Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- – Shortly after the murders at the Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, just north of Los Angeles, the news coverage faltered and died away.
I and others speculated something in the facts about the case did not fit the current media narrative in the push to further infringe on Second Amendment rights. California has some of the most restrictive laws on gun ownership, sale, possession, and carry in the United States.
A clue to the lack of coverage: the police did not announce the model or make of gun. It was not an AR15, as that would have been useful to the infringement narrative.
Those thoughts were verified today as Los Angeles County Sheriff Villanueva released the information the .45 semi-automatic pistol was homemade. From foxnews.com:
Ghost guns are a growing problem for law enforcement. The parts are relatively easy to obtain and the guns do not take much expertise to build. So even though California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, they are only based on traditional firearms made by manufacturers where ownership can easily be traced.
In Southern California, one-third of all firearms seized are ghost guns.
“Congress and state legislatures enact all these crimes about gun registration but now the gun industry is creating a way to just bypass the entire thing by creating a mechanism to manufacture weapons yourself,” Villanueva said.
People have been making their own guns for hundreds of years. It has always been legal to make your own gun in the United States. For there to be a functional right to keep and bear arms in the United States, there has to be a right to access arms. One of the most fundamental rights to access is the right to make your own.
It was only recently that some jurisdictions, such as California, have placed infringements on the right to make your own guns.
The reason is clear. As governments place more and more infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, particularly on the right to buy and sell those arms, people respond by making their own. The more draconian the restrictions, the more people resort to making their own. The number stated by Sheriff Villanueva is amazing. He claims one-third of all firearms seized are homemade.
This is happening in the United States with more than 400 million factory manufactured guns in circulation, where there are, conservatively estimated, forty billion rounds of ammunition stored in homes, garages, and closets all over the country. This is happening in a state with long, porous borders, and no effective border control.
This is happening in a state where, for the price of a family’s four-day vacation to Disneyland, one can buy the Chinese drill presses, lathes, milling machines, and 3D printers to set up a small shop in a garage to produce a few homemade firearms every week. This method of production was commonly used in Europe circa 1900. The machinery today is easier to use. The power is relatively reliable, even in Southern California. The materials are easier to procure. Plans for making such guns are easily accessible online. Online how-to videos are common.
Far more sophisticated shops for automobile repair, hobbyists, and crafts already exist by the tens of thousands in Southern California.
If one-third of firearms used in crime are homemade in Southern California, the attempt to lower crime rates with infringements such as gun registration, bans on certain types of pistols, background checks for ammunition, and waiting periods, are futile. It is not the Second Amendment that bans various restrictions from lowering violent crime. It is the laws of physics and chemistry.
None of these restrictions have been shown to reduce crime anywhere. Some of the most easily produced homemade/small shop guns are submachine guns.
They are commonly produced in countries where personal freedoms to access information, materials, and machinery are far more restricted than are allowed by the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution.
They are commonly found in Australia, where the authorities admit 10% of guns confiscated are homemade; in Brazil, Canada, China, India, Israel, and the Philippines, and wherever onerous controls are imposed on the acquisition and ownership of arms.
Semi-automatic and full-auto firearms are made in crude, small shops for sale in the black market all over the world. They are made in places with far less access to machinery and technology than Southern California.
Sheriff Villanueva attempts to make some sort of point by referring to gun tracing and registration. Registration has never been effective in reducing crime rates.
Tracing gun ownership, a lower level of control has never been effective either. They may appeal to those addicted to government control of the population. In practice, they have no effect on crime. There is no difference in the lack of ability to trace a gun that is stolen and a gun which is made in a basement or garage. The only mild difference is that a few guns may be returned to the legal owners. That does not affect violent crime. The vast majority of the 400+ million guns in private hands in the United States are not registered and not “traceable”.
The modern history of over 160 years of gun control in the world shows there is no relationship between legal firearms ownership, illegal firearms ownership, and levels of violent crime.
One of the major reasons violent crime is not reduced is that guns are fairly easily made and are thus relatively easily available on black markets. They are at least a 500-year-old technology. “Modern” firearms are over 160 years old. Semi-automatic rifles and pistols have been commercially available in the United States for over 110 years. The technology for making guns has kept pace and is well within the purchasing power of a hobbyist or low-level criminal.
Ammunition is easily produced by hobbyists, but very little is needed for criminal purposes. What is expended by one dedicated target shooter in a year, is enough to fuel the entire criminal enterprise in Southern California for the same period (between 20,000 and 50,000 rounds). A criminal only needs a few rounds. A dedicated target shooter needs tens of thousands.
Modern ammunition has a shelf life of at least 100 years.
Physics and chemistry limit the effectiveness of gun control to reduce crime more than the Second Amendment does.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.