The Count shared a fascinating and depressing article about how “tracking a gun purchase” is actually done.
“People don’t think,” Charlie tells me. He’s a trim guy, 51, full lips and a thin goatee, and he likes to wear three-piece suits. They fit loose, so the overall effect is awkward innocence, like an eighth grader headed to his first formal. “ I get e-mails even from police saying, ‘Can you type in the serial number and tell me who the gun is registered to?’ Every week. They think it’s like a VIN number on a car. Even police. Police from everywhere. ‘Hey, can you guys hurry up and type that number in?’ ”
So here’s a news flash, from Charlie: “We ain’t got a registration system. Ain’t nobody registering no damn guns.”
There is no national database of guns. We have no centralized record of who owns all the firearms we so vigorously debate, no hard data regarding how many people own them, how many of them are bought or sold, or how many even exist.
What we have instead is Charlie.
This is a profoundly stupid country.