The Media Gets It Wrong On Guns Again.


              Here we go again. We have the horrendous shooting in a high school which claimed four lives and every internet journalist becomes an instant expert on guns. Want to make a quick few hundred bucks? Just send a story idea about guns around to various digital media sites and some editor desperate to fill up the daily content quota will tell you to bring it on.

              So, today we get a story on Business Insider by someone named Katie Balevic which has the following headline: “The pistol the Oxford High School shooting suspect used was one of nearly 700,000 firearms that Americans bought or tried to buy during Black Friday sales.”

              The author of this article, identified as a News Fellow on the Weekend News team, then goes on to say that “Black Friday was one of the most productive days in gun sales to date. On Black Friday alone, 187,585 background checks were made, a slight increase from 186,645 in 2020.”

              There’s only one little problem with Ms. Balevic’s story. It’s completely wrong. There is absolutely no connection between the number of background checks performed by the FBI-NICS phone gang on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis and the number of guns that actually move into the hands of people allegedly buying all those guns.

              What Katie Balevic used to give us those frightening numbers about gun sales is data published by the FBI which aggregates the total n umber of telephone calls received each day regardless of the reason for the call. If the intrepid reporter knew the first thing about what she was writing about, she would have consulted the publication from FBI-NICS which lists calls received from each state, as well as the reason for the call.

              Guess what? If Ms. Balevic had looked at this latter document, she would have quickly realized that mor than half the calls received by FBI-NICS have nothing to do with the purchase of guns at all. Oops. Sorry about that.

              Incidentally, I’m going to send a copy of this column to the News Fellow of the Weekend News team and wait for a reply. Want to take the short odds that I’ll receive a reply? Yea, right. I’ll receive what Grandpa would call “gurnisht” (read: nothing.)

              The problem with spreading mis-information about guns is that it impacts the discussion about gun violence in ways that can only make it more difficult to figure effective responses to the 100,000+ fatal and non-fatal intentional gun injuries which occur every year.

              What really bothered me about the mis-reading of the NICS data is that it just so happens that what drives increases in the phone calls to NICS has been increases in the background checks not performed on gun sales, but on gun licensing, both for new licenses and renewals.

              The whole licensing issue has been fraught with controversy because it’s not clear to what extent requiring a licensing procedure before someone can buy a gun has been an effective way to help reduce gun violence events. And the fact that we can now compare licensing activity to gun violence rates in every state should be a process which could be used to determine whether our regulatory system is working as well as it should or not.

              I have yet to see one, single media person focus on the NICS data covering license checks. Instead, what we get every few months are versions of what we have just gotten from Ms. Balevic, which is the usual hand-wringing about the enormous number of guns being sold, albeit by using data which is simply wrong.

              Either we are going to be informed properly about guns and un violence or we are not going to be informed in any kind of appropriate way. And if we are informed inappropriately, how in God’s name can we ever figure out what changes need to be made in gun laws to reduce the 300 fatal and non-fatal shootings which occur every day?

What’s More Important During A Pandemic?


              Want one of the dumbest statements made all time by someone representing the gun industry? Try this brief interview of Mark Oliva, chief spieler for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) last week on – where else? – Fox News. He was asked to comment on what has been a shortage of ammunition over the last year as the ammo makers have had some issues catching up with the surge in gun sales.

              Actually, it’s not so much that there’s no ammo on the shelves, but the prices are a lot higher than they were a year ago and don’t look like they will be going back down anytime soon or maybe at all. I used to pay around $30 bucks for a 500-pak of 22-caliber ammo at a nearby Wal Mart store; now they want $42 for the same 500 rounds.

              So why is ammo flying off the shelves? Because everyone is stocking up on all necessity items thanks to Covid-19.  To get this point across the NSSF spieler reminded viewers of how nobody could find toilet paper on the shelves last year.

              “When people get scared,” he said, “they want to make sure they can get their hands on everything they need, so demand always jumps ahead of supply. Last year it was toilet paper, this year it’s ammunition.”

              Now I ‘m sitting here trying to figure this out. People get scared. Fine. People begin to think that in order to protect themselves they want to be sure they have all the things they really need.

