New Haven calls handful of "ghost guns" a concern

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Headlines grab attention, particularly in this day and age. People see a headline on social media, then share it, often without even reading the article in question. You could put anything in the body and they’d share it uncritically.

That’s especially true with a topic like so-called ghost guns.

Yet when you delve a bit deeper, you can’t help but realize that the headlines are often sensationalized. After all, the “problem” doesn’t look like much of an issue when viewed in context.

Like the “problem” of these kinds of guns in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Police Department has seized more guns this year than last, while the rise of so-called ghost guns continues, officials said Tuesday.

Mayor Justin Elicker said Tuesday that the number of gun seizures remains in the upward trend with 171 guns confiscated so far this year, a 27.6 percent increase from last year.

Among those firearms, 37 of them were ghost guns — untraceable firearms without serial numbers that can be bought online and assembled at home, often from a kit — a nearly ninefold increase compared to last year when police only seized four. Elicker said ghost guns are “a real concern.”

That’s right, 37 guns in a city of 130,000 people.

That’s “a real concern.”

Sure, I get being concerned with a nine-fold increase, but it sounds like the bigger problem is criminals with guns at all. That’s more than one gun per 1,000 people in the city. I can’t imagine that the criminal population is that big in New Haven, which would mean at least some of those with guns are being found multiple times.

If you can’t see how that’s a problem, you need your eyes examined.

Yet it should be noted that Connecticut has strict gun control regulations on the books, including those banning so-called ghost guns. It’s illegal to make, own, sell or even transport such weapons in the state.

If gun control works as proponents claim, then just how is New Haven having this “concern” in the first place?

Obviously, the gun control crowd’s answer is to blame other states for the issue, but do they really think anything will change that? The 3D printer is a thing today, and those puppies can churn out guns regardless of whatever regulations you put in place.

Connecticut’s answer, banning guns, was always doomed to failure because you can’t stop the signal. Data will flow and that’s all people need to build these kinds of guns.

The saving grace is that it takes effort to do so and your average criminal just isn’t going to put that kind of time and effort into such things. That’s why there are only 37 “ghost guns” in New Haven.

Meanwhile, I’d love to find out where the rest of the guns came from. Most likely, they were stolen, which matters.

After all, one of the knocks against unserialized firearms is that they can’t be traced, but stolen guns–while they can often be traced–are examples where tracing is useless. You find out who bought it, but not who actually provided it to the bad guy.

Of course, now that I think about it, I can’t help but wonder how many so-called ghost guns were manufactured as such and how many are just traditional guns where the serial number was obliterated. They count those as unserialized as well, in many cases, which skews the results heavily.

Either way, New Haven doesn’t have a problem with unserialized firearms. It has a problem with criminals. Once they realize that, they can focus their resources where they belong.