President In Waiting Kamala Harris was, at one time, the Attorney General of California. As one might expect, her record in that position was as fecklessly woke as it was unaccomplished. As my pal Andrea Widburg, writing at the American Thinker, noted:
Except nothing went well. Kamala, whom I’ve always been told by people who know her, is as dumb as a box of rocks with the personality of an arch narcissist, managed to leave President Lopez Obrador in a towering rage, furious at American machinations and deeply offended when she simply walked out on him.
Widburg was writing about Harris’ first, disastrous, attempt at international diplomacy. We can, however, by delving into Harris’ non-performance as CA’s AG, gain some sense of what our soon to be president will be like. First, however, a brief trip back to an article I wrote for The Truth About Guns in 2015:
In 2007, then California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a microstamping law that would go into effect only when certain technologies that did not actually–you know–exist, came into being. In 2013, Attorney General Kamala Harris declared those tech triggers to be extant–they weren’t–and thus, the law to be in force. Alan Gura, the most successful attorney vindicating the Second Amendment rights of Americans in recent American history, filed a lawsuit–Pena v. Lindley–on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation, as Fox News notes . . .
‘This is about the state trying to eliminate the handgun market,’ said Alan Gura, the lead attorney in Pena v. Lindley, filed on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation against the Chief of the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms. ‘The evidence submitted by the manufacturers shows this is science fiction and there is not a practical way to implement the law…
‘At some point gun sales will cease,’ he added.’
In November of 2020, I wrote Biden And The Second Amendment: Choices, which focused on his attempt–which continues–to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, the PLCAA. It’s a truly bi-partisan piece of legislation passed in 2005, which ended a tactic anti-liberty/gun cracktivists were exploiting: nuisance lawsuits against gun manufacturers for the unlawful acts of third parties over which they had no knowledge or control. Even if they didn’t win a single suit, the cost of defending against such abusive lawfare would have ended the firearm industry in America. Of course, it’s now a legislative priority of the Biden Temporary presidency.
When Jill Biden is forced to step down from the First Lady’s Office, Harris will be president, and it’s a certainly, just as she did in California, she’ll do her best to disarm the law-abiding. Not being terribly bright, she’ll surely fall back on microstamping. With that in mind, let’s examine the reality of that pseudo-science.
In 2017, Guns.com reported:
A dozen House Democrats are backing a measure mandating pistols sold by licensed dealers be capable of stamping a code on their ammunition at firing.
Introduced as the Make Identifiable Criminal Rounds Obvious (MICRO) Act last month, the proposal would strip the ability of federal firearms licensees to sell pistols that do not carry the controversial microstamping technology. Backers argue that as much as 40 percent of murders go unsolved due to lack of evidence, which the bill is meant to address.
Uh-huh. How about: Malicious Idiots Conceiving Of Ridiculous Offal? As one might expect, the bill’s sponsors portrayed it as a public safety measure:
‘We must do everything we can to ensure gun violence can be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,’ said the bill’s author, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., in a statement. ‘Microstamping offers law enforcement the chance to track bullet casings to the source of the crime, and is one more step we can take to ensure the safety of the American people.’
As I’m sure regular readers recall, that measure, like most such measures to date, failed. Microstamping is a gun control measure that would require every firearm, when fired, leave a unique, identifiable imprint on the primer, and/or brass, aluminum or steel case of a fired cartridge. There are various schemes to accomplish this, such as laser engraving the tip of a firing pin. Here’s why every such scheme is doomed to failure:
Technology: The state of the art, circa 2021, is laser engraving the tip of a firing pin. Some schemes demand two imprints, one on the primer and one somewhere on the fired case. Both schemes are technical non-starters.
Merely firing a gun wears down the laser engraving in short order, rendering it useless. One can also cheaply and quickly change a firing pin, or, with a few minutes of minor effort, file away the laser etching.
The metals used in primers are not of consistent hardness. What might work with one batch of ammunition from the same manufacturer may not work with another. The mere mechanical variability in the mechanism of a handgun also causes primer strikes of varying force. A dirty gun may make a light primer strike, or none. The situation is even worse when an imprint is required on a case. They’re made of brass, aluminum or steel. The technology for such imprints is not nearly as advanced as the laser engraved firing pin technology, as weak as it is. It is virtually impossible to produce an affordable technology that would have a reasonable possibility of working.
Of course, actually working and being affordable are not on anti-liberty/gun cractivist’s lists of goals.
For such a scheme to work, there would have to be an insanely powerful national computer network with imagery of fired casings from every gun in America. Yes. That’s really what microstamping is about: registration. There is no such thing for fingerprints, a technology in existence more than a century. There are some small scale systems, but computers are able to do no more than flag some number of possible matches, which must then be pulled and examined by people, and there is no single standard for fingerprint identification: a match declared by one examiner may be invalidated by another. In all my years in law enforcement, I never solved a case by fingerprints, nor was I ever aware of one that was.
There are, by conservative estimates, as many as 600 million firearms in circulation, and more being manufactured all the time. Due to the instability of our system of justice and our political systems, we are setting new records for firearm sales to first time buyers every month. It would be impossible to retrofit every gun in circulation prior to the passage of any law, even if every gun could possibly be found. There is no doubt there would be mass refusal to comply with any such scheme. Microstamping schemes to date, particularly those requiring two imprints, are written to apply only to semiautomatic handguns, not revolvers, shotguns or rifles.