              Do we really need toilet paper? Well, kind of, I guess. Although when I lived in Spain in the early 1970’s, it was not uncommon to walk into a public toilet or even into someone’s home bathroom and find the Sunday newspaper cut in strips that allowed it to be used to wipe one’s rear end.

              But this is the United States of America and toilet paper isn’t just something we need, it’s something we buy because it has a soft texture, a matching color and if you really want to get fancy, you can order it with your initials nicely printed on each square.

              Think I’m kidding? Grandma received a carton of monogrammed toilet paper that she ordered from Bloomingdale’s every month. It was still being delivered to her apartment even though she had quietly and peacefully passed on the previous year.

              Bur let’s not kid ourselves. Toilet paper, monogrammed or not, is considered an essential item and it didn’t come as a surprise when it began disappearing from store shelves last year.

              But ammunition?  Since when has ammunition become a product that we all have to have? Since when do I need ammunition to do anything except fool around with one of my guns?
              Oh, I forgot. Darn it – I’m getting old and forgetful. How could I not understand why people need to stock up on ammunition during a worldwide pandemic which is still not yet under control? Because as everyone knows, we don’t need no stinkin’ mask to keep ourselves safe. We need a gun filled with ammunition because that’s why we own guns.

              Except the truth is that guns don’t keep us safe. Yea, yea, I know how every once in a while, some dope barges into a mini-mart, demands all the cash and then finds himself staring down the barrel of a Glock or a Sig. And there’s even a slight chance that the guy hanging around the ATM will think twice about harassing the other guy pulling money out of the machine if the guy using the machine also cranks out his gun.

              But the guy behind the mini-mart counter and the guy at the ATM have to take those guns home at night and that’s when the trouble begins. Because sooner or later he’ll forget to lock the gun away and don’t’ ask me how, and don’t ask me why, but it just so happens that the time he forgot to lock away the gun is when his teenage son wants to show ‘Daddy’s gun’ to a friend.

              You don’t need all that ammo because you really don’t need the gun.

We Know ‘For A Fact’ That The Increase In Gun Violence Is Due To All Those People Buying All Those Guns.


Last night I was watching one of the ‘fake news’ channels, probably CNN, and they did a brief report on shootings last weekend in which somewhere around 150 people were killed. Why has gun violence become so dreadfully high over the last year? Because everyone’s buying a gun to protect themselves from Covid-19.

I have been listening to this more guns bought = more gun violence for the last 16 months and frankly, it’s a load of crap. Or better said, it’s simply a convenient way to explain a somewhat scary bit of human behavior – gun purchasing – which nobody in Gun-control Nation has yet to try to understand.

Ask the average guy who comes walking out of a gun shop with his Glock 17 why he just laid out $500 bucks for a piece of polymer and tempered steel and he’ll tell you right off the bat that he needs to ‘protect’ himself from all those crazies who are going around burning and looting in this city and that.

Of course, the guy doesn’t happen to live anywhere near those cities, but so what? And if you were to point this out to him, he would think for a second and then say, “Well, it could still happen where I live.” And just to make sure you get the point; he would then remind you that he’s only exercising his 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

Which is also a load of crap because the 2nd Amendment is an amendment, not a ‘right.’ But anyway, back to how and why legal gun sales are the reason for so much gun crime.

Back in April 1992, I happened to be visiting a gun shop in Baltimore, MD. When I arrived at the shop, the line was around the corner and I had to get the owner, Mel Abrams, to let me in the back door. Mel’s shop usually had an inventory of 200-300 handguns, he told me that he expected to be sold out by early afternoon. He had called his wholesaler that morning and was told that the wholesaler was also cleaned out of guns. What was going on?

The night before was the first night of the riot which erupted in Los Angeles after 4 cops were found innocent of beating the sh*t out of Rodney King. But it wasn’t the riot itself which resulted in every handgun in every gun shop being sold the next day. It was the live video that showed some White guy being dragged out of his truck in Los Angeles and then beaten to a pulp by some real ‘street thugs.’

