Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, May 23, 2003

"Americans for Gun Safety" is Good for Something

I referenced their web site in the last post, and I took a couple of minutes to peruse the site. I found this press release for their latest report: The Enforcement Gap: Federal Gun Laws Ignored. I haven't had a chance to read the report in detail yet. (Disclosure: I do not trust AGS, as I said in an earlier post. If you missed it, Isntapundit has a post detailing AGS's founder, funder, and leader Andrew McKelvey explaining why.)

Regardless, I don't think they've played too fast or loose with the numbers here, and those numbers illustrate my earlier point about the BATF not doing its job. Well, to be fair, I don't know if the BATF is at fault or if the Department of Justice is, but the fact remains that suing the gun manufacturers because some dealers are bad is the wrong thing to do.

One example from the summary page:

"The report points to the Washington, DC-area snipers as an example of corrupt gun dealers escaping prosecution. They obtained their murder weapon from Bulls Eye Shooters Supply, a Tacoma, Washington store that failed three audits and could not account for 238 missing firearms, including the sniper's gun. The owner has kept his firearm dealer license, and the store remains open."

Hey, I'm a gun nut, and even I find that difficult to believe. Not that they failed three audits and not that 238 weapons are missing (the Bushmaster was one of the missing), but that the store still has a license. What the hell is the BATF for? "Stomping kittens" can't be in the jobscope.

The report further details that only about 2% of federal gun crimes actually get prosecuted. ("That law didn't work! Let's pass a new one we won't enforce! And when that one fails, we'll blame it on the NRA and then we'll pass some more!" That's how it's been working up until just recently.)

The one really interesting statistic that I've had problems hunting down is this one:

"From 2000 through 2002, roughly 450,000 applicants were rejected from purchasing a firearm after signing the ATF form certifying that they had no record that would deny them a firearm. The denied applicants included:

260,000 who were denied because of a previous felony conviction.

60,000 who were denied because crime of domestic violence or a restraining order.

25,000 who were denied because of an outstanding arrest warrant.

Yet, only 1,594 charges were brought by federal prosecutors..."

But we're told constantly that the Brady background check prevented these "prohibited persons" from buying a gun. No it didn't. It just forced them into the black market. The black market that, by all appearances, the government isn't using the tools it has been given to combat. Don't you think it would have been a good idea to comb those applications and pick up at least the known violent offenders who were stupid enough to sign their names to a felony confession?

Thank you, AGS.

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