Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another triple murderer that won't face trial.

There one ever-recurring argument against gun legislation which I'd like to illustrate today:

"Gun laws affect only the law abiding"

There's the "duh" explanation to this, because anybody who'd break these laws would be a criminal. But what about after a crime has been committed? If somebody were to do a drive-by-shooting, he could face some serious charges right? Breaking several federal laws concerning guns, homicide, reckless endangerment
will put you in that position.

No, these people break those laws, because they are not planning on getting caught. They have no intention to stand trial and face punishment for their actions.

Take for example the most recent school shooting in Ohio; at the age of 14 he could not legally buy any type of firearm that accepts primed cartridges. I'm using this wording because I don't know whether he used a rimfire or centerfire weapons, I'm quite convinced he wasn't using blackpowder pistols.

So, he was in violation of several federal laws, but he will -for obvious reasons- not stand trial.
Another person who killed several people killed himself yesterday after an hours long standoff with law enforcement. (Texas Standoff Ends When Suspect Drives Into Lake)

If you're a religious person, you can choose to believe that these people may still face penalty in the afterlife, but there are still plenty of murderers at large who are alive and well
. There are many who are out on parole, probation, or who have made themselves comfortable within the prison system.

This is one of the reasons why I think we should improve our penal system. Prisons are overcrowded with people who do not belong there, and people who are not rehabilitated are cut loose to make place for others. We should keep looking for better investigative tools, it's a true pity that ballistic fingerprinting and microstamping show little promise, but our prison system is ready for a reform.

And our gun legislation? Should we keep legislation which has not been observed to work?

1 comment:

toddlizotte said...

Hello Gun debate critic,

I am Todd Lizotte, the co-inventor of microstamping.

I do believe microstamping can help, however I will admit, I am bias to some degree, my point though is how law enoforcement uses information to target handgun trafficking networks.

I also understand when technology ends and where usefulness needs to be determined and justified by people who will actually use it in real life.

Approximately ten years ago, we began to discuss how microsstamping could be used, with forensic professionals.

However between 2001 / 2002 timeframe we began to get serious feedback on its usefulness as an investigative tool.

The FBI and ATF have developed ways of analyzing certain criminal enterprises by the patterns they form when they engage in criminal behavior. The critical element to defining these patterns and analyzing them is good INTEL or “real-time” data.

This has become even more important with the formation of homeland security. Now new tools are being adapted from military methods of INTEL analysis, such as link analysis and social network analysis. By overlaying INTEL data from firearms trafficking to known networks of gangs, gang associates and known drug trafficking networks a complete picture is developed. Of course these maps or links are only as good as the INTEL, i.e. fresh information.

The FBI states that through their work, criminal enterprises or gangs are creatures of habit, and they often establish specific patterns in their activities. For firearm trafficking, this means they might prefer a certain type of straw purchaser, a specific source location or licensee, or a favorite method of distribution. Such patterns can be found through analysis of data; the problem is the current data is acquired when the firearm is recovered, instead of when the firearm is first used. The key once again is faster INTEL.

Law enforcement is now dealing with a migration pattern of gangs and other criminal enterprises and this network is now stretching farther across the country.

If microstamping data can be gathered at the instant the firearm is used in a crime, the greater chance for better linking and mapping through this type of analysis.

Firearm trafficking becomes vulnerable to these new techniques, link analysis and social network analysis, when an analysis of the data can form into patterns within a narrower window of time.

So, when trying to find unique ways of getting law enforcement the information they need to combat trafficking, while maintaining the rights of law abiding gun owners, it seems possible, microstamping will strike that balance.

Best regards,
Todd