The over-the-top anti-gun bias in this article is laughable, but this appears to be another front in the defense of our civil rights.
A report issued in May by the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety analyzed FBI crime data in 271 U.S. cities, large and small, from 2020 and found that guns stolen from vehicles have become the nation’s largest source of stolen firearms — with an estimated 40,000 guns stolen from cars in those cities alone.
And as the problem has grown, public health officials and lawmakers, including some in Tennessee, have proposed a rather prosaic solution: encouraging or mandating that gun-toting drivers store their weapons in their vehicles inside of sturdy, lockable gun boxes.
Gun control advocates are hoping that the adoption of the boxes in cars will come to be seen as a solution that both sides of the gun debate can accept, much as both sides encourage the use of gun safes and trigger locks in the home.
Tennessee’s Republican-dominated state legislature is considering a pair of bills with bipartisan support that would explicitly outlaw leaving a firearm in a motor vehicle or boat unless it is “locked within the trunk, utility or glove box, or a locked container securely affixed.”
See the pattern… identify a problem: punish the victims.
The identified problem is that more guns are being stolen out of cars. Why? I suspect there are two underlying causes. First, more people are carrying guns. With the spread of liberty to more states, more people are carrying guns and it is much easier to smash and grab a gun out of a car than it is to burgle a house.
Second, while more people are carrying guns, there are still many places that don’t allow it. I say this as someone who is almost always armed. Let’s say that I’m out running errands and I need to swing by a government building or school or even a private establishment that prohibits guns… what do I do with it? Do I carry my gun into the place at the risk of sanction? Do I leave it in the car? Do I leave it home completely? Or what if I’m going to work and I can’t carry in my workplace? Should I leave my gun at home, thus not having it available for the other things I might do that day, or do I leave it in my car? For many people, they will simply leave their gun in their car.
So if the underlying problem is that people leave their guns in cars, how should we address it? One policy prescription could be to liberalize the places where people are allowed to carry. It is much less likely that a gun will be stolen if it is on someone’s body. Liberals won’t even consider this solution.
We could also… i don’t know… punish the people who steal the guns. They are, after all, committing a crime. What if we had a penalty enhancer for people who commit crimes with stolen guns? Maybe an extra mandatory 10 years of prison for any crime committed with a stolen gun? Even in the absence of an associated crime, what if being caught with a stolen gun was an automatic 10-year prison term? If rigorously enforced, this would have a deterrent effect on people stealing guns. This is how we have traditionally dealt with crimes – punish criminals.
But no… the policy prescription advocated in the article is to punish the victims or potential victims. They want to force law-abiding citizens to incur extra expense for a secure box or be sanctioned for it. They want to criminalize the victim of a theft if their stolen property is used in a crime (what if someone steals a hammer out of your garage and kills someone with it?). They don’t even suggest that the thieves are at fault. The entire burden of responsibility is being yoked onto the victims.
Before you start forcing extra costs and legal jeopardy on citizens who carry guns, let’s start with assigning responsibility for the problem to the correct people – the crooks who steal guns.