This video played on virtually every TV in every American home where anyone was watching the news. It was repeated the next several days again, and again, and again.

Gun violence and violence in general did spike from 1992 through 1994. But according to the government, this increase in street mayhem was due to crack cocaine. Nobody said anything about all those guns that had been purchased back in 1992. And by the way, gun violence rates began falling in 1994 and ended up dropping by more than 50% over the next five years.

There was another spike in gun sales after 9-11. Even in my gun shop which was in a town that would never have been a terrorist target for Osama bin Laden or anyone else, my shelves were stripped clean. Know what happened to the gun violence rate in my state when we launched the War on Terror? It didn’t change.

Then there was a much bigger and more sustained increase in gun sales after Obama tried to get a new gun law passed following Sandy Hook. Know how many gun homicides were committed in 2012?  Try 11,622. Know how many gun homicides occurred in 2013 when everyone in Gun-nut Nation knew ‘for a fact’ that Obama was going to take away their guns?  Try 11,208.

How come none of the experts who keep saying that the legal purchase of all those guns in the past year is the reason for so much gun violence hasn’t taken one second to compare this year’s spike in gun sales to spikes in other years?  WTFK, okay?

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Want To Make A Quick Buck? Let’s Start A New Gun Group.


              Want the latest and dumbest scam to come out of Gun-nut Nation to promote guns?  It comes from a guy in Philadelphia, part hip-hop artist, part activist, part internet shyster and the founder of something called Black Guns Matter, which appears to be a website that sells – what else? – shirts, hoodies, hats, all the usual crap.

              The founder of this internet clothing boutique, Maj Toure, says that he’s promoting a ‘Solutionary Lifestyle’ which allows his group to “educate people in urban communities in all 50 states on their 2nd amendment rights and responsibilities through firearms training and education.”

              Along with his t-shirt shop, Toure has also tried to build a political career. The only problem is that even though he ran for an at-large seat in the Philadelphia City Council, running on the Libertarian line, he received one-half of one percent of the vote. Uhhh, he lost. He then got booted out of the Libertarian Party. So what?

              Toure appeared at the 2019 CPAC meeting and told the audience that he supported grass-roots movements against racism but that he didn’t like BLM because all they were doing was raising money for Democratic candidates and Democrats are, to put it bluntly, no good.

              Now Toure’s back at CPAC again at their 2021 CPAC meeting which was held in Texas this past weekend.  This time around, he talked about how gun control equals racism and since he’s opposed to racism, he’s going to fight against gun control.

              Spieling about how liberals are all racists if they support gun control has now landed Toure an occasional appearance on Fox News, where he challenges the Brothers and Sisters about guns, politics, and race. And better yet, he has raised over $400,000 on GoFundMe to support what he claims will be “a 50 state tour to continue informing urban communities–especially youth–about safe and legal firearms knowledge, conflict resolution, and the 2nd amendment.” Conflict resolution using a gun? That’s a good one.

            I’m going to start an organization called Liberals Against Gun Control, or LAGC. I’m going to put up a website, get a 501c3 designation from the IRS, hire a PR firm to book me on all the alt-right media channels and start getting ready to be interviewed on Fox News.

            There’s no question that I’ll get plenty of help from the liberal media which is always looking for a story about how guns attract people who shouldn’t be interested in guns. Last week the Washington Post ran a story about anti-gun Americans who are now buying guns which featured an interview with a couple of Black women who now own Glocks and AR-15’s. The story referenced a story about gun sales in The New York Times. The fact that the NYT story doubled the number of guns actually purchased last year, oh well, oh well.

            The more I think about it, the more I’m going to start my own gun-owning group. And I’m not just going to call it Liberals Against Gun Control, I’m going to call it Jewish Liberals Against Gun Control. There have to be at least three other Jews in the United States besides me who are against the Biden Administration’s effort to take away all our guns. And don’t forget that what happened to all the Jews in Nazi Germany after Hitler took away their guns.

            Could that happen here? Of course it could happen here!  Look at the 2020 election – stolen right out from under our noses. This sh*t has to stop!  Has to stop – right now!!

