Skip to comments.Concerns about gun stores misguided
Posted on 01/21/2004 11:27:44 AM PST by neverdem
A Washington-based non-profit group called Americans for Gun Safety claims to take the middle ground on gun ownership. I question its neutrality.
As a hunter, target-shooter and gun owner, I've been courted in the past by groups that claimed common-sense positions on firearms. These champions of "responsible use" recruit membership and money from both sides but typically lean hard to one side.
At its Web site, AGS says it is "bringing a new voice to the debate over guns and gun safety, which for too long has been dominated by the far left and far right. Through legislative measures and public outreach, AGS supports the rights of law-abiding gun owners and promotes reasonable and effective proposals for fighting gun crime and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and children."
Those are fine avenues to explore, but I'm unsure who is at the wheel (calls to AGS were not returned).
A 31-page report (Selling Crime, High Crime Gun Stores Fuel Criminals) issued recently by AGS and reported in Saturday's Chronicle shakes an accusing finger at 120 U.S. gun dealers who sold at least 200 firearms traced to some sort of criminal activity from 1996-2000. (The most recent statistics.)
Note that "traced to crime" doesn't necessarily mean "traced to violent crime." If I report a gun stolen, the store that sold me the gun years ago gets a mark next to its name. If a law enforcement agency runs a routine check on a firearm and turns up nothing, that check may generate a mark against the original seller.
The AGS report opens: "A small number of the nation's 80,000 gun dealers are flooding America's streets with crime guns -- yet Washington rarely investigates, shuts down or prosecutes most of these high-crime dealers."
Flooding the streets with crime guns? A firearm sold in accordance with current federal guidelines is not a "crime gun." Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, but I have yet to hear the new automobiles on a dealer's lot described as "crime cars."
Actually, several dealers on AGS' bad-guy list have been cited for violations after random inspection by agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The clear majority of those citations, however, 52 of 67 issued to the seven most-cited dealers as tracked from January 2000-May 2003, were for record-keeping mistakes. Not for peddling assault rifles to terrorists or dealing Saturday-night specials to street thugs, but for clerical goofs.
Firearms sellers should be held to high administrative standards, but linking typographical errors and back-door gun running is a stretch.
I concede that some of the dealers on AGS' list appear shady and warrant closer, more frequent inspection, but I disagree with the foundation's inference that each of those sellers is somehow directly responsible for violent gun crimes. Many of the named dealers merely are high-volume retailers caught in a statistical web that makes them victims of their own success.
Consider that a busy gun store often sells more than 10,000 firearms annually, and a few shops on AGS' list move twice that volume of hardware. Multiply that by 10, 15 or 20 years in business and throw in a system that is quick now to trace a gun's history. Even the AGS recognizes that booming business might have landed honest dealers on its "high crime gun store" roster, which includes a California dealer who had 1,000-plus guns stolen during Los Angeles riots.
AGS wonders why the ATF so rarely "shuts down or prosecutes ... high-crime dealers." Maybe that is because even the most-cited dealer on the list had just 13 ATF violations from 2000-2003 against 483 crime-gun traces from 1996-2000. The shop that had 2,294 crime-gun traces, second highest of all, received only one ATF citation through the same time windows.
The anti-gun movement's efforts to blame firearms makers for gun violence has failed in the courts. Since they could not defeat gun manufacturers and lack the strength to tackle gun owners, the logical targets are small companies and individuals who sell guns.
AGS claims to be the Switzerland of gun politics, but its report waves a different flag.
Criminal use of guns is rampant, but we never will rebuild our nation's damaged framework until we quit blaming the hammers and the hardware stores for bad carpenters.
Doug Pike covers the outdoors for the Chronicle. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and he hosts Inside the Outdoors from 6-8 a.m. Saturdays on KTRH (740 AM).
Let me know how you did it, and I'll happily help out.
I'm surprised it wasn't better defended.
I wish it could make a difference, but I'm way behind enemy lines. All they can think of here is the heroism of the firefighters and cops at the WTC. What happened on Flight 93 that went down in Pennsylvania is completely lost upon them, other than Hillary, Schumer, etc. voted to arm pilots for which I called them. I'm sure they did that horrified at the prospect of a commercial airliner being destroyed by a combat air patrol, not as defenders of a right to self defense.
