Here we go again.  The Feds have just announced they are setting up a new task force to deal with ‘gun trafficking.’ They are going to send some cops, probably from the ATF and/or the FBI into 5 cities where gun violence has surged over the past year. The agents will also step up enforcement in the so-called ‘supply areas,’ which are jurisdictions where it’s easier to buy guns which are then ‘trafficked’ into these urban zones.

I stopped doing retail gun sales back in 2015 when the kids who ran the store both got full-time law enforcement jobs and I didn’t trust anyone else to sell the guns. I also stopped doing retail sales because I was fed up with the Department of Revenue’s sales tax audits and the ATF’s inspection nonsense as well.

I’m glad I got out of the retail gun business because I just know that, going forward, the Feds and many of the state-level agencies will come after gun retailers with a vengeance. After all, if gun violence is caused by using guns, what better and more effective way to deal with the problem than to go after the most obvious and public source of the guns?

The new initiative has become so popular, even without anything yet happening, that yesterday Merrick Garland made the NBC National News. A story on Covid-19, a story on the Olympics, a story on the wildfires, and then there was Merrick telling everyone how his ‘task force’ will go into five cities to help the overwhelmed local cops get their hands on the illegal guns.

I may not know much about current-day policing, but I do know a little bit about history. And what I know tells me that from the 16th Century onwards, when the Valois Monarchy attempted to prevent the illegal movement of salt into their domains, there has never been one, single successful effort by any Western government to curtail the movement of a contraband product into a market when that market represents sufficient product demand. How much have we spent on trying to curtail the movement of heroin and cocaine into the United States since Nixon announced the ‘war on drugs’ in 1971?  Try one trillion dollars. Not one billion. One trillion, okay?

Back in May 2006, New York City sued 15 gun dealers in 5 states, charging them with illegally selling guns that wound up being used in crimes committed in New York. The city then sued an additional 12 out-of-state dealers later that year. These lawsuits gave rise to an effort to pass a federal law making gun ‘trafficking’ a specific crime. The law is introduced in every session of Congress and in every session of Congress the law goes nowhere at all.

Here’s the latest and greatest statement about New York’s attempts to fight gun trafficking, courtesy of the New York Attorney General: “The New York State Office of the Attorney General (NYAG) is committed to preventing gun violence across New York State. It does so through its statewide gun buyback programs, defense and enforcement of New York’s gun safety laws, and aggressive disruption of violent gangs and gun trafficking rings by its Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF), which has recovered hundreds of crime guns in recent years.” Yea, right.

Back in 2017, some schmucks in Virginia and New York were busted for moving guns up the ‘iron pipeline’ and selling them on Brooklyn streets. The cops not only nabbed the gun traffickers, they also confiscated 217 illegal guns. The year following this bust – 2018 – the number of shootings which occurred in New York City dropped 5% from the previous year, the lowest number since 1955.

What did New York City do about gun violence in 2019?  The mayor disbanded the 600-man NYPD task force which had been formed to take illegal guns off the city’s streets. What happened to gun violence in 2019, before the Pandemic?  Shootings went back up.

So now it’s back to Square One. Let’s go after all those gun dealers who supply all those illegal guns to all those gun-trafficking ‘rings.’

Talk about plus ca change.