            Gotta come up with a logo for my new group. After all, I need a logo for my t-shirts and coffee cups that I’ll carry in my online store. Maybe I’ll put an AR-15 inside a Star of David. That’ll work.  How this?

              Perfect. Just perfect.  I’ll send it out right now to the t-shirt company. I’ll use the same outfit that Trump used to produce all his MAGA crap.

              America’s a wonderful country. Start something from nothing which means nothing and will do nothing and you can still make yourself a million bucks.

Critical Race Theory Meets The 2nd Amendment.


              Last week I reviewed a book by Professor Carol Anderson on how the 2nd Amendment has been used to discriminate against Blacks and helps maintain systemic racism, her book being a contribution to critical race theory (CRT) which has generated controversy on both sides of the current political debate.

              In last week’s review, I paid most of my attention to Professor Anderson’s analysis of how and why the 2nd Amendment was inserted into the Bill of Rights. In today’s column I want to look at how Anderson frames an argument about what the 2nd Amendment means to Black Americans today.

              Anderson cites two examples of how racism has been used in the contemporary period to define gun ‘rights’ – California’s  Mulford Law which prohibited carrying guns in public and was signed by then-Governor Ronald Reagan in 1967, and the Federal Gun Control Act which created the national regulatory system for guns which was signed by then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.  Both laws which, according to Anderson’s interpretation of CRT, were designed to protect America from violence committed by Blacks.

              The Mulford Law was passed in California after the Black Panthers showed up at the State Capitol, carrying rifles, to protest police brutality and lack of effective policing, particularly in Oakland and Black neighborhoods in L.A. Anderson is absolutely correct in pointing out that much of the political rhetoric and posturing which accompanied Mulford Law was not-so-thinly-veiled messaging about how Whites needed to protect themselves from crime and violence committed by Blacks.

              Anderson basically makes the same argument about the political and racial context surrounding the debates and ultimate passage of GCA68, quoting Michael Waldman’s judgement that the law was defining gun ownership as a “white prerogative” because the categories which defined unlawful behavior, lumped under the rubric of ‘dangerous people,’ tended to be behaviors that allegedly occurred much more frequently among Blacks than among Whites.

              It was in the aftermath of GCA68, however, that gun regulations began to clearly show a racist slant. I am referring to the spread of concealed-carry permits (CCW) which were issued in only 9 states without any kind of police discretion as late as 1986. As of this year, there are now only 8 states where the cops can deny a CCW application without cause, and every one of those states happens to have large, inner-city Black neighborhoods where it is simply understood that Blacks don’t need to waste time trying to get a CCW license because it won’t be issued, whether they meet the legal qualifications or not.

              States like California, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland,  Massachusetts Rhode Island – have cities with high levels of gun violence but are also cities where the cops don’t want anyone to own a legal gun. Want to protect yourself by carrying a legal gun when you walk down the street? Move to Wichita, KS or Des Moines, IA. Blacks can get licensed for CCW in those cities, no questions asked.

              The fact that Anderson could write an entire book to show how the 2nd Amendment has been used to discriminate against Blacks and never seem to be aware of the racial differential in issuance of CCW licenses tells me that her understanding of guns, gun laws and CRT represents nothing more than an ability to go on the internet and do a bibliographical search. Another expert writing about gun violence who wouldn’t know one end of a gun from the other end.

              But here’s the real problem with thinking about gun violence within the context of CRT. Would it be better if the laws on gun ownership and gun access were completely color-blind, thus making it easier for Blacks to buy and own guns? Isn’t it bad enough right now that a White guy can walk into a gun shop, buy a Glock 17 with 5 extra hi-cap mags, and walk around town with the gun just because he passed a two-minute background check?

              Want to get rid of the systemic racism that defines how we try to control the ownership and use of guns? Why don’t we make everyone equal and simply say that nobody can own guns?

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The Dumbest Gun Law Passed This Year.


              I used to think that the dumbest gun law ever produced came from Matt Gaetz who, when he was a State Senator in Florida, introduced a law (which went nowhere) that would have allowed patrons who were shot by someone in a gun-free zone to sue the owner of the property who had made his space gun free.

