Why we need more gun related background checks

A cache of guns was seized in Bridgeport, CT after a months long trafficking investigation.  Many — if not most — of the firearms were illegal.  Included among the weapons was ammunition capable of penetrating the body armor used by police.

(WTNH) — Among the weapons seized were an illegal Street Sweeper; a Cobray 12-gauge shotgun with collapsible stock, front pistol grip, and 20-round drum; and a Romarm AK-47-type assault weapon with 30-round, high-capacity magazine. The magazine was loaded with 22 live 7.62 x 39 rounds, police said.

“These weapons have devastating capability. They posed a risk to our community and our police officers. The rounds in the seized AK-47 would rip though a police officer’s bullet-proof vest,” said Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. “Imagine what it would do to a group of young people standing on a corner.”

It’s good that these weapons were taken off the street.  And there’s little doubt that they would have been used in the commission of multiple violent crimes.  But it’s what Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch had to say that has me scratching my head.

“It’s time that we stand up as a country and say that we want background checks, imagine the damage that these illegal weapons could have done had they been used in the commission of a crime.”

What would have background checks have done to prevent the trafficking of illegal guns?  Have things changed in the gun-running business?  Are traffickers now afraid of new gun laws?  He acknowledged the guns were illegal, no background check would have changed that.  And since gun traffickers don’t do background checks anyway, what does he think more background checks would have done?

Background checks would not have prevented these criminals from dealing in illegal firearms and the guns themselves were already illegal.  It’s incidents like this that anti-gun politicians exploit to remove guns from the law abiding public who aren’t the problem to begin with.  They don’t seem to be able to recognize that laws punish criminals, but are virtually powerless to prevent crime.


  1. But if they have new laws, they would have done something! And, for the Libs, doing something feels good, even if what they do is useless

  2. Similar to the ineffectiveness of drug laws.

    • I think I would say the only difference is that hard drug use inevitability leads to crime. Even if drugs were legalized, someone with an addiction who is out of money will likely turn to crime to get the money.

      Gun laws on the other hand are already sufficieny IF they were enforced.

      I agree that drug laws dont necessarily prevent drug use, but it removes a person likely to commit a crime yo get their fix.

      • Portugal has an interesting strategy towards the legalization of drugs. I think it is a model that could work here too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal

        • That has lowered the amount of people in jail for possession. But addicts who have no money for their fix will commit crimes to get the money.

          • The wikipedia article explains how Portugal has shifted their resources from criminalization and punishment to decriminalization and treatment. That is the part I was talking about.

            Given the ineffectiveness of our “drug war”, the overpopulation of prisons, and the number of repeat offenders I think it would be a good strategy.

            • Portugal has done well with that. However the US seems to be unusual in that things done elsewhere in the world dont work here or have the opposite effect.

              Gun control for example. More guns elsewhere leads to more crime sometimes. But here more legal guns leads to less crime.

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