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More examples of gun control failures and UBC mythology

Dave Workman
Dave Workman
Seattle Gun Rights Examiner
June 11, 2015
10:21 AM MST
Gun control laws don't seem to be keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.
Gun control laws don't seem to be keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Today's Seattle Times headlines a pair of crime stories that underscore the inherent failure of gun control while strengthening the argument that so-called "universal background checks" (UBC) as a crime-prevention tool are a myth, and a third report from Arkansas - about a police chief losing his gun - provides the proverbial frosting on the cake.

Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner got a "written reprimand" from the city manager after his department-issued handgun apparently disappeared while he was moving from his apartment into a house over the Memorial Day weekend. KLRT News reported that the chief "doesn't know whether the gun was stolen or misplaced but pointed out there were several movers, cable company workers and other strangers in his house during the move."

That may not be as bad as losing a gun from one's department-issued car, as did former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske some years ago, but neither of these guns are where they belong. Kerlikowske's 9mm Glock has apparently never been recovered, despite a reward offered by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms at the time. If Buckner's gun was merely "misplaced," that's still rather careless. Kerlikowske's gun disappeared more than 10 years ago.

CCRKBA was part of a coalition of Second Amendment groups that battled against Initiative 594 last year. I-594 was passed in November with 59.27 percent of the vote after proponents spent more than $10 million to pass it. That was a lot of money to spend on a campaign to pass a measure that proponents claimed is supported by 92 percent of the voting public. With that alleged support, it shouldn't have cost the gun prohibition lobby even half that much to pass.

But the two stories in today's Seattle Times might explain where I-594 proponents have it dramatically wrong. The first involves yesterday's sentencing of Mark A. Reyna to six years in federal prison for stealing 22 handguns last year at a Fred Meyer store in Newberg, Ore. Three days later, the story notes, Reyna was arrested in Mount Vernon. So far, police have recovered seven of the stolen guns and Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Weinhouse is quoted admitting, "The rest, we don't know where they are."

It is a cinch they are not being "transferred" between people, who probably shouldn't have them in the first place, via the background check process required in I-594. Reyna reportedly admitted he stole the handguns, worth an estimated $12,000, to sell them.

While Reyna is doing his stretch, there's another case that could land the suspect in a Federal Way homicide investigation behind bars for a lot longer, perhaps for the rest of his life. Michael Anthony Espinosa was arrested in Tacoma, and booked into the King County Jail Tuesday in connection with the May 23 slaying of a man in Federal Way. Martin A. Douglas, 53, was shot at close range in the head and Espinosa is apparently the suspect. He's being held on $2 million bail.

The newspaper says Espinosa is affiliated with at least two gangs. He is also a convicted felon, and got out of prison in March. One report said he was wanted at the time of the slaying by the Department of Corrections. In addition to the homicide investigation, Espinosa is also being investigated for unlawful possession of a firearm.

When authorities identified him initially as a suspect, news reports noted that he should be considered "armed and dangerous." How was that possible, with background checks now required for all gun transfers in Washington?

Laws that require law-abiding citizens to jump through legal hoops to exercise a civil right don't stop criminals or even discourage them. As reported by this column earlier, New Jersey's gun control laws prevented a Berlin Township woman from legally buying a gun, and a man against who she had a protection order apparently stabbed her to death and then committed suicide by hanging.

Gun prohibitionists argue that every law they promote is aimed at keeping guns out of the wrong hands and preventing tragedies. Stories like the ones discussed by the Seattle Times today and earlier by Examiner suggest the gun control strategy is not working.