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    Ballistic Fingerprinting Is A Bad Idea

    Published: Thursday, October 31, 2002

    Gun control fanatics such as Charles Schumer and Sarah Brady are attempting to take advantage of the sniper shootings around Washington, D.C., by pressing for so-called ballistic fingerprinting. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence recently claimed, "A National Ballistics Database would have provided law enforcement with a vital tool in the sniper investigations, and could have helped to catch the killer before so many people died. If a nationwide ballistic fingerprinting system had existed, police would have been able to trace the bullets to a specific gun." Like most gun control propaganda, however, what sounds good just isn't so.

    Even the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which is the nation's largest membership organization exclusively for law enforcement officers, contradicted the Brady claim. Last weekend, the organization issued a statement saying, "The FOP does not support any federal requirement to register privately owned firearms with the federal government. Without federally-mandated registration of the more than 200 million firearms in the U.S. today, such a database would be no more effective than the current NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network) maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)."

    The FOP statement cuts to the heart of the matter. What Sarah Brady and her gaggle of gun grabbers are really promoting is federal firearms registration. Why? Because every time a national government has required its citizens to register their firearms, gun confiscation has always followed. Always. No exceptions.

    Fortunately, it appears that neither political party is prepared to push for so-called ballistic fingerprinting. For one thing, they know that it would be ineffective. Unlike a person's fingerprints, a gun barrel's ballistic markings can be easily altered.

    However, the real reason neither party is going to actively pursue the idea of ballistic fingerprinting is because it is an election year, and right now gun control is about as popular with voters as Osama Bin Laden. Only congressmen from ultra-liberal districts, such as the one Schumer hails from, would have a chance at being reelected if they were perceived as being too supportive of more gun control.

    It seems that, for now anyway, the American people have drawn some sort of line in the sand. While being willing to compromise other fundamental principles to left-wing forces, they have said, "No more!" to additional gun control. More than 20,000 existing gun control laws and the appearance of the Beltway Snipers have only served to augment people's appreciation for the freedom to defend one's life, not annihilate it.

    While the snipers were still at large, applications for concealed weapon permits and purchases of handguns skyrocketed some five hundred percent in Virginia. This was not lost to the politicians.

    Whether it is judge by a political perspective, a constitutional perspective, or a safety perspective, ballistic fingerprinting is a bad idea.

    © Chuck Baldwin

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