Four States Band Together For Gun Data Collection

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Data collection is usually not a bad thing, so long as the data being collected isn’t personal information that the party collecting it has no business with in the first place (looking at you, President Biden, and the whole “$600 in the bank” thing). Yet when you start talking about gun data, I get concerned.

It’s not that there’s no legitimate use for such data in and of itself. The more knowledge we have about guns and how they might be misused, the more we can do to curb that misuse.

But when these four states band together to share data with one another, how can you not get a little nervous about the goal.

Gov. Phil Murphy, joined by three other northeastern governors – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont – announced this afternoon that their four states would share gun violence data with one another as part of a larger initiative against gun violence.

“As we’ve noted before, when we work together as regional partners to enact regional solutions, we’re far better off than if we all go on our own,” Murphy said in the livestream of the announcement. “And a critical piece of this is sharing information so we can put smart policies to work.”

Murphy added that, while New Jersey may have strict gun laws, crime guns can still flow into the state from other states that have looser restrictions; the same is also true in other northeastern states like New York and Connecticut.

Of these four states, only Pennsylvania isn’t rabidly anti-gun. Its governor, on the other hand, most definitely is, so this kind of fits.

Let me spell out for you what I think will happen with this. They’ll collect data for a little while, then they’ll release a report all about how the guns in criminal hands in their state came from other states. This will be, in turn, used by members of Congress from those states to try and justify some infringement on our right to keep and bear arms.

This isn’t about finding out the truth or anything of the sort. This is really just to create a cudgel with which to try and beat the rest of us into accepting gun control.

Unfortunately for them, though, if their claims about the validity of gun control were true–that more guns somehow correlates to more crime–then the states those guns came from should be awash in violence. They’re not. Not any more than cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Newark are, anyway.

Yet that won’t matter.

Look, this focusing on the tool used and not the tool using it is never going to get us anywhere. Especially when we watched decades of violent crime reduction with no expansion of gun laws to speak of. The only gun law passed at the federal level sunset and crime continued to drop.

In other words, it had zero impact on anything.

Instead, we should be focusing our attention on proven law-enforcement strategies that have led to a reduction in crime time and time again. Unfortunately, some of the best ones aren’t allowed to be discussed because they’re supposedly racist. It’s a shame, too, because those strategies appeared to have saved a lot of black lives.

I guess those didn’t matter.

Regardless, I’m nervous about where they’re going with this data-sharing thing. This will bear some careful watching.