I would like to make some comments on the "streets" as they are today ("Enablers of 'bad guys with guns' hard to trace," April 1). First and foremost, there is only one medium of exchange on the black market or underground economy and that would be cash, which is untraceable. I speak from experience as I was around those activities until I was 36 years old (I'm 66 now). At all levels of drug dealing, stolen property operations and money laundering, cash only is the key. All of the property crimes committed have only one motive, the acquisition of cash. Things have never changed on the streets.
I believe society as we know it will have to convert to plastic electronic capital across the board. Doing so will cripple the black market and also effectively thwart peripheral businesses on the edge of the black market. Fences of stolen property, chop shops for autos and motorcycles, shady pawn shops, etc. would now be dealing only in electronic currency that is completely traceable and taxable. Please ask yourself, who do you know that carries more than $50 in cash on their person these days? When at the grocery store, how often do you see people making small purchases with debit or credit cards? I say more so than not. At Christmas, I got two gift cards for local restaurants that when swiped would deposit money in that restaurant's account. My point is that legitimate society is already leaning that way.
Uncle Sam should make all people turn in their cash for electronic currency on their account. Drug dealers, fences and other folks would have to declare their cash they have in boxes or lose it. Then, Uncle Sam could ask these people where the money came from and tax these people who don't pay taxes. I never saw a drug dealer or a fence take a check, somebody's plastic, etc. for product, only cash. When it comes to stolen property, guns are highly sought after. Guns are bought and paid for in the black market and are difficult to trace. Why? Cash. Even a guy who stole a gun and later sold it would have a paper trail. If a felon tries to buy a gun from a reputable source, his account would be flagged and frozen as well as the merchant's account.
What would they do, trade a truckload of toilet paper for 10 automatic weapons?
People say their freedom would be gone. How about the people who are pinned in their houses due to fear in their immediate environment? How about their freedom?
Robbers will see me and light up when they see my gold watch. They get furious when they see it's a Timex, not a Rolex and shoot me because they can't sell the watch for a shot of dope. Eliminate the cash and that should lead to more accountability. I would be glad to be first in line. I have nothing to hide.
George Hammerbacher, Catonsville