Thursday, January 13, 2005

Ballistic Fingerprinting Fails

Will full props to Instapundit...

Maryland has admitted that their system doesn't work. The evidence is, and I'm sure this will be shocking if you haven't a brain, that having all the lawfully transfered guns register their "balistic fingerprint" (a joke all by itself) doesn't help solve crime because, get ready for it, the guns used in crime aren't legally transferred in the first place. What? You're sure? But I thought that all gun owners were evil monsters and that all guns were used in crimes. Yep that's right, Maryland has spent over $4 million dollars and it hasn't "saved just one life." It hasn't even solved a single crime. Oh, and NY has been spending $3 million a year (not sure for how long) and they haven't solved a single crime or "saved just one life" either. The only thing that this whole ballistic fingerprinting can be labeled is boondoggle and a bloody expensive boondoggle at that.

BTW, for those that might read this blog (as far as I know we've got three people posting and reading) that don't know it, ballistic fingerprinting is a joke. Want to know why? I purchase a Makarov. It fires a 9mm bullet. I also purchase a .380 magazine and barrel for the Makarov. Now the gun itself is "registered" as a 9mm and the ballistic fingerprint is from the original barrel. I swap them out and suddenly I've got a whole new gun. OK. Maybe that doesn't happen very often. Let's look it another way. The "ballistic fingerprint" is the marks that the extractor puts into the shell and the marks the rifling in the barrel cut into the bullet, right? Extractors break. Replace it and you've got a "new" gun. Extractors wear down over time, (don't believe me? I'll show you a 1918 SMLE that has an extractor that looks like it was sharpened for use as a knife due to the wear) which changes their characteristics. Barrels wear down too (I've got a Turkish Mauser that's almost a shotgun) which seriously changes the rifling. Cleaning the gun can put new scratches into rifling. Any change in the rifling, alters the "ballistic fingerprint" of the gun.

In short, even if legally transferred firearms were the ones used in most crimes, this whole scheme would only work sometimes due to the mechanics of the issue. But of course, this has been argued by people better informed than myself to no avail. Gun control adherents aren't working off of logic and facts. It's an issue of emotion and "if it saves just one life" then whatever they're calling for is reasonable. The question now becomes, what if it doesn't "save just one life" or solve any crimes? Is it still reasonable?


Nylarthotep said...

Surprise Surprise Surprise.

And funny enough, the Canada's RCMP are still looking at doing their own database. Sheesh. Hit someone in the head 10 times and they are still clueless.

I also noted that the Peoples Republic of Mass is instituting a computerized instacheck system. Sounds pretty good if it works like they say.

Nylarthotep said...

Oh, for the Star Tribune article I linked above for the instacheck, use 'username' and 'password' to get in.

Nylarthotep said...

Oh, I forgot to make a quip about the "for those that might read this blog" statement. Got a chuckle.

There is direct Empirical evidence that at least two (2) people have read this thing at sometime. Two. Can you believe that?

Well, I guess that doesn't mean much. I like the things you Gs throw on here. This case in point. I miss too much as it is and get a lot of decent info that I would have missed otherwise.