Fearmongering On Ghost Guns Ignores Real Issues

(AP Photo/Colleen Long)

I have written a lot about how so-called ghost guns are being demonized without any real efforts being made to contextualize the data. We hear that the problem is growing, but without any context, we can’t evaluate for ourselves just how much of a problem it really is. Over and over we hear this.

Yet there is an issue with guns ending up in criminal hands. Especially in places that are supposedly doing all the right things to prevent it, such as Baltimore, Maryland.

However, when talking about “ghost guns” there, a gun control advocate said about the dumbest thing possible.

Just two weeks ago, a group of teenagers in a stolen car rammed a Prince George’s County police officer before crashing at the end of a chase.

In that car, police found two ghost guns. Two more in what police say is a growing and alarming trend.

“Total last year, we recovered 185 and I think we’re going to far surpass that number this year,” says acting PGPD Deputy Chief Kevin Hughes.

Already this year, Prince George’s County police have seized 117 ghost guns. Last year, that number was just 43 by this date. That is a 172% jump.

“It’s terrifying,” says Liz Banach of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

She says nothing prevents felons or teens as in that police chase from buying the guns legally.

“And we shouldn’t allow that to happen in Maryland,” says Banach.

Actually, there’s a lot that prevents them from buying the guns legally. For one thing, so-called ghost guns can’t be manufactured for sale legally. For another, guns can’t be sold to underage individuals legally. Absolutely no one in authority in Maryland is allowing it to happen. Criminals are criminals. They break the law on a regular basis.

It should also be noted that at least one of those “teens” was a legal adult.

While it’s possible these teens made the guns themselves, that’s highly unlikely. It’s more likely someone built them with the intention to sell them. After all, while building a gun isn’t the most difficult thing out there, it’s also not like putting together a model airplane, either. Someone kind of has to have a clue what they’re doing, and I doubt these three did.

But what if there were no “ghost guns” out there. What then? Would these teens have been weaponless?

That’s pretty unlikely. See, someone who would sell handguns to teenagers is someone who would sell any kind of handgun to teenagers. Instead of “ghost guns,” they’d have stolen guns or bought them off the black market. That’s where the majority of criminals get their weapons in the first place. In fact, it could be argued that’s where these guys got their guns.

Of course, this is really about fearmongering. Banach wants you afraid of “ghost guns” and she’ll frame it all in any way that she has to in order to achieve that goal.

These particular types of firearms may show up at crime scenes, but they also show up at your neighborhood gun range with far more regularity. Instead of fearing the kind of gun a criminal may use, why not just focus on the criminal instead?