Crime Fighting: The most powerful arguments against microstamping schemes are not technological. Americans have been conditioned to think every law enforcement agency is like those on various TV cop dramas. Brilliant investigators are assisted by even more brilliant and dedicated crime scene scientists with advanced degrees, working out of high tech glass and stainless steel labs with scientific equipment, such as enormous holographic displays, one would expect to find in a top shelf sci-fi movie. These god-like actors, finding a single hair, can conclusively prove guilt, and quickly talk a criminal into a confession.
In the real world of police work, virtually all crimes are solved the old fashioned way: by cops talking to people.
Let’s take a best-case scenario. An incredibly stupid criminal uses his own microstamping gun to shoot someone in a downtown alley, and leaves behind two fired casings. He’s been careful enough to avoid being seen committing the crime, and there is no video. Crime scene technicians, who don’t exist in most law enforcement agencies, and who do not have gleaming stainless steel and glass labs or hi-tech equipment, find the casings and run them through the all-knowing, all-powerful central government computer and discover they were fired by a gun purchased by John Q Criminal of 1234 Crook Lane, Felony, New Jersey two years ago. Case closed within 40 minutes! Not so fast there J Edgar.
First, crime scene technicians never interview suspects. Virtually everywhere, they are not certified law enforcement officers. All the police have, at that point, is proof someone with an ID identifying himself as John Q Criminal bought the gun that fired those cartridges two years earlier. In order to convict John Q. Criminal of the crime, they’ll still have to prove he bought that gun, had it in his exclusive possession until the encounter in the alley, was actually present in that alley, and actually fired the gun.
All the computer generated match proves is someone with ID in that name bought that gun two years earlier. In the intervening two years, the gun could have been lost, stolen or sold. Someone knowing Criminal could have “borrowed” the gun without his knowledge and replaced it after committing the crime.
Reality is very different from TV cop shows. Few criminals are stupid enough to link themselves to a gun. They buy them on the black market or steal them. By simply using a revolver, which does not eject fired casings unless and until the shooter chooses, no casings will be left behind. Or a criminal can simply take the few seconds necessary to pick up any fired casings. Even better, a crook can visit a shooting range and pick up a variety of microstamped cases, leaving them at the scenes of his crimes, sending the police on a variety of lengthy and expensive wild goose chases, and that’s only if there is a massive state or federal computer database–there are no such things–that will quickly and easily link a fired case to a specific gun.
All microstamping schemes are, of necessity, gun registration and tracking schemes. Remember, even if a microstamped casing leads to a specific person, the police still have to prove they fired the gun, which is a just a bit more difficult.
Even if a crook actually legally bought a gun, a few minutes with a fingernail file or other abrasive would erase the laser engraving on a firing pin, or it could simply be replaced. But the law would prohibit that! Right. Criminals don’t care. They violate all laws. That’s what makes them criminals. Do we really want to get into registering small, inexpensive gun parts?
Murders where there is no relational connection to those involved often go unsolved. Murders where the people involved have a relationship are among the easiest to solve. In either case, it’s highly unlikely microstamping would play any part in catching and convicting the shooter. Again, talking to people tends to solve most crimes.
But if it saves a single life, isn’t it worth doing? Getting rid of motor vehicles would unquestionably save huge numbers of lives each and every year, and motor vehicles are not expressly mentioned in the Constitution. Are we ready for that? The old “if it saves a single life” argument is fundamentally unserious, deceptive and manipulative. When a politician trots it out, it’s an admission they have no reasonable, logical grounds for what they’re proposing. It has no place in real world policy-making.
Intent: The true intent of people proposing microstamping has nothing to do with fighting crime or public safety. They want to disarm the law-abiding. They know they can’t disarm crooks, and they don’t want to: criminals are their natural constituents, birds of a feather even. Anyone paying attention is aware of the national movement to emasculate or eliminate the police, and to avoid prosecuting criminals in the first place. If by some miracle some are arrested, prosecuted and jailed, D/S/C politicians want to release them. In California, and this won’t be a surprise, there is a movement to end enhanced sentencing for criminals using guns in crimes, because too many Black people are using them and paying the price. Even in California, not too many people see that as a boon to public safety.
Disarming the law-abiding is absolutely necessary for Democrats/Socialists/Communists to enact their utopian schemes. If Normal Americans have arms, D/S/Cs can never realize their despotic utopia. Their fundamental transformation of America can never become reality. That’s why they scream in faux outrage whenever anyone–-usually those with actual knowledge of the writings and intentions of the Founders–-observes the Second Amendment’s primary purpose is to enable Americans to rise up and overthrow a tyrannical government. For them, the Second Amendment exists only to give government–-the self-imagined political and media elite–a monopoly on armed, deadly force, to keep normals in their rightful, low place for their own good, a good they are not intellectually or morally capable of recognizing.
A 2020 update of the 2012 California microstamping law is even more ridiculous. That’s the point. Demand a technology that does not, practically, exist, and you’ve enacted essentially what you’ve always wanted: a complete gun ban.
Even though the Supreme Court, through the Heller and McDonald cases affirmed the Second Amendment as a fundamental, unalienable, individual right, it is not in effect in some D/S/C-ruled parts of the country. D/S/Cs will never stop trying to rid America of the primary means of stopping their imposition of tyranny. As Thomas Jefferson said, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. It is D/S/Cs we must, without ceasing and without fail, watch.