Wednesday, February 20, 2019

My Washington Times Piece On Targeting Crime Guns

The Washington Times published my piece on targeting crime guns.

While reading a Department of Justice report that states that fewer than 1 in 50 criminals obtained a firearm legally to use in the course of committing a crime, I thought of George V. Higgins’ classic 1972 crime novel, “The Friends of Eddie Coyle.’

The fictional character Eddie Coyle, a 45-year-old stocky career criminal, is a low-level gunrunner who purchases guns illegally and then sells those illegal guns to Jimmy Scalisi, the leader of a gang of violent bank robbers in Boston. The fine 1973 film adaptation of “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” starring the late, great actor Robert Mitchum as Eddie Coyle, was faithful to the novel.

The late Mr. Higgins (seen in the below photo), a former newspaper crime reporter, was an assistant U.S. attorney in Massachusetts when he wrote his great crime novel. Mr. Higgins knew how hoodlums spoke, which is why the novel’s dialogue is so gritty and authentic. And he knew how they operated, which why his fictional armed robbers obtained their guns from an illicit source, namely Eddie Coyle, rather than a legal gun store.

Mr. Higgins knew that criminals didn’t go to retail stores and purchase firearms legally. One can’t imagine Eddie Coyle or Jimmy Scalisi taking the time to fill out the proper forms and then wait patiently for a background check prior to purchasing a gun. Both characters had extensive criminal records, which would in any case prohibited them from purchasing firearms legally.

This report points out what any cop will tell you. Criminals mostly buy illegal guns from other criminals and they use these crime guns to rob, steal, rape and murder. I’m thankful that the Justice Department and local police departments are targeting professional criminals who sell firearms to other criminals. This, in my view, is true gun control. 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


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