun and pull the trigger? Why was he willing to murder a 14-year old kid over $600?
Did any of the three have any previous criminal history? Are any of them currently on probation? Do they have stable home environments? Mom and Dad both at home? Any physical or emotional abuse?
Because two of the three individuals involved in this incident are juveniles, the public is unlikely to learn the answers to any of these questions. Sadly, we do know what’s likely to happen to both the illicit gun sellers (and alleged robbers) and the underage buyer: not much of anything at all. The two juveniles will probably get probation and maybe a short stint in juvenile detention, while the 19-year old is almost certain to be offered a plea bargain that will result in a brief stay behind bars. He may even get enough credit for time served while awaiting trial that he’s back on the streets as soon as he pleads guilty to a reduced charge.
And then the cycle starts all over again. If we want to stop things like this from happening, we have to focus on the people involved instead of fixating on the idea of banning our way to safety.