I tweeted the news yesterday, but it’s worth expanding on a bit here: Maryland is abandoning its ballistic fingerprinting effort after spending $15 million to solve 0 crimes.
I said it was worthless at the time. I said it was worthless when Chuck Schumer introduced a bill for national ballistic fingerprinting. I pointed out that it’s easy to swap out components, or just take a file, stone, or bit of sandpaper to them to alter the marks they leave.
Even in an article about the complete and utter failure of the idea (which, was, by the way, also tried in New York but dropped a few years ago), the newspaper has to assert as Truth that “The science behind the system is valid.” Is it? Can you tell two guns apart that came off the line right next to each other (and therefore had very similar degrees of wear on the cutting tools? Can you match a fingerprint after hundreds or thousands of rounds of use? After a part swap? After a little “tuning” and polishing by a gunsmith? Has anyone ever even tried to answer these questions? Do journalists and politicians even know that they should be asked?
I have said before and I’ll say again: the gun control debate is an argument between the pro-gun-rights side and complete, utter ignoramuses who don’t know a darn thing about guns or gun laws. Which is not to say there are no idiots on the pro gun side–there are–merely that there seems to be nobody with a shred of knowledge on the anti-gun side.
It was obvious from the beginning that this wouldn’t work. Will all the gun-grabbers who trumpeted it now take a moment to examine their other “common sense” proposals that are “sure to stop crime”? Or are we just going to move on to the next dumb, expensive idea?