              But the Governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, is about to sign into law a bill which is even dumber than the law put out there by child-molester Gaetz. This is a law called the ‘2nd-Amendment Preservation Act,’ which prohibits the police in Missouri from enforcing federal laws which would be “considered infringements on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by Amendment II of the Constitution of the United States.”

              Exactly what laws are they talking about? The most egregious infringements on gun ‘rights’ in Missouri would be any federal law which would result in “any registration or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.”

              So, if a local police department shows up at a crime scene, let’s say a murder, and finds a gun next to the corpse which was evidently used to kill the guy, according to this new law the cops can’t ask the ATF to trace the gun in order to figure out who may have actually committed the crime.

              And why do the good people of Missouri need such a law? Because according to the Governor’s office, this law will “empower people to protect themselves.” The Governor’s spokesperson, Kelli Jones, actually said this. She actually stated those exact words.

              In 2019, the most recent year for which we have data, Missouri was one of 7 states with a murder rate in double digits, specifically the rate was 10.23 murders per 100,000 residents. There were only 4 states in 2019 which suffered from a higher rate of murders where the killer used a gun. So why not make it harder for the cops to figure out who pulled the trigger when they find a dead body on one side of the street with his head blown off and then find the gun on the other side of the street?

              Obviously, the guy who got his head blown off wouldn’t have been a murder victim at all if he had taken the trouble to ‘empower’ and protect himself, right? And how could this guy have empowered himself to make sure he didn’t get his head blown off by someone else?  That’s simple. All he needed to do was go out and get himself a gun.

              I can certainly understand why the head of Missouri’s gun-control group, MOMS, would issue a statement calling this law something with no benefit at all. But that’s not completely true, because after all, as the fear of Covid-19 abates and less people feel they can protect themselves from the virus by buying a gun, the guys who own gun shops in Missouri will need to find some way to boost sales.

              Know how many guns were purchased in Missouri last month? Try 40,192.  Know how many guns were sold in Missouri in April? Try 51,356.  In March it was 65,739.  So, over the last three months, gun sales in Missouri have dropped by almost 40%! That’s no good. No good at all.

              If it weren’t for the idiot state legislator, Jered Taylor, who sponsored this bill, and the idiot Governor, Mike Parson, who signed the bill, the gun business in Missouri might collapse, and then all those state residents who still need to empower themselves to keep themselves safe would be sh*t out of luck.

              Maybe what those poor folks would have to do is sneak into someone’s house when they’re not around and swipe one of their guns. And if the neighbor reports the theft to the cops and the cops want to trace the gun, then the local cops will also be sh*t out of luck.

              Missouri’s known as the ‘show me’ state. Want to show me a law that is dumber than this new gun law? 

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Another Gun Expert Joins The Debate And Gets It Completely Wrong.

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              It has to be my fault.  There’s simply no way that a media organization as sophisticated and professional as 24/7 Wall Street could do a story about guns and get it so completely wrong. So, I have to assume that although I have described what the FBI-NICS numbers mean at least two dozen times, obviously I’m doing it in a way that simply doesn’t allow the reporter who wrote about guns for 24/7 to get what I’m saying at all.

              Yesterday, 24/7 ran a story with a headline which said there was one state which already racked up more than 5 millions gun sales this year.  One state has already accounted for the purchase of 5 million guns?  In 2019, the total for all guns manufactured in the United States was 6.5 million, of which 200,000 were exported and the rest were sold here. Now I know the Pandemic increased gun sales exponentially in 2020, but how could one state, identified as Illinois, register more gun sales in five months this year than the total gun sales for the entire United States in 2019?

              In fact, it didn’t happen. It didn’t come close to happening.  So, I guess this means that for the umpteenth time I have to explain the meaning of those monthly FBI-NICS numbers that the reporter for 24/7 Wall Street didn’t understand at all. Here goes.

              In May, the state of Illinois connected up to the FBI-NICS call center 998,926 times. In April the number of calls from Illinois to the FBI-NICS desk was 955,439; March was 1,427,917; February was 902,029, and January was 1,002,118. Round it off and you get 5.3 million background checks for residents of Illinois.

