BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
October 19, 2002
As People Continue to Get Shot, Bush Sides with the Anti-Law Enforcement Extremism of the NRA
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
George. W. Bush's first reaction to the Washington D.C.-area sniper murders was to maintain his pro-National Rifle Association opposition to a national computerized database of ballistic "fingerprints." Ballistic fingerprints are electronic images of the unique markings every gun makes on a bullet it fires, and on its shell casing.
Never mind that ballistic fingerprinting works. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, "numerous violent crimes involving firearms have been solved through use of the system." Twenty-seven countries currently use ballistic fingerprinting technology in solving crimes.
Mr. Bush, under pressure, later said he would "study" the issue of creating a nationwide database for identifying the rifle or gun from which a bullet was fired. Such a database would enable law-enforcement agencies to identify a weapon's original purchaser, and thus take them one step closer to identifying the person who committed a crime.
But, Mr. Bush will have one more study. Add that study to the long list of re-studies the Bush team has used to postpone acting upon evidence that something is a threat, as in global warming, or that something works, as in ballistic fingerprinting.
This "study" will join all the other re-studies already in the Bush pipeline. Mainstream scientists concluded long ago that global warming was a reality, but that was not good enough for the Bush team; they are "studying" it again.
And so it will go with ballistic fingerprinting. It works, but that is not proof enough for Mr. Bush, who is cherished by the gun lobby for his devotion to their views.
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