Sunday, February 13, 2011

Focus on the Criminal Not on the Gun

In Connecticut they have the right idea.

With crime and violence on the minds of many in Norwalk, the state Legislature is considering a bill to create a gun offender registry.


  1. I believe this is an excellent idea. These criminals have abused their 2nd amendment rights and are likely to re-offend, so I imagine even the pro-gun advocates would agree. The value to law enforcement is obvious.

    The only argument I could see against it is the high cost of such a program (but then, that has to be weighed against the cost of the crimes that would otherwise occur).

    Details: I feel that the proposal should require offenders to be on the register longer than four years, since the behaviors that led to the original offenses might well take longer than that to change.

    I also wonder about the wisdom of keeping the register non-public, depending on the severity of the crime. Just as I want to know if a sex offender lives near me, I would also like to know if a violent criminal lived near me or would potentially be hired by me.

  2. It's never "the right idea" to waste taxpayer money on redundant bureaucracy and "problems" that really aren't as high on the problem scale as many other numerous REAL problems.

    There is already a registry of gun offenders. It's called the Connecticut Corrections Records system. This is an existing database system and number of employees which can be augmented as necessary for far less money than creating a whole new separate system with a whole new additional number of employees. Redundancy is bad. Redundancy is not "the right idea".

    Further, there are far more problems which are *real* problems. The gentleman in the video admits:
    "In 2009 the mayor of Baltimore reported that in that city's registry's first year, only three of the more than 200 registrants who were out of prison had been re-arrested for handgun violations and only a few others had been arrested for various misdemeanors that had been dismissed."

    Three out of 200?
    A few others, whose charges were dismissed anyway? (So, why even mention them?)

    What? A whole new database system and group of employees, at taxpayer expense, for three people?
    Ah, but the gentleman suggests the numbers are so low *because* the registry is in place and having a *deterrent* effect, keeping the re-offender numbers from being much higher.

    Mike, are the re-offender numbers low due to the existing registry being an effective deterrent? This is a main point this man is using in his argument, the deterrent effect. If that reasoning is flawed in using it to justify this registry, then we must question the necessity of creating a whole new system and bureaucracy for something that seems not to be a high-level problem.

    Money and resources are scarce, and prioritization is a necessity.

  3. The NRA got the state to create a law where anyone who wants to buy a handgun has to take a $ 125 NRA course on gun safety before buying a gun. Not a single dollar of that money goes to the state in order to support gun control laws like the one you discuss in this posting.

    There is no requirement before you purchase a long barrel weapon, so you can purchase your AR-15 with no problem and no bullshir NRA fee.

    F&*% the NRA. Part of the problem like all political lobbies.

    And yes, I do own a gun. I don't need a political lobbying group to influence my legislatures. I do that with letters and voting every election. Political lobby groups like the NRA are for people who don't take the time to vote.

  4. DM, Thanks for the comment, and although I agree redundency should be avoided, I kinda like the idea of a dedicated State Registry. CT could be the first.

  5. Mike,

    I like the idea of a database of convicted violent offenders, too. But only if it's not redundant to something else that exists that could be augmented for much cheaper, and only if the "problem" is at or above the level of other real problems.

    Thank you for addressing, and appearing to agree with, my doubts that this is a redundant system that could be done for cheaper with an existing system and employees.

    Would you please offer your thoughts on my other concern related to the existing registry being all for *three* re-offenders in a year's time, and the gentleman's shaky claim that the registry's value is it's "deterrent" effect?

    What do you think, especially about the "deterrent" justification?

  6. About the mention of three people who were picked up due to the Baltimore database, I think he's saying that so few came up because it is a deterrent. I'm not sure.

    The duplication of effort might be necessary unless we can all of a sudden expect the fed to get their act together. The states could probably include the mental health information in addition to the criminal.