              There’s only one little problem. Ready? Of those 5,3 million calls, roughly 245,000 (I’m rounding off) were for background checks covering the purchase of guns. The rest of those calls, the other 5.2 million calls, were for approval of new gun permits, rechecks of previously issued permits, and guns redeemed out of pawn. Illinois doesn’t yet require background checks for person-to-person private sales which in California, for example, accounts for another 7,000 – 8,000 background checks each and every month.

              What the FBI-NICS numbers really show, if the reporter for 24/7 Wall Street would like to know what he is writing about, is that the great 2020 surge in Pandemic gun sales is, like the Pandemic, beginning to slowly but surely fade away. In May 2020, Americans bought 955,278 handguns, last month that number dropped 20% to 767,314.

              The reason the reporter for 24/7 Wall Street made such a big goof is because he looked at the wrong NICS dataset published by the FBI. He based his story on the dataset which lists calls received by the NICS call center for each state but doesn’t break down the reason for the call: NICS Firearm Checks: Month/Year by State — FBI.  What he should have been referencing was the dataset which shows not only the number of calls per state, but the reason why the calls were made: NICS Firearm Checks: Month/Year by State/Type — FBI

              Unfortunately, the writer of this article is not just some kid reporter. He’s Douglas McIntyre, not only Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief of 24/7 Wall Street, but “an expert on corporate finance, the automotive industry, media companies and international finance. He has edited articles on national demographics, sports, personal income, and travel.” A Magna Cum Laude graduate from Harvard College, obviously McIntyre’s choice of major at America’s oldest University didn’t include a course on guns.

              Am I surprised that someone as educated and professionally experienced as Douglas McIntyre could write a story about the gun business and get it so utterly and completely wrong? To the contrary, I have to assume that his sudden interest in guns reflects an awareness that with the current political alignment in D.C., we might actually see a gun-control bill debated and even passed on Capitol Hill.

              Let’s just hope that if such a debate occurs, that our Congressional friends supporting a new law to reduce gun violence will rely on sources more accurate than 24/7 Wall Street.

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Want To Fix The ATF? Don’t Ask The Trace What To Do.


              Last week our friends at The Trace published a long article based on nearly 2,000 reports of gun shop inspections conducted between 2015 and 2017. The authors note that the ATF is coming under ‘scrutiny’ because a former ATF staffer, David Chipman, is going to start running the agency, and since he previously worked for Gabby Gifford’s group, he’s certainly going to change how the ATF operates and turn what The Trace considers a ‘toothless’ regulatory agency into a tough, go get ‘em outfit that will finally make a dent on violence caused by guns.

              Why do the authors of this totally contrived and error-filled article conclude that the ATF’s activities give gun dealers “immunity” from serious punishment and allows them to “enjoy layers of protection unavailable to most other industries?” Aside from the fact that these authors have obviously never worked for a bank or a brokerage house, the entire argument is based on this: “A single violation is enough to shutter a gun shop if ATF officials can prove that the store willfully broke federal regulations. In the vast majority of the cases analyzed by The Trace and USA TODAY, the ATF gave violators the lightest penalty available.”

              Of course, the so-called gun experts who wrote this nonsense never took the trouble to figure out how the ATF decides that a gun dealer has committed ‘willful’ violations in how he sells guns. And since the ATF only shut down 3 percent of the dealers who committed these horrible, willful violations, obviously gun retailers are being regulated by an agency which doesn’t know how to do its job.

              The article goes into great detail about some egregious examples of gun shops that were allowed to stay in business while they kept selling illegal guns. It starts off with a story about a West Virginia gun shop named Uncle Sam’s, which was allowed to stay in business despite numerous warnings about willful violations over multiple years while the shop operated as the “backbone of a sprawling gun trafficking scheme.” Obviously, the moment a gun dealer starts committing ‘willful’ violations, he’s another Uncle Sam’s and should be shut right down.

