Sunday, August 23, 2009
Fighting Crime Through Property Serial Numbers But For Government Folly
The vast void of common sense in government policy can’t be over-estimated. Imagine you are operating a gun store, pawn shop or car dealership and you have no ability to learn if the items you are buying to sell at retail are stolen. Why’s that you ask?
Because the vast list of serial numbers of stolen items is secret! The government’s National Crime Information Center or NCIC has deemed this vital information as protected criminal data. Only the police who are investigating a suspected crime can access the information.
Some officials will decry this idea because thieves will be able to access the data and find out the property they have is in fact stolen. Okay, I guess crooks are too dumb to realize they have stolen the property in the first place.
Assuming the serial number data could be misused what could cause greater harm? I say having thousands of people buying merchandise checking the list would empower the government to make arrests and recover property at a much faster rate. Perhaps they may be able to jail some really predatory criminals with stolen guns.
If all Americans could access the data, crimes might actually be solved and the stolen property returned to its rightful owners. I guess that’s just too easy.
Ask your local, state and federal politicians about this policy and see if they are smarter than they appear. Maybe they will surprise us? Not!