Monday, 9 November 2015

Ballistic fingerprinting.

I’m sure we all have experience of something in our lives that sounded like a good idea, but in reality, it was either not practical or realistic. A good example of this is ballistic fingerprinting, anti-gunners love it, and have sold it to a number of countries, states or jurisdictions as the ultimate tool for solving crimes that involve a firearms.

What’s involved? Well in this particular example every gun sold undergoes a sample firing, the resulting bullet and cartridge case have their individual markings recorded digitally. This information, and the spent case and bullet are then stored, to be made available if required. I can hear some of you saying it now “Well that’s a good idea!” But wait, and have a think, every gun sold, that would be quite a lot. Additionally, for those in the know or with criminal intent, this can all be made an irrelevance with a few household products. Then add in the fact that, and here we go again, honest, law abiding people, by definition do commit crimes, and law abiding gun owners are in that group, and are less likely to commit a crime of any description than your local police officer.

With all this in mind, the state of Maryland U.S.A. has, after 15 years, and millions of dollars spent, decided to pack up their database and storage facility, and why have they decided to do this? Well, in all of those 15 years the information contained within all those databases, and using all of those spent rounds for cross reference solved exactly zero cases of a criminal act. That’s right, not a single criminal in the state of Maryland used a legally obtained and fingerprinted firearm. You can if you wish view the story as run by the Baltimore Sun HERE

All of this is not to say that taking the information from bullets and cartridge cases is not a good idea, it is, but only when it is used in conjunction with other evidence obtained at a crime scene in order to confirm the use of a firearm in a particular crime or crimes, as has been done since the time of this forensic sciences birth. So when your local government or police pronounce that they a new system for preventing and solving crime, just think back to this, and the other examples that have gone before. It will not do a thing that it says it will in the brochure, but it will cost more and more tax money, year on year, to administer. Money that would be better spent in other areas of the worlds police departments.

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