               My gun shop underwent a full ATF inspection in 2014.  The ATF team visited the shop numerous times, reviewed somewhere around 4,000 transactions of guns coming in and going out, they also examined hundreds of 4473 FBI-NICS background checks covering retail sales and other documentation covering guns sent to dealers, sold to tax-exempt agencies as well as the forms we filled out whenever anyone purchased multiple guns.

              At the end of this tedious and seemingly-endless exercise in the examination of thousands of pages of paperwork, it was determined that we could not produce requisite documentation on the transfer of – ready? – three guns. It doesn’t mean the paperwork didn’t exist. We just couldn’t produce the paperwork at the time the inspection occurred.

              Several weeks later, I received an inspection report from the ATF.  The report detailed the fact that the inspection team had found more than 1,000 ‘willful’ violations, each of which was considered a ‘threat to public safety’ and could result, under law, in shutting me down. On the other hand, if I showed up for a conference at the ATF, said my mea culpa’s and promised to do a better job, I could continue to operate my gun shop.

              The thousand ‘willful’ violations consisted of one violation repeated more than a thousand times: we didn’t write out the full name and federal license number of the same wholesaler from whom we purchased most of our guns. What made these violations ‘willful’ was the fact that when we received our license in 2002, an ATF agent delivered the license and also made some comments about how to fill out the forms. Incidentally, the two kids who ran the shop and had committed those thousand ‘threats’ to community safety weren’t even in the shop when the ATF agent showed up and allegedly delivered his spiel.

              I wouldn’t be so upset by this half-assed journalism if it weren’t for the fact that this story, reprinted in USA-Today, will become the new narrative used by Gun-control Nation to frame their demands for how the ATF needs to clean up its act.

              More on this tomorrow. 

Should We Get Rid Of PLCAA? Why Bother?

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              If there is one thing that all my friends in Gun-control Nation seem to agree on, it’s the idea that we have to get rid of PLCAA, a 2005 law which protects the gun industry against class-action (tort) suits. But even though it sounds like a good idea because, after all, no sane, rational individual would ever want gun makers to escape responsibility for the 125,000 victims of gun violence every year, I’m not so sure that getting rid of PLCAA would change anything at all.

              The law was the gun-industry’s counter-offensive to an attempt by the Clinton Administration to make the gun industry accept a plan (put together by then-HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo) which would have required gun makers to adopt a self-regulating program that basically would have ended the retail sale of guns in the United States. And because the plan required the gun industry to adopt and enforce the plan themselves, no amount of kvetching about the ‘loss’ of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ would have done any good at all.

              Basically, the Clinton-Cuomo plan would have required every gun manufacturer to hire hundreds of people who would go around, visit every, single retail store that sold one of its guns once a year, conduct a full safety inspection of the premises, deliver a seminar on gun safety, and file a report on each visit which would then be forwarded to the government for review.

              In fact, because Smith & Wesson was owned by a British investment group which didn’t know a gun from a hole in the wall, the owners decided to adopt the plan, in return for which the Clinton Administration promised that S&W would be shielded from class-action suits. The resultant boycott by gun wholesalers and retailers almost shuttered the company’s doors except that some Palm Beach County votes were thrown out, Bush beat Gore, and that was the end of that.

              In fact, a class-action suit against the gun industry brought by the NAACP had been floating around Federal Judge Jack Weinstein’s courtroom for a couple of years, the real ‘civil rights’ organization (as opposed to the NRA’s nonsense) charging gun makers with consciously flooding inner-city, high-crime neighborhoods with their products, thus provoking too many deaths and injuries from guns.

              Ultimately, Judge Weinstein was forced to terminate the suit because the NAACP couldn’t demonstrate ‘standing’ in the case. And while Weinstein later said he believed the plaintiffs had a strong case, I’m not so sure that the guns which wind up being used to commit injuries in what we now refer to as the ‘underserved’ neighborhoods are being shipped into those neighborhoods when they leave the UPS truck pulls away from the factory loading dock.

              The reason that Gun-control Nation wants to get rid of PLCAA is because most gun-control advocates believe that by promoting the idea that a gun can protect its owner from being harmed, that the gun manufacturers are consciously and deliberately trying to deceive consumers into believing that guns aren’t as dangerous as many of us would like to believe.