My apologies ;-). Many thanks for taking the time to research and post the info. Last year, I remember seeing something about these people, but I completely forgot!.
Again, thanks, I knew that this had to be a subversive group as the website was just a little too polished and ambiguous concerning RKBA, as well as touching on the grabber's points a little too hard (Crime "guns"), not to mention McCain on the index page.
I don't believe that anyone could possibly call McCain "centrist", or even close to being supportive of the 2A. Of course, this is in keeping with the "common sense/reasonable" disinformation. Your post about "social change" is right on the money about their REAL goals.
I caught the commmon sense/reasonable lie right away, as usually when one of these idjits proposes some tyrannical new legislation, or some unthinkable action, they immediately try to justify their position with "It's reasonable, or It's just common sense", and both of these have become instant red flags for me. Having learned, and with a heck of a lot of input from the spin doctors from DNC/Brady/MMM/liberal/socialist/communist camp, they now realise that overt retoric and bombastic slogan mongering can backfire in their face, so, they strategically rephrase their stand so it doesn't sound quite so dictatorial. They are now in stealth mode, and we have to be on the alert since they don't obviously show up on the reality radar.
Again, tnx for your input here, it is appreciated.
Keep the Faith for Freedom
I did make a point with both, concerning the REAL motive behind the "assault weps" law, as well as the damn magazine limit, and especially the idiocy of the criteria, which, as we all know, has little or nothing to do with reality, and believe it or not, neither one of them was actually familiar with the precise tech description of "assault rifle" (the selective fire feature) so, maybe in that respect, I managed to get a little educating in during the phone calls, and explained about the NFA, ownership of NFA firearms regulations, etc.
I sure hope that they remember at least a little of what I went over, most people kind of find the detail tedious and can't make the distinction (select fire v semi auto), and the semantics about "semi auto" (OK, most people call a 1911 or 1911A1 .45 the "45 automatic", and most everyone understands what is actually meant, yet the grabbers seem to vilify "semi-automatic"). The term seems to be a buzzword for unreality (Gee, the pistol was semiautomatic, I guess it can shoot through armor, create huge destructive fireballs, and is only one step removed from a WMD < /sarcasm>.
That being said, I sure as heck wish that it was easier to explain things firearm, since there seems to be just too many hoplophobes out there, using the terms I have used since I have been a kid, and was told that "even a cap pistol is treated like it was loaded, all the time", as a part of the seamless firearms safety education of my childhood, as well as the trust my grandparents and parents placed in me (I was allowed to have a gun case/rack in my room [built by my dad]for my BB gun, first .22 rifle, and any pistol which my grandfather and dad owned that I was shooting at the time), this was at 6-7 years of age, and the lesson was not forgotten!! Now, of course this was in the '50s, but I still appreciate the trust and many learning opportunities which I enjoyed. It's rough getting a lot of the info across, but with God's help, we will get the message to the people who need it, and manage to at least turn back some of the idiocy.
Keep the Faith For Freedom
Don't get discouraged, and don't think that you're alone. Not everyone may know what's going on behind the scenes -- many don't even suspect how far and how deep this subterfuge and scheming goes. Your efforts are appreciated, don't ever think they aren't. Researching these bits is something you have a knack for. We all must pool our strenghs to focus and acheive the goal.
You know, being mostly honest folks ourselves, we forget and lose sight of exactly how conniving and bloodless our opposition is. It took me years to finally get the picture, and I still get surprised, like the bits you posted.
Keep up the great work -- "strive on, stand fast and hold the line", as they say.
He'll be slammed with a civil rights law suit so fast his head will spin.
Then five years later, after changing hands five times, the gun is used in a crime. Who do the lefties blame?
The original gun store seller, of course!
IIRC, some clown in the Pacific Northwest, maybe Seattle, said that or something like it without any sarcastic intent not too long ago. I believe he said guns are WMD.
Why, shore, I don't mind inviting myself over. :o)
If so, Joe and I (and others, FReepers and non) get together often and it's always a good time.
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