In a recent editorial titled “As gun deaths surge, it’s time to say ‘enough’ to Second Amendment absolutism” once again we find this newspaper advocating for restrictions on constitutionally protected gun rights. Harris County has 56,000 felony defendants on bond, including over 1,400 murder defendants and 120 capital murder defendants. Think about this for a second. When you and your loved ones pull up to a traffic light in Harris County, it is likely that you and your family will encounter an armed felony defendant. The right to keep and bear arms has never been more important.
The current argument is over a coined phrase – “ghost guns.” The argument over unregistered and untraceable firearms without serial numbers is an old argument that was made during the Revolutionary War against our Founding Fathers’ gunmakers. At that time, individual gunmakers and gunsmiths crafted precision rifles that were better than the King’s firearms. American ingenuity and capability produced a product necessary for many aspects of American life. In response, the King and his surrogates in America sought to restrict gun rights.
Now, instead of addressing the rise in crime with increased law enforcement funding, the crime starters are blaming guns. The 325 homicides or attempted homicides traced to ghost guns recovered by the ATF between 2016 and 2020 account for less than .36% of the 89,076 homicides during that period.
Growing up in Houston, my grandfather owned a gun club known as the Houston Trap and Skeet Range. Grandad was also a gunsmith who made specialty parts for competition shotguns. When he passed away, he left me his prized BT-99 shotgun that he used to win the Grand American Trapshoot. The gun had a release trigger, which he designed and built to overcome a flinch he had developed. There were no special markings, part numbers, or a serial number on his trigger. I am sure that he never even thought about placing such a thing on it. I shot with the trigger for a couple of seasons, mostly because he made it. I never mastered the unique trigger but had a lot of fun explaining its function. The trigger was made for an individual need – the daily work of gunsmiths and gunmakers.
I just wanted Houston Chronicle readers to have a more complete perspective.
National Rifle Association Life Member