This should not be a surprise

A survey conducted by researchers from Duke University and the University of Chicago found that Chicago criminals obtained their firearms almost exclusively from friends and family.

Wait. I thought they got them all through the “gun show loophole”? Or that they got them through proper legal commerce (including 4473 form and background check) down at the sporting goods store.

The study found that due to fears of encountering undercover police officers attempting sting operations, a large majority of the criminals surveyed would only make illegal gun purchases from people they knew. “In discussing the underground gun market in their neighborhoods, most respondents emphasized the importance of connections—prior relationships that could create sufficient trust to reassure the seller that the transaction would not create an unacceptable legal risk,” the survey says. “A majority of the primary guns (40 of the 48 for which we have detailed information on the source) were obtained from family, fellow gang members, or other social connections; the fraction is still higher for secondary guns.”

Wait. This goes against everything I’ve been told about how criminals acquire guns.

But surely then they must be acquiring “assault weapons”.

The survey also found that criminals preferred handguns by a wide margin.

Um…. but….

Well, this has to be somewhere like Texas.

Chicago criminals are finicky about how they get their guns, according to a new study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

But Chicago has some of the toughest gun control legislation. Are you saying criminals don’t obey the law?

Well, it doesn’t matter. We still need to make things more illegaller, because (somehow) that will stop criminals from getting guns.

“Some of the pathways people are concerned about don’t seem so dominant,” [Harold Pollack, co-director of University of Chicago Crime Lab] said.

But… but…

Look folks, most any reasonable person in our society wants to see reduction in (negative) violence. What some of us have a problem with is the means by which to achieve that end. When you work to make legal pathways for obtaining guns more difficult to traverse, you are only harming law-abiding citizens – you are NOT preventing criminals from obtaining guns, you are not stopping criminals from partaking in illegal and/or violent activity.

The only people you are harming are good people.

Why are you doing that?

Either you don’t know any better and haven’t truly considered the consequences of your action, or your blindly following irrational thoughts or emotions… or harming good people is precisely what you want to do. And that, good people will not stand for.

But I prefer to think most of my fellow citizens are also good people. So folks, consider the hard data these researchers are providing. “Illegal guns” don’t come from where you think, and trotting out the same tired and failed “solutions” to “the problems of illegal guns, and ‘gun violence'” just doesn’t hold in the face of such evidence. Let’s use facts and data to help us find real solutions, shall we?

(first article, second article)

Updated 2015-09-05 – Here’s a link to the University of Chicago Crime Lab’s press release about the article.  And here’s a link to the full paper.

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