Washington "ghost gun" arrest kills narrative

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

The state of Washington has passed a “ghost gun” law that will go into effect later this year. We’re told it will stop criminals from building their own firearms and keep guns out of the hands of bad people.

However, the arrest of a Vancouver man raises some serious questions on that front.

A man living in VancouverWashington was charged with illegal firearm possession on Monday. Authorities say they seized at least five ‘ghost guns.’

According to the FBI Seattle Division, 46-year-old Joao Ricardo DeBorba, a Brazilian National with multiple convictions for domestic violence assault, was arrested Friday on eight counts of illegal possession of firearms. He is being held at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac pending further court proceedings.

Authorities say last week, law enforcement served a search warrant at DeBorba’s residence and seized five firearms that did not have serial numbers or manufacturers’ marks. Three of the so-called “ghost guns” were AR-15 style rifles and the other two were handguns, all believed to have been purchased online. In addition to the guns, authorities found a large amount of ammunition, a workbench with firearms parts and tools, firearm silencers, magazines and gun cases.

Now, that last sentence is important.

You see, we’re told we need laws against so-called ghost guns so people like DeBorba can’t get firearms. It’s why Washington state passed its law against homemade firearms.

But this guy had suppressors.

Suppressors, aka “silencers,” are heavily restricted under federal law. You can’t just walk into a gun store and purchase them lawfully. You have to jump through all the hoops you’d have to in order to buy a machine gun.

And yet, he had suppressors just laying around, apparently. Suppressors. Plural.

That means he skirted federal law not just once but multiple times.

Now, if he’s willing and able to do that for something like a suppressor, do you really think that keeping him from lawfully buying ghost guns is really going to stop him from trying to get firearms? Do you think it’ll stop anyone?

Of course it won’t. It never has and it never will.

Criminals, by their very nature, do what is illegal. They might be, at most, inconvenienced by the law, but they’re almost never stopped by it. The only people stopped are the law-abiding folks who don’t represent a problem in the first place.

Washington state is banning “ghost guns,” but they couldn’t even stop suppressors from being obtained. Those aren’t legal off the shelf anywhere in the US, but they can stop kits and 3D printed parts from being obtained across state lines?

Seriously?

This just reinforces the idea that gun control is really just a willful self-delusion that allows people to believe they can stop criminals with just one more law. This despite the fact that it has literally never happened in the whole of human history.

At best, you drive it underground.

Then, criminals get to profit from it. You get more violent crime from it. You create new criminals from it.

But you never, ever actually stop it.

It’s time some lawmakers learn that lesson.