Preliminary data on crime during the first half of 2017 shows murders were up 1.5 percent during that period, but that depended upon the location, according to an FBI report released last week coincidentally while the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show was unfolding in Las Vegas.
However, in cities of more than 1 million population, murder was actually down 1.9 percent from the same period in 2016, the report noted. It was up a startling 18.7 percent in cities with populations between 500,000 and 999,999. That would include places like Seattle, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Possibly by less of a coincidence, Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat over the weekend wrote a column about guns, crime and bump stocks, arguing that banning the accessory might have some positive impact on violence. It probably doesn’t matter that most homicides are committed with handguns, or that the general public had never heard of bump stocks prior to their use by a deranged person in the mass shooting in Las Vegas last Oct. 1.
Westneat seemed to poke fun at Republican State Sen. Phil Fortunato’s claim that he could fire a semi-auto pistol rapidly, launching five rounds in a second. That doesn’t sound credible at all until one looks back in history at a fellow named Ed McGivern, who managed to empty a pair of revolvers – one in each hand for a total of 12 rounds – in less than two seconds back in August 1932, a record that still stands today.
The column also quoted Sen. Doug Ericksen, another Republican, who challenged his colleagues by asking, “Do you really think the crazy, psycho person who sits in a hotel room with a gun is gonna say, ‘Oh, it’s against the law in Washington state, so now I’m not going to do my crime?’”
“No, nobody thinks that,” Westneat wrote in reaction, “and it’s also about a mile away from the point.”
Actually, that is precisely the point that gun prohibitionists from Olympia to Atlantic City stubbornly refuse to accept. Last week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and that state’s Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced new gun control efforts. The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) quickly noted that their efforts would only impact law-abiding armed citizens in the Garden State.
Criminals don’t obey the law. That much was front and center in many discussions occurring during the SHOT Show among firearms journalists and other industry professionals. They seem to understand criminals better than all of the gun prohibition lobbying groups and their allies in Congress and the 50 state legislatures. Second Amendment activists have asked repeatedly why that is the case and they have yet to receive an adequate, and credible, reply.
There is a more important question that media gun control advocates might address. Say bump stocks are banned. Will that be enough to satisfy the gun prohibition lobby, or will they want more concessions? At what point will the demands of the gun control crowd finally be satisfied?