Gun owners get blamed for violent crime

MikeGunner / Pixabay

Gun owners often have to navigate a tightrope. Many of us bought firearms for self-defense purposes, to protect ourselves from violent criminals. However, we’re also blamed for violent crime.

It’s a thing that happens far too often.

After all, why else call for restrictions on gun sales, permits to purchase requirements, or other gun control measures if you don’t think lawful gun owners are some part of the problem.

However, as the NRA notes at America’s First Freedom, studies show who the real problem is, and it ain’t us.

Faced with rising levels of violent crime, far too many municipalities and their leaders have focused on restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens instead of going after and prosecuting criminals. “We have to get guns off the streets!” is the usual mantra as these politicians scapegoat people who practice their constitutional rights to self-defense.

However, a newly released study on crime in Washington, D.C., clearly shows that a much more-effective approach is—surprise, surprise—to get the bad guys off the streets. Indeed, this study finds that these bad guys are not only readily identifiable, but they also commit the vast majority of violent crimes.

As the NRA-ILA recently reported: “A December 2021 study conducted in concert with the federal enclave’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and the Metropolitan Police Department, the findings of which are published in a document titled ‘Gun Violence Problem Analysis Summary Report,’ found that much of D.C.’s violent crime is perpetrated by a small portion of the population that is already known to law enforcement.”

The report concluded: “In Washington, DC, most gun violence is tightly concentrated,” and that those involved, “share a common set of risk factors, including: involvement in street crews/groups; significant criminal justice history including prior or active community supervision; often prior victimization; and a connection to a recent shooting (within the past 12 months).”

Further summarizing the data, the report said, “This small number of very high-risk individuals are identifiable, their violence is predictable, and therefore it is preventable. Based on the assessment of data and the series of interviews conducted, [National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform] estimates that within a year, there are at least 500 identifiable people who rise to this level of very high risk, and likely no more than 200 at any one given time. These individuals comprise approximately 60-70% of all gun violence in the District.”

In other words, they know who represents the problem. Local officers can probably give you the names of people they expect to commit a violent offense with a firearm. Prosecutors know them on sight.

And yet, we’re still treated like we are the problem.

Sorry, but this is yet another reason why I have no interest in giving up my right to keep and bear arms. Law enforcement and prosecutors know who is the problem and they’re not law-abiding gun owners.

Focus on them, not us for a change.

Look, if just 200 people at any one time is a problem in the District of Columbia, how many fewer are there in smaller communities? Why on Earth should we punish the majority of the actions of the minority?

Group punishment sucks in elementary school and it’s even worse in the real world.

Meanwhile, we have prosecutors who have turned jail cells into revolving doors, putting these few right back out onto the streets where they can continue to be a threat. The fact that just about all of the prosecutors who support this also support gun control isn’t lost on me, either.

I’m sorry, but I’m not taking the blame for anything other than what me or mine do. That doesn’t include violent criminals law enforcement knows about but are powerless to address.

Maybe it’s time to start targeting these people with efforts instead of us.