Gun trafficking task force misses golden opportunity

MikeGunner / Pixabay

In the course of my day, is see a ton of headlines. Most of us do, but I actually go out of my way to find them. That’s just how things work when you write about stuff like this.

So I got kind of excited when I saw this headline: “Interstate task force to study reasons for gun violence.”

After all, I’ve been advocating for someone to do just that.

The problem, though, is whether or not the study would produce real results or just tell lawmakers what they wanted to hear? So, I had to read it.

Talk about a misleading headline:

Fifty people from nine states convened for the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns for the first time Wednesday to study various avenues feeding the ongoing increase of gun violence and illegal firearms crossing state lines.

Officials and law enforcement agencies from New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New Hampshire traveled to or virtually participated in the task force’s first meeting at the New York State Intelligence Center in East Greenbush, Rensselaer County, late Wednesday morning.

In her executive budget proposal, Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul announced tripled investment in resources to trace firearms, improve data collection, job training, community engagement and other intervention programs to combat community-specific crime issues.

“We have to make sure we’re working together — this is a national phenomenon,” Hochul said at the Intelligence Center on Wednesday. “Where are these guns coming from? They’re not originating here in the state of New York.

Of course.

The entire study starts from the premise that guns are the problem and goes from there.

Look, if you want to actually figure out what the problem is, you can’t start from the assumption that you know what the problem is. It’s fine to hypothesize, but you have to remain open to the idea that maybe guns aren’t the issue.

That’s not happening here.

As a result, this is going to be nothing but a waste of taxpayers’ money. And this is the kind of thing Chuck Schumer seems to want to help facilitate, too.

Look, I get that gun trafficking is an issue. However, a better approach would be to work to remove the market for these firearms rather than just blame gun trafficking for all your ills.

Guns aren’t responsible for criminals. They never have been and never will be. There were criminals before the invention of the gun and there will be criminals well after guns.

So instead of blaming guns and screaming about gun trafficking, maybe it would be wise to step up and start addressing the problems that lead to people pursuing criminality in the first place.

Gun trafficking wouldn’t be a thing if there weren’t customers clamoring for guns, after all, which I’m sure an unbiased look at the issue would reveal. Then again, it’s also kind of common sense.

But alas, this is New York we’re talking about here. At no point are we likely to see common sense take hold.