What A New Jersey Gun Ring Tells Us About Gun Control

(Photo by Michael Saechang, published under creative commons attribution, share and share alike license)

Camden, New Jersey authorities are very proud of themselves today. It seems they busted a significant gun trafficking ring that accounted for a fair number of firearms entering their fair community.


The dealer sold more than two dozen guns illegally before being caught, and these weren’t just little 380 High Points either.

Criminals in need of a gun went to Tymere Jennings.

Law enforcement described the 35-year-old Evesham man as a “middleman” or “wholesaler” in a major gun trafficking ring that supplied firearms purchased legally in Ohio to be sold on the black market in Camden, where criminals often used them in violent crimes in the city and elsewhere.

Among the more than 30 guns the ring resold on the city’s black market were two AK-47 assault rifles, an AR-15 assault rifle and 14 handguns.

Law enforcement described it as the iron pipeline and said the successful breakup of the group and its gun supplies would likely save lives.

“We’re taking guns out of the hands of gun dealers and people who actually use them in shootings,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Wednesday during a news conference announcing the breakup of the ring at the Camden County Metro Police headquarters.

“Each gun that we seize or prevent from reaching the street represents countless lives saved,” Grewal said.

Now, that last sentence is accurate only in so far as it’s impossible to count an unknown.


That said, there’s an important lesson here, one that can’t be overstated.

Where there’s a market, someone will provide the product.

Photo by vivek jena, published under creative commons.

No matter what it is you want to deny people, folks will find a way to get it. When Prohibition went into effect, supporters rejoiced; now people would be spared from the evils of alcohol. They thought, you can’t get drunk or become an alcoholic if you can’t buy alcohol.

And then the mob stepped up and provided the product that people sought. They created speakeasies. They transported booze. They gave people exactly what they wanted.

So much for that, right?

The same thing happened with drugs. Once upon a time, people could buy that stuff over the counter. Then someone decided they shouldn’t be able to do that and Congress outlawed it. Yet somehow, people are still getting their hands on drugs.

Guns are no different. New Jersey has some strict gun laws, yet here we see that criminals still have no problem getting their hands on firearms.

That’s because there’s a market for guns. There always will be.

If someone wants a gun bad enough, they’ll do whatever it takes to get one. But when it’s illegal to get one, the law-abiding stop. For them, the advantages of having a weapon are outweighed by the disadvantages, namely the possibility of going to prison. So for them, they stop.


The criminal, however, is already risking prison for whatever reason. For them, the downside is minimal, so they buy guns regardless of the law.

That’s the problem with gun control. It’s a pie-in-the-sky notion that we can somehow prevent bad people from getting guns by restricting good people from buying them.

Unfortunately, any post-gun control nation or state will soon find out just how true the old adage “where there’s a will, there’s a way” really is.

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