Lawful gun owners commit less than a fifth of all gun crimes, according to a novel analysis released this week by the University of Pittsburgh.Surprising analysis from the Washington Post!
There are a few 'poisoned bullets' hidden within the editorial:
In the study, led by epidemiologist Anthony Fabio of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, researchers partnered with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to trace the origins of all 893 firearms that police recovered from crime scenes in the year 2008... but it's YOUR fault, because you own (owned) a gun and it ws used in a crime. You are automatically suspect.
More than 30 percent of the guns that ended up at crime scenes had been stolen, according to Fabio's research. But more than 40 percent of those stolen guns weren't reported by the owners as stolen until after police contacted them when the gun was used in a crime.So, because your gun was stolen, and you didn't realize it (as the author offers in amelioration), you MAY NOT have reported it as stolen. So you are now a suspect in a crime which may be much more serious that burglary.
"We have a lot of people with a lot of guns," Fabio said, referencing statistics on the large number of guns in circulation, "And some of them aren't keeping track of them for different reasons — maybe because they have a lot of them and they don't use them that often."All of this brings us down to the recent plethora of state laws which require firearms owners to report lost or stolen guns within (a variable amount of time) or face prosecution.
There are anomolies, as in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooter who murdered his mother in order that he could steal her guns from her gun safe. And then murder children and teachers. So it's easy to understand why The State would want people to report stolen guns 'promptly'.
(Nancy Lanza was not charged with failing to report a gun theft; well, she was dead.)
First, because Law Enforcement people can be aware that a firearm used during a crime is not necessarily one used by the original owner to commit a crime.
Second, because if a firearm is recovered at the scene of a crime and traced back to the original owner, if that owner says "oh, yeah .. that was stolen from me MONTHS ago!" ... the police can say: "uh huh, and why did you not report it???" (And you are put on the top of the suspects list.)
Third, because as soon as a firearms owner reports a stolen gun, the information that this person owns a gun (and may own more guns) is part of the information police want to know when they investigate an possibly-non-related crime. As in: "we can't have a firearms registry, but this is an "indicator" that we can treat you as a suspect person and a possible hazardous contact".
(Just because we're paranoid, that doesn't mean that we're not a target.)