Remember when “victim blaming” was a bad thing?
Supposedly it still is, but only on some things. It seems that teaching that a woman should be responsible for her safety is “blaming the victim” for not stopping a rape–even though no one is saying or even believing that–but it’s perfectly fine to try to penalize the victim for having their guns stolen.
A bill in Texas, of all places, seeks to criminalize people who have their guns stolen and don’t immediately report it to authorities.
A bill introduced this legislative session seeks to make it a crime to fail to report a lost or stolen gun to law enforcement authorities.
State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez said it’s a law that doesn’t exist and needs to be on the books.
“We know when guns are stolen or lost, a crime will be committed with that weapon,” he said.
House Bill 1207 would require a gun owner whose weapon is lost or stolen to report it to authorities within five days of first realizing the weapon is gone. Failure to do so would mean the person would face a Class C misdemeanor and the loss of their eligibility for a license to carry for five years.
Rodriguez thinks the law would cut back on “straw purchases,” which are a federal crime.
“The ‘straw purchase’ is me giving (a gun) to someone that really shouldn’t be allowed to have one,” Rodriguez said.
He thinks it’s a commonsense bill that should make it through the floor.
Rodriguez wouldn’t know common sense if it slapped him in the face.
First, let’s look at the problem. You’re supposed to report it within five days of noticing the gun is gone. Show of hands, how many of you take daily attendance of your firearms?
So how are prosecutors going to prove when I realized the gun was gone?
Second, prove it was still my gun. “Nope. Sold that one a year ago. Don’t remember who to.” This is Texas we’re talking about here. There aren’t universal background checks in place.
In other words, the only people who will be prosecuted by this are honest people. Sorry, but that doesn’t seem remotely right, especially since they’re a victim here.
Clearly, this is meant to try and combat all the canoe accidents gun owners are always talking about having.
Seriously, let’s talk about the straw purchase aspect of this for a moment, because that one may look to the outsider as legitimate. The problem is that few people go out and buy a gun through a straw buy, then use it right away and get caught. They get caught much later, at which point the straw buyers say, “Money got tight a month or so later, so I sold it.”
It’s too easy to beat, for one thing. For another, even if you close that avenue up, you’re not actually going to deprive criminals of guns. They’ll get it from somewhere else
“That’s not an argument against the law!” someone will say, and I get where they’re coming from. In and of itself, it’s not a valid argument.
But the problem is that it’s part of an overall argument that not only will it not stop the bad guys, but it’ll also hurt the good guys who have done nothing wrong.
This is nothing more than legislative victim blaming, and it needs to crash and burn.