What journalist doesn't get about "ghost guns"

(Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

Whatever the topic of the day is, there are some who will think they’re experts in it. While people have a right to their opinions and a right to voice them, I’m always amused by how idiotic some of the takes actually are.

This is especially true when it comes to “ghost guns.”

I put the words in quotes because, well, most of the people who sling the term want to use it because it sounds scary. Most don’t really understand much of anything about the topic at hand, only the talking points politicians and activists sling around.

Take this story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal by Clarence Page titled, “What the right doesn’t get about ‘ghost guns’

In it, it shows that Page doesn’t get a lot himself.

An often-repeated story about W.C. Fields holds that as he approached the end of his life, a friend was surprised to find him reading a Bible.

“Looking for loopholes, m’boy,” he reportedly explained. “Looking for loopholes.”

That scene comes to mind these days as I hear the standard response given by the National Rifle Association, the Gun Owners of America and other gun rights groups to even the most modest attempts to inject a little sanity into our nation’s gun laws.

The latest example of loophole-seeking has emerged in the recent pandemic of “ghost guns.” I’m not talking about the spirits of deceased firearms. “Ghost guns,” as many have been learning, is a street nickname for home-assembled firearms. Their parts can be 3D printed or ordered over the internet and constructed at home like Ikea furniture to produce a full-fledged gun.

The bad news is in their illegality. Buyers of unfinished parts or components have not been required to undergo a background check, and their weapons have no serial numbers, which makes them virtually impossible for police to trace.

Except most guns used by criminals are virtually impossible for police to trace…at least, to trace in any meaningful way that helps to solve a crime. Most guns are illegally acquired in the first place, meaning the trace gives them a name and an address of someone who bought the gun, but they’re not the criminal.

With all this talk about tracing, you’d think crimes couldn’t be solved without it. Yet more than half of all firearms are stolen.

Now, Mr. Page, tell me how tracing will help?

But as stupid as that comment is, Mr. Page ramps it up to 11 with this nonsense:

As if we didn’t have enough guns on the street already. “The last thing we need in our community right now,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart of Chicago said recently, “is not just more guns, but more guns that can’t be traced.”

True. Hunters, collectors and other firearm enthusiasts, including some of my personal friends, have many legal ways to practice their pastime, but, as the sheriff observed, there’s no need to have a ghost gun unless you’re planning to commit a crime.

Completely and totally untrue.

For one thing, there are those of us who simply don’t trust the government very much. We’ve watched time and time again while the government demonstrated its lack of trustworthiness and would much prefer to have something that same government simply cannot know about.

Why distrust the government, you may ask, Mr. Page? Well, there’s this thing called history. I’m a fan of the subject, actually, and if there’s one thing you learn is that governments do a lot of shady or downright evil things.

Don’t believe me? Ask a Native American sometime.

As such, that’s at least one other reason to own a “ghost gun” that doesn’t involve planning to commit a crime.

That says nothing about those who simply want to build a gun in the privacy of their own home without having to jump through the ridiculous hoops that have been proposed.

Mr. Page, like so many others in his profession, believe himself to be an expert on the subject of “ghost guns,” but he, as so many others in his profession, really just illustrates his complete and total ignorance of not just the subject at hand but the gun community as a whole.