DC, ATF Partner For Higher Rewards For "Ghost Gun" Recovery

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

If you were to ask the average person on the street who gets their news from the mainstream media about so-called ghost guns, you’d probably find out that they viewed them as a significant threat to public order. After all, hasn’t the news been filled with stories about how this is a growing threat?

Of course, I’ve broken down a number of reports and noted how they tend to lack framing. There’s no frame of reference so as to give us any real, meaningful way to determine how big the threat is for ourselves. Instead, we just have to trust the people saying it’s big.

In Washington, DC, the police there act like it’s a huge threat, too, and now the ATF is helping them.

As homicide rates remain worryingly high in the District — up 12 percent compared to this time last year, according to D.C. police data — the city is raising the monetary incentive to get illegal guns off the street.

While the District offers up to $2,500 for tips that lead to the recovery of illegal guns, the city is partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to raise that reward to $7,500.

“If you know someone who has an illegal gun, or you know where an illegal gun is being stored, we need you to report it and report it as soon as possible,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser, announcing the new effort Monday in Crispus Attucks Park in the Bloomingdale section.

He also said the police are specifically looking for tips leading to the recovery of ghost guns — which can be bought online and assembled at home and are untraceable — and handguns modified with switches making them fully automatic.

So they’re specifically looking for firearms that are only used in a fraction of the total violent crimes we see in the district? Well, that just makes perfect flipping sense, now doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, this is what our cities look like, folks.

I’d guess that 90 percent of the violent, firearm-related crimes that take place in the city are carried out with traditional firearms, and I’m lowballing here. Weapons converted to full-auto or ghost guns are typically fairly rare, especially when you look at the total number of firearms in criminal hands.

But that’s what they’ve decided to focus on for some idiotic reason.

Check that. It’s not idiotic, it’s just wrong.

See, the reason they’re focusing on this is probably because it’s politically expedient. It fits the anti-“ghost gun” narrative quite well and helps advance it. “If it’s not a big problem, why are they offering rewards for these kinds of things?”

Of course, that argument is nonsense, but people will believe it. They’ll believe anything, really. Some people really believe Africans visited South America long before Columbus, so we really shouldn’t be surprised they’d believe this.

What bothers me about it is that it’s essentially using our tax dollars to perpetuate a lie.

Folks, so-called ghost guns aren’t the problem. They’ll never be the problem.

The problem is that there are people who think nothing of taking human life. Until law enforcement and the District of Columbia work on addressing that, nothing is going to get better.

Nov 29, 2021 4:30 PM ET