By Matt Rooney
The anti-Second Amendment administration of Phil Murphy says it wants to stop gun crime. Whether it’s aiming at the right target is a different question altogether.
On Wednesday, N.J. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that all New Jersey state and local law enforcement agencies MUST share information concerning the manufacturer, seller, and purchaser of any guns used in Garden State crimes.
The tracing requirement isn’t new; now, the mandate for New Jersey law enforcement includes firearms sold in other U.S. states.
The move is relatively uncontroversial, but an often under-discussed angle is whether the espoused policy will make much of a difference?
New Jersey is already one of America’s least heavily-armed states. That means there were less guns here than 43 other states, at least as of 2013.
According to oft-cited dates from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, while a significant number of guns used in N.J. firearm-related crimes do arrive here from out-of-state, many from states with laxer gun control laws, New Jersey remains the number single-largest provider of weapons for its own gun crimes (425 of the 2,112 crime-related traced guns recovered in 2012). That means 1,687 of the 2,112 traced guns arrived in New Jersey from points elsewhere, but a significant number of those traced guns came to us from states like New York, California, and our New England neighbors to the north, all of which have similarly strict anti-Second Amendment regulations.
Blaming “red” states for all of our gun crime simply isn’t fair. The pattern is also similar elsewhere.
In bullet-riddled Chicago which can never seem to get a moment’s peace these days, for 2017, nearly 50% of the guns used in the city’s firearms involved crimes were purchased in Illinois.
So are Murphy’s moves an elixir? Or largely cosmetic?
Will the new mandate save lives? Or simply collect new data to support an incomplete, ideological, pre-ordained narrative?
Moreover, is the Left’s obsession with the instrumentalities of crime overlooking neglected root causes?
Do these new measures address the real causation of violence (said another way, the REASON people use guns in a violent manner, given that our states has far fewer guns per capita than most other states) in our opportunity-deprived, culturally-ailing cities like Trenton where gun crimes are most prevalent? Or do they make yuppies and liberal suburbanites feel like they’re “doing something’ without actually touching the problem?
Are gun control laws keeping N.J. safe? Or signaling to criminals that this is a great place to prey on the defenseless?
Think about it before you answer. Lives are on the line.