Interstate 55 runs from just west of New Orleans through the full length of Mississippi, to Memphis, Saint Louis, and Chicago. Since it was built, it has been used to run stolen guns from Louisiana and Mississippi to Chicago. Now, Chicago’s ABC local seems to have discovered that fact.
An item bylined Chuck Gowdie tells the tale of a theft from a Mississippi gun dealers. Briefly quoting the ABC Local report linked immediately above:
n full view of surveillance cameras this week, about ten thieves-most appeared to be teenagers broke into a hunting store in Clarksdale and walked out with a small arsenal of long guns.
“All long guns ranging from .270’s, .22’s, even a bb gun or two,” said store owner Hartley Kittle.
While it appears a spur of the moment looting, a few days earlier investigators say somebody had thrown a brick through the store window that was then boarded up.
Monday night, the thieves pried away the plywood and helped themselves to some firepower.
I am not at all surprised. The Mississippi Delta area; from Vicksburg to Jackson to Greenwood, to Memphis, and back down Highway 61 to Clarksdale and Vicksburg; has one of the highest rates of gun theft in the United States. And has had for at least thirty five years.
Of course, not all theft was so blatant. Back in the 1970’s and ’80’s several “lawmen” made far more confiscating guns from unwary out of staters than they drew from their city or county. And, to a lesser extent, confiscation remains a substantial source of crime guns.
But outright theft is the primary source of guns for Chicago’s criminals. And, for the Chuck Gowdies out there – one raid like the one in the Chicago ABC local report can net 100 or more guns.
Why would any criminal organization pay someone to buy a gun at a dealers retail price when they can steal one for nothing? After all, criminals are businessmen like any other businessman. They must provide goods at prices buyers are willing to pay. Therefore, the object is to “buy cheap and sell high,” not “buy high and sell cheap.”
There may be a “strawman” or two in the Delta. But there are not many. But there are plenty of criminals like the killers sent to steal the Parker family’s guns in the Mississippi Delta.
Oops! I forgot to thank The Gun Wire for the link.