Editorial: Some states' gun issues are other states' fault

San Jose Police Department via AP

A lot of states have issues they blame on guns. Violent crime is bad in their larger cities and those who need to look like they’re addressing the problem blame firearms as a general thing.


What’s more, they often pretend that the failure of their own gun control laws is because we don’t have tougher federal laws.

They blame their problems on other states. For example, Illinois has long blamed Indiana for its issues, as well as a number of other states.

So I don’t suppose anyone should be surprised to see an editorial out of St. Louis trying to pretend Illinois is right.

 Illinois’ latest restrictions on semi-automatic weapons, which were upheld by the state’s Supreme Court last week, may yet fall in pending federal litigation. But even if they remain intact, the fact that Illinois is surrounded by states with loose gun laws — none looser than Missouri’s — will continue to diminish the effectiveness of those restrictions.
That’s not to say there’s no correlation between state-level gun policies and a state’s gun violence rates. In fact, across America, the correlation is dramatic, a phenomenon for which Missouri is a national poster-child. (More on that in a moment.)

But more than half of all traced guns recovered in Illinois came from surrounding states, including Missouri, according to government data. That alone destroys the argument of critics who point to Chicago’s violence as evidence that strict gun laws like those in Illinois can’t work.

It drives home the need for serious, comprehensive federal gun reform laws to undergird the current wide-ranging patchwork of state laws (or lack of them, in states like Missouri). Addressing the crisis on a national level is a political impossibility at the moment, but the longer America accepts this unacceptable situation, the higher the body count will rise.


Except, many of the states that are blamed for the problem have a much lower violent crime rate than the states throwing the blame around.

If access to guns was the problem then those states should still have some signs that their state gun laws are working, as opposed to what we see in many pro-gun states.

To be fair, the situation is complicated. There are pro-gun states with big violent crime issues and anti-gun states with minimal problems. Firearms, however, aren’t the problem and never have been.

Yet we’re constantly told that we have to give up our right to keep and bear arms in the name of safety for people in these communities despite those guns helping to make our communities safer. We’re supposed to bend over backward for the people of Chicago, which is funny since none of those people give a damn about any of us.

“But those weapons are coming from out of state!”

Yeah, and?

Earlier today, I wrote a piece about tracing data out of Savannah, where 25 percent of the firearms recovered in one of the larger cities in a very pro-Second Amendment state came from other states.

The people who are going to traffic in illegal firearms are going to get them wherever they can get them and sell them wherever they can sell them.


If Chicago wants to reduce its violent crime, blaming a state like Indiana isn’t going to deal with the problem. To do that, they need to deal with the people who become violent criminals. Shift things so they don’t go down that path and you have less of a problem. Do it enough and you have no problem.

It’s not the tool, it’s the tool using it. It doesn’t matter where that tool comes from, without a bad guy willing to use it illegally, it’s just an expensive, complicated paperweight.

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