The state of Maryland may not be a gun controller’s paradise, but it isn’t far from it. They’ve got most of the preferred gun control laws on the books and it’s just a pain in the rear to be a gun owner in the state. Oh, plenty of people still do it, but the state doesn’t make it easy.
And yet, it’s also a state with one of the most violent cities in the country.
Baltimore has a reputation of being a rough city, to say the least. Yet despite that history, some are still outright baffled at how people are getting their hands on firearms illegally.
“This is a war zone out here,” said Munir Bahar about the East Baltimore community where he grew up.
For more than a decade, Bahar has operated the COR Community Center where he teaches control to Baltimore teenagers who live in an out of control city.
“How is it that these guns continue to be accessed by people who don’t live anywhere near gun stores?” asks Bahar. “The flow of guns in the poorest areas of the city is not by accident.”
Proximity to a gun store is irrelevant. Why? Because they’re not obtaining guns from a freaking gun store.
Gun stores mean licensed dealers. While you can find the odd dealer willing to skip the required checks, 99+ percent of them are going to follow the law. That means checking IDs and running NICS background checks, at a minimum. Since the state also requires a license to buy a handgun, they’re going to check for that too.
In other words, criminals aren’t getting their guns from gun stores.
Bahar thinks there’s some massive criminal enterprise trying to bring guns into the various neighborhoods. It’s almost hysterical. See, while he’s right that criminals are bringing the guns in for sale, it’s not that massive an enterprise.
See, these guns are often stolen firearms in the first place. They’re stolen, then taken to places where people are willing to buy them. The Law of Supply and Demand doesn’t just apply to legal goods, after all.
These guns are then sold to anyone with the money. There’s no paperwork, no licenses required, no nothing except an exchange of goods for money.
The fact that Bahar can work in a related field for a decade and be so completely clueless as to where the guns are coming from is the really baffling part of all this. I’m sure he means well and all, but how do you work in trying to prevent violence and not at least learn where people are getting guns from?
Regardless, the idea that some are surprised by the reality also explains why so many people still support gun control laws as a method for trying to reduce crime. They legitimately think criminals are getting guns from the local gun store and they can do it because the laws are too lax when nothing of the sort is true.
It just goes to show you how clueless some people can actually be on this topic.