What most people term as “gun violence”–namely any act of violence that uses a firearm–is a problem throughout the nation. It’s getting better than the high point of a few years ago but it’s still far from a non-issue.
All over the country, lawmakers are desperate to try and do something to address it. Or, perhaps more accurately, to at least appear they’re addressing it. This is what ultimately drove New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to issue her ill-fated directive.
In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine is taking a slightly different approach.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine made an announcement on a gun violence prevention measure in the state.
The governor joined state and federal leaders to announce a new initiative to combat gun violence and prevent deaths and injury in Central Ohio, namely the new Crime Gun Intelligence Center.
The governor highlighted the advent of the National Integrated Ballistics Intelligence Network’s expansion in Ohio as a key factor in the new center’s operations.
NIBIN, first developed by the ATF, allows investigators around the country to link firearms with crimes committed via the cartridge cases and unique markings left on them when a weapon is fired. The technology scans the casings and compares them to other casings recovered from other crimes.
At the presser, Gov. DeWine mentioned multiple cases over the past few years in which casings were recovered from the scene, saying that these crimes are committed by a small number of people, and that this technology will help bring criminals to justice more efficiently.
Now, anytime someone talks about a “gun violence prevention effort,” there are a few questions you need to ask, especially because the media generally won’t.
The first is whether or not this infringes on gun rights. In this case, it actually doesn’t. This is a database of ballistics information from guns used in violent crime. It’s not a database of all guns’ ballistic fingerprints or anything of the sort. It makes it so police can link a gun used in a crime in Ohio with guns recovered elsewhere and vice versa.
That’s it and that’s the good news.
The bad news is that unless the gun in question was used elsewhere, this database is kind of useless for those particular cases. It may help solve some crimes but it won’t help solve a lot of them.
Where I have a concern is that this is billed as a “gun violence prevention effort” when it really only comes into play after a violent crime involving a firearm happens. The only “prevention” it could potentially provide is helping to arrest a violent criminal for crimes in other states.
While that’s still beneficial, it’s not going to work miracles.
The reason that matters is because when it doesn’t work miracles, some will likely use that as justification to call for more gun control in Ohio.
Lord knows they’ve been calling for it. I just see them leveraging this failure as something along the lines of “We tried to step up enforcement and it didn’t make it all go away so we need to do something else.”
I’d like to see moderate expectation here and no one should think this will actually prevent all that much in the long run. It’ll help put bad people behind bars, but it remains to be seen just how many and for just how long.