              Unfortunately, the idea that the gun industry plays down the intrinsic dangerousness of its products is a myth which happens not to be true. In fact, gun makers are required to alert consumers to the potential danger, up to and including fatal danger, if their products are mis-used.

              The picture above is the front page of the safety manual which goes with every gun manufactured and sold by Smith & Wesson. The very first sentence of text says: “Read these instructions and warnings carefully. Failure to read these instructions and to follow these warnings may result in serious injury or death to you and others and damage to property.”

              If you believe for one second that the guys walking around with a gun because they want to use that gun to injure someone else don’t know how dangerous and lethal that happens to be? 

              Where do you live? In Fantasyland?

Why Are Americans Buying All Those Guns?


              I just got done listening to an hour-long interview with an academic, David Yamane, who considers himself to be uniquely situated in the gun debate because he claims to be the only scholar who is interested in what he refers to as the ‘sociology’ of gun ownership. He’s not a criminologist, he’s not a public health researcher, he’s doing something very different from the academics in both those fields. He’s trying to figure out why, in many part of the country, guns are considered a ‘normal part of life.’

              What he believes he has figured out since he started the sociological investigation into guns is that roughly one-third of all Americans haven’t figured out how they feel about guns. One-third of Americans are strongly against guns; one-third are strongly in favor guns; and one-third, according to Professor Yamane’s sociological research, haven’t made up their minds one way or the other. Yamane explains this breakdown in an interview that you can access right here.

              This division of opinion about gun ownership, according to Yamane, explains the tremendous upsurge in guy sales that has occurred alongside the spread of Covid-19. Yamane argues that the demand for guns reflects not just current gun owners buying more guns, but members of the ‘I haven’t made up my mind about guns’ group buying their first gun.

              Like everyone else who writes about guns, I have also been trying to figure out who is buying all those guns over the past year. And since Yamane claims to be a scholar and a researcher, I assumed that somewhere I would find the research he has conducted to not only divide Americans into three groups in terms of what they think about guns, but I would also be able to look at his research which explains why so many new gun owners are buying their first guns.

              Unless Yamane has updated but not yet posted his academic CV on the Wake Forest website, which is where he happens to teach, his last scholarly article was published in 2018, which is well before the ‘Chinese flu’ came ashore.  He did publish an article in 2020 that covered the shift in gun advertisements in American Rifleman magazine from hunting to self-defense guns, but this article didn’t identify who was even reading those ads, never mind going out and buying all those self-defense guns.

              So how does Yamane know that the 2020 spike in gun sales can be explained because one-third of Americans who previously did or maybe didn’t like guns, all of a sudden decide that they wanted to own a gun? 

              First, Yamane went to some gun shows where he met people who told him they were buying their first gun. Then he accessed a really reliable source, the gun-industry’s trade group, the NSSF, which estimates “that 40% of all gun purchasers in 2020 did not currently own guns.”

              That’s how a tenured academic does sociological research which he claims is based on the demographics of people who buy guns? By walking around a couple of guns shows and then repeating an ‘estimate’ by an outfit which promotes the gun industry?

              Again, I’m not saying that Yamane’s right, or that Yamane’s wrong. But if he really wants to conduct some serious and valid research on what he calls Gun Culture 2.0, particularly on whether people previously uninvolved with this culture are now buying guns, there’s a very simple way to go about conducting such work.

              All Yamane has to do is walk into a few gun shops and tell the owner he would like to take a look at the store’s collection of 4473 forms. These forms contain the date of birth and the gender of every person who ever bought a gun in that store. You can even get the buyer’s height and weight. Most gun shops also keep their record in Excel, so Yamane could do a word search and quickly figure out how many customers bought guns in that shop for the first time.

              I’m still waiting for David Yamane or any other academic scholar to learn a little something about the gun industry before they go out to do their research.  As always, I’m happy to help them out.

Buy on Amazon. The Deadliest Pathogen: Guns and Homicide (Guns in America Book 10) – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

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