The Associated Press, like most other so-called “news” organizations, hasn’t exactly been fair to gun owners. That said, the AP does seem to try a bit more than most to hide any anti-gun bias in and amongst their reporters. It’s still not difficult to find, mind you, but they look to me like they’re trying to some degree. Most of the time, anyway.
So, I’m only a bit surprised by a report out of the AP over the weekend that argues something we already knew. It seems that it’s news to some just how New Jersey’s gun laws didn’t manage to do diddly to stop the Jersey City gunmen from acquiring weapons.
I’m also not a bit surprised that they jumped on it as a federal issue rather than a failure of gun control laws.
Officials from states with strong gun restrictions have called for stricter firearm control in places with weaker laws to thwart traffickers, but the fatal attack on a Jewish market in New Jersey shows how fruitless those efforts can be.
Three civilians and a police officer were gunned down Tuesday by two killers with anti-Semitic and anti-law enforcement beliefs, the state’s attorney general said.
The attackers carried five firearms and a pipe bomb in the U-Haul van they drove to the Jersey City Jewish market before opening fire, officials said. Two of the weapons used by David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, were bought by Graham in Ohio last year, police said. It’s unknown where they got the three other guns.
New Jersey is among the states with the toughest gun restrictions in the country, and in the past two years, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has signed over a half-dozen new restrictions into law, including a lower bullet limit for gun magazines and a red flag law.
He’s also made a priority of highlighting the so-called iron pipeline of firearms from other states — particularly along the Interstate 95 corridor. Murphy, for example, is requiring state police to publish data monthly on guns recovered from crimes. The data shows nearly 80% of so-called crime guns are from out of state.
Murphy says it’s important to “name and shame” states with weaker gun laws that effectively import weapons into New Jersey. And in California, its Democratic governor and attorney general this year both criticized the continued ability to bring in illegal firearms from other states despite California’s strict gun laws.
The problem is, criminals are going to get guns one way or another. If they can’t import them from another state, they’ll find somewhere else to get them. As I’ve noted before, guns will always end up in the hands of those who want them and don’t really care about the laws surrounding them. They’ll continue to end up right where you don’t want them.
But the AP’s headline is actually the most accurate part of the whole story, something you won’t really get from the body of the text. It read, “Shooting shows New Jersey’s gun laws aren’t stopping imports,” and it’s right. They don’t. Nor did the federal laws against smuggling guns into states that have outlawed it.
Murphy’s “name and shame” plan assumes the pro-gun states can be shamed. The truth is, though, those states already know that disarming criminals will take a whole lot more than just passing a couple of laws, so why burden their own law-abiding people because New Jersey can’t keep a handle on their own?
Criminals are going to smuggle guns. Laws won’t stop them because, hello? Criminals! It’s kind of what they do.
The question is, will someone like Murphy ever figure that out?