Boris Lvin (bbb) wrote,
Boris Lvin

Ballistic fingerprinting

Спасибо cemaСеме - дал познавательный линк

Пожалуй, даже сохраню на всякий случай.

Posted 12:03 PM by E. Rush Carskadden
Via Glenn, check out this link to Spinsanity taking Rep. Jim Moran (D, VA, District 8) to the mat on his statements about the opposition to ballistic fingerprinting (as quoted by Spinsanity):

"[The Bush administration is] opposed to [ballistic fingerprinting] because the National Rifle Association is opposed to it, but I don’t know what they fear for. Why do they want to protect people who would be shooting other people?"

Ok, here are the facts:

- Ballistic fingerprinting is really just registration. Registration is a first step to confiscation, and some would argue that it limits the effectiveness of firearms in defending against tyranny. This is a "slippery slope" argument, and I don't really like it. However, one must at least consider the possibility of creeping gun control, because the anti-defense movement so far has certainly engaged in incremental moves toward gun control, and many "gun control" organizations have been less than forthcoming in their goals. This is the argument that you will hear most frequently, which is really a shame.

- Ballistic information provided by the analysis of bullets and casings can be easily modified. When I say easy, we're talking only slightly more involved than filing a serial number off of a weapon. We're talking inserting a cleaning rod with a little too much gusto. Modifying the weapon in any number of common ways also makes the fingerprints useless. Let's compare it, for a moment, to the national identification system that was recently being discussed. Let us say that we could implement a national ID system, but the IDs could be completely falsified in an undetectable manner in under an hour, and for less than twenty dollars. Knowing that this system will not be helpful in tracking or stopping any criminal that has taken even the minimum of precautions, does it make sense to accept the burden anyway?

- It would not establish an effective link to a suspect. The majority of firearms involved in crimes do not legally belong to the person wielding them.

- A firearm's fingerprints change slightly every time it's fired. Eventually, the fingerprint is useless. Keep in mind that the vast majority of armed criminal activities are not conducted with a newly purchased weapon.

- Fingerprinting can only be implemented at manufacture time for new firearms, and there are, needless to say, more than a few firearms already out there (let's say roughly 200 million weapons). Getting all of them fingerprinted would be impossible.

- This idea is extremely expensive. Every one of the thousands of new firearms sold each year will have to be test fired, ballistic forensics specialists will have to analyze each bullet and casing (multiple bullets and casings per each weapon), and authorities will have to maintain a massive database of bullet and casing fingerprints. Guess who pays for this? You, taxpayer. How do you feel about an extra billion dollars worth of taxes for this system? That's a very low estimate, assuming (for the sake of argument) $5 per casing for analysis alone. The NRA estimates roughly $5,000 per casing. Add to that the cost of the computer system (Maryland paid $1.1 million for theirs, which only keeps track of handguns for MD alone), plus yearly operating costs.

- Shotguns don't leave ballitic fingerprints on the projectile. Some rifles are almost impossible to recover ballistic information from. Brass catchers - simple receptacles designed to collect casings, could effectively leave a crime scene free of ballistic information.

- The fingerprints of consecutively made firearms are often virtually identical, making any distinct one-to-one correlation, or one-to-many searching, extremely difficult and impractical.

- Ammunition is relatively expensive, so many gun owners reload their spent casings or purchase reloads. This destroys the effectiveness of casing fingerprinting. Casings for, let's say, .45 ACP can be reloaded up to 7 to 10 times.

- Many people want to talk about what ballistic fingerprinting could have done in Maryland to stop the sniper. Maryland currently requires ballistic fingerprinting of handguns. To my knowledge, it has never solved or prevented a single gun crime in Maryland.

- Though it may be possible to match a weapon to a crime, you still have to establish that any given person was using the gun at the time of the crime. Current implementations of ballistic fingerprinting require law enforcement to catch the suspect in possession of the weapon.

- Finally, let me make this clear yet again: Murderers do not care about gun control laws.
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