Proponents of gun control generally believe that gun control actually works. They look at states that happen to have gun control and fairly low violence and think “it must be because we have gun control,” never wondering if crime might be lower without all the gun control. Critical thinking is often not their thing, really.
That’s especially true when you consider that there’s a lot of money to be made supplying guns to the very people who are legally barred from buying them in the first place.
In fact, a network designed to do just what was recently busted in Pennsylvania.
Authorities dismantled a gun trafficking network operating in Montgomery County, alleging five Norristown residents illegally obtained or transferred 15 firearms using a straw purchase scheme.
Henry Vonzell “Legz” Harris Jr., 33, of the 400 block of DeKalb Street, Lynwood Reginald “Reggie” Wilford Jr., 29, of the 500 block of Buttonwood Street, Jaime L. Winslow, 40, of the 1500 block of Markley Street, Jahlesia Rosalie Clark, 21, of the 1800 block of Powell Street, and Sara R. Travis, 49, of the 300 block of Freedley Street, each face corrupt organizations and conspiracy- and firearms-related charges in connection with alleged incidents that occurred between August and October.
The defendants were arraigned before District Court Judge Marc A. Alfarano, who set bail at $99,000 cash for Harris and Wilford and $50,000 unsecured for Clark, Travis and Winslow. Harris failed to make bail and was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing for the defendants is scheduled for 1 p.m., Nov. 2, before Alfarano.
“This is another organization that is putting guns in the hands of criminals. These illegal firearms are a significant threat to our communities and to our safety,” District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said on Monday.
“Law enforcement in Montgomery County are committed to tracking down these gun traffickers and stopping them. It’s important for everyone to know that someone who buys a gun legally and gives it to or sells it to someone else is in violation of firearms laws and will face jail time. It’s not worth the meager amount of money these traffickers will pay,” Steele added.
With the charges, detectives alleged Harris, a convicted felon who was not allowed to legally purchase or possess a firearm, enlisted the four others to purchase guns on his behalf. Authorities alleged Wilford purchased 11 guns, Winslow purchased two firearms and Clark and Travis each purchased one firearm.
In other words, a criminal got those who haven’t been convicted of anything to buy him guns. A fair number of them, really.
With so many unrecovered firearms even after a search of Harris’ home, it appears likely that he sold those guns to others who legally couldn’t purchase a firearm. In other words, the criminals found a way around all the gun control in place.
“But that just means we need more gun control,” someone will pop off.
To them, though, I ask what would really have stopped Harris from getting guns? We don’t know the timeframe, but we know he got a number of people involved, so there’s reason to believe he’d have been able to bypass rationing.
Further, none of the buyers were convicted felons or had been “adjudicated as mentally defective.” There was literally nothing in their record that would have kept them from buying a gun. Nothing at all.
Look, it’s important to understand that criminals are going to get guns. There’s no way around it. They get them in the UK and Europe which has strict gun control laws. They get them in Australia as well.
If they get them there, they’re going to get them here. The least we can do is make it as easy as possible for the good guys to have them as well.