One of the most universally accepted bits of gun control is that convicted felons shouldn’t have guns. While there are those who argue otherwise, they’re a distinct minority even in the firearm community. Most are fine with felons not being able to exercise their gun rights, at least not without all their other rights being restored too.
Yet time and time again, felons do us a favor in a way. They routinely demonstrate how gun control doesn’t actually work worth a damn, even if almost everyone supports it.
The latest example is a convicted felon out of Nashville, Tennessee.
Officials said it all started when they pulled over a driver on North 5th Street for having an expired license plate. They said the driver was 41-year-old Delbert Porter.
They said Porter jumped out of the driver’s seat and smelled of marijuana. He admitted to officers that he had a baggie of marijuana on him. Officers also found 1.5 grams of cocaine and an empty gun holster.
Authorities found a revolver just outside the truck in the grass. Porter said it was his and it only had a few bullets in it. Officials said the revolver was stolen from Clifton, Tennessee. Porter was convicted of felony cocaine, marijuana and gun possession in 2004. He admitted that there were additional guns in his nearby residence.
The police found three more firearms at his home, two of which had been reported stolen. The third was likely reported, but not with a serial number and thus couldn’t be traced.
So, a total of four guns with at least three being stolen. It’s likely the fourth was as well.
I mean, it’s almost like convicted felons buy guns off the black market instead of at law-abiding gun stores or even through face-to-face transfers which are still legal in Tennessee.
Of course, that’s precisely what happened. Stolen guns are often sold for well below retail value, which makes them very attractive to criminals. Hell, it’ll make them attractive to anyone. The difference is, law-abiding citizens don’t want to buy a stolen gun because, well, that’s illegal. That whole “law-abiding” thing really gets in the way, doesn’t it?
The thing about black markets, though? They don’t go away because you passed a couple of new laws. They don’t stop existing because you now require background checks on every firearm sale. They just don’t.
Criminals like Porter don’t work within the system. Oh, they might if they had to and could, but they haven’t been able to do so in ages. So, they go around the system.
This is a man who got his hands on four firearms despite the laws in place to prevent it. The fact that they were stolen tells us that at least three of them weren’t otherwise lawful sales. It’s well beyond time to stop pretending that these matters can be solved with a couple of laws.
People like Porter will always be armed. The thing to keep in mind is that it’s vitally important that the rest of us can be armed to meet the threat these people represent.