Saturday, October 09, 2004

California's Lockyer

What confounds me most about California is not the fact that the entire coastal region is so insanely liberal. I have grown to accept that. What really gets my head hurting is the people they decide to elect. Outside of the obvious ones, like Feinstein and Boxer, you have Gavin Newsom, Grey Davis, Cruz Bustamante, and Bill Lockyer.

Here's the newest proposal these chuckleheads have come up with to make sure that nobody ever gets hurt by anything, anywhere, ever.

California's attorney general wants to crack down on gun violence by laser-branding all handgun bullets sold in the state with tiny identification numbers nearly invisible to the naked eye.

That's how the story opens. It would sound almost Orwellian if the entire concept wasn't so Jetsons.

Now, exactly what would this accomplish, you may ask?

"We think this is a very valid idea that could solve crimes quickly," said Hallye Jordan, a spokeswoman for Lockyer, one of the state's leading Democrats.

Now this is on par with gun-fingerprinting. Maryland has fingerprinted 17,000 handguns since 2001 and hasn't solved a single crime utilizing their database. They have also spent a crapload of money on this mind-bendingly stupid idea.

Merely running a cleaning rod harshly down the side of the chamber and barrel alters the rifling marks to such a degree that the resulting grooves are unidentifiable from their test casings.

But let's take a look at who ordered a complete study on this technology and found it to be completely useless? The NRA? John Ashcroft? No. Bill Lockyer, the California attorney general.,2933,66007,00.html

Anyway, that nincompoop idea didn't work so let's try another one.

Under the plan, all ammunition sold in California would have a serial number etched by laser on the bullet and casing. Bullets without such micro-markings, including those from outside the state, would be barred by law, with some exceptions for sport shooters who make their own ammunition.

Hmmm. Make your own ammunition. That's an idea.

When laws like this pass, they make absolutely no difference at all for one simple reason: capitalism. Markets tend to fill the needs of an individual willing to spend the cash for the supply, however slim that supply is.

The black market, however, is even more laissez faire than the larger economy and can react to shifts in demand much more readily.

So pass a law and with a wave of the wand you have created an instant illegal black market. And as we see with other black markets, the people who run them are not always of sterling principles.

"It's something that the cops going to a crime scene involving shooting victims, once they recover the spent cartridge or bullets they can look at it right there," she said. "We have a database where they can put the number right in and then drive to the person's house whose bullets they were."

Oh it sounds so simple doesn't it? Unless you've ever seen a bullet after it has been fired into an object. I'm assuming that hollow-points aren't legal in California, so they must be using soft points (unless the market has already filled the demand for currently illegal documentation.) Soft points turn into mush once they hit, say, a concrete wall.

Finally, they say that the markings are "nearly invisible to the naked eye." Simple solution? Buy a magnifying glass and a file.

UPDATE: Jeff over at Alphecca has noted this in his Weekly check:

For a more technical approach see Random Nuclear Strikes:

Cali doesn't (as far as I can recall) have a ban on hollowpoints. NJ has a de facto ban on hollow points, but to be honest I forget the details of their law at the moment.

Lockyer...hard to mention him without also mentioning a high number on the cranio rectal insertion scale. The only way his plan would be put into place would be to require ammunition registration. You want to talk about a paperwork hassle then that's a good place to start. A side effect would be the elimination of ammunition sales from out of state suppliers. The High Power shooters would have to get their mil-surp stuff shipped in through their gun club or a dealer who doesn't mind the hassle of impriniting the numbers & keeping th records. Needless to say it would drive the cost up to the point where handloads are cheaper than mil-surp ammo. Lockyer is an idiot if he thinks ammo companies would even bother with compliance of such a law. They'd simply drop Cali from their economic plans.
& it wouldn't be long before Lockyer sought to close the "handloaded ammo loophole".
Luckily Lockyer can't implement this on his own it'd take the legislature & governor...wait, I was almost going to say that they'd stop such nonsense. It's Cali so it's likely a done deal.
& you're right about it being ineffective. Bullets tend to shift & even fragment. The odds that the metal around such an etching would remain pristine after hitting a soft &/or hard object is almost laughable. But the real purpose behind such measures isn't crime control, it's gun owner control. In that it would work, as many gun owners would either have a hard time finding ammo or stop shooting as much because of the increased cost/hassle.
Nice write up though. Thanks for pointing it out.
it would drive the cost up ... that pretty much says it all. thats reason enough for them right there. i think there is a song from some ridiculous person about making bullets cost as much as possible and then there would not be any innocent bystanders getting shot.
The $5,000.00 bullet thing was from a Chris Rock routine that Michael Moore used in Bowling for Columbine. Equally not funny and dumb.
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