Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More on Public Safety, from Another Source

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It ain't politics. Nor communism or governmental oppression.

It's called public health and safety. All together now: P-u-b-l-i-c h-e-a-l-t-h a-n-d s-a-f-e-t-y. There now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

You know, like fire breaks around homes in wooded areas and controlled burns. Civil defense sirens. Radar and air traffic control. The cold-war Red Phone. Flame retardant baby clothes and crib slats narrower than a baby's head is wide. Injecting natural gas with a noxious odor. Minimizing carcinogens in food. Fire departments, law enforcement, the Secret Service. A standing army. Hunter orange vests and slow moving vehicle signs.

Airbags, seat belts, speed limits, DUI laws, mandatory driving tests and licensing, safety inspections, padded dashes and shatter-proof glass, headlights and brake lights, no-passing zones and guardrails, road engineering standards, car registration and safety inspections, baby seats, a lock on every car door, traffic control devices ... all of which have combined to drive down automobile fatality rates to record lows. And I've yet to hear an adult complain about infringement on their right to drive or governmental tyranny (at least if they haven't recently been busted in a speed trap).

What's that term again? P ... p ... p -- oh wait -- I've GOT it. PROBLEM SOLVING.

But a 2-year-old shooting himself dead with grandpa's hand gun last week in Salt Lake? A mass murderer with legally obtained semiautomatic weapons and access to literally thousands of rounds of ammo? A drunk shooting himself and then his buddy this morning in SLC? Countless other gun accidents and passion murders in every city and hamlet? Murder rates that literally dwarf those in other rich democracies that have sensible firearm controls in place?

Problem solving? Nah. A bunch of outlaws, countless others with short-man syndrome, and nothing but lily-livered politicians cowering in the shadow of the great and all powerful NRA.


Don Pelton said...

Great post, Doug.

Here's an excellent and appropriately angry article that completely supports what you are saying:

"NRA: A lobby for criminals"


"So, thanks to the NRA, there is no centralized database. Instead, gun sale records are “archived” by the nation’s 60,000 federally licensed firearms dealers at their places of business. Oh, and the BATF has estimated that 1 percent of those dealers are corrupt, which means there are about 600 dealers regularly funneling guns to criminals. But that 1 percent figure may be way off the mark. When New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent undercover agents to gun stores making it clear to salespeople that they were illegal straw purchasers, 25 percent of dealers broke the law and sold them guns anyway. At gun shows — which sell about 30 percent of the guns identified in criminal trafficking cases — a staggering 94 percent of licensed dealers were willing to make such illegal sales. Meanwhile, the radical leadership of the NRA remains the leading impediment to closing the notorious gun show loophole — despite the fact that 69 percent of the NRA’s membership and 85 percent of the general public support background checks for gun show sales, according to a 2009 survey by Republican pollster Frank Luntz.

In “Wayne’s World,” the alternate universe tirelessly promoted by the NRA CEO, “gun shows are not a source of crime guns,” and the exhaustively documented gun show loophole is “a myth.” Of course, in Wayne’s World, even the existing Brady background checks for gun purchases are a total waste of time, because criminals are too smart to buy from licensed dealers and to fill out Brady forms. In the real world, where criminals are not as smart as LaPierre would have us believe, more than 2 million felons, domestic abusers and fugitives from justice have been turned away by gun dealers when they flunked Brady background checks since the law took effect in 1994."


"The Mexican government, LaPierre says, “ought to give their own people a Second Amendment right to defend themselves, instead of coming here and trying to take away yours!” Here, one is led to believe that the only illegal guns that have ended up in the hands of the cartels were sent by agents of the BATF — with the full cooperation of the White House and Justice Department — as part of its ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious. In fact, as many as 2,000 guns may have ended up in Mexico as part of this gun-tracing effort, which has been the subject of multiple investigations. However, in April the BATF reported that of 100,000 guns collected by the Mexican government, 68 percent could be traced to U.S. dealers. But never mind. LaPierre insists, the “great overwhelming bulk” of guns used by the Mexican cartels “come from non-American dealers.” He dismisses suggestions that U.S. dealers are a primary source of guns to Mexico as “absurd” and “a damned lie.”

Operation Fast and Furious may yet prove to be the scandal LaPierre clearly hopes it is. But NRA members might be interested in knowing that since 2006, the BATF has intercepted more than 10,000 guns and nearly a million rounds of ammunition destined for Mexico, and it has arrested 800 trafficking suspects. Between 2003 and 2010 the BATF was responsible for sending more than 66,000 violent criminals to prison for an average of 14 years each. In the same period, it recommended prosecution of more than 26,000 defendants for firearms trafficking-related offenses involving an estimated 441,000 weapons. If, as LaPierre claims, “government has failed in enforcing … our laws against violent criminals with guns,” he might tell his members which of those 66,000 criminals he’d rather the ATF hadn’t put away. And he might explain why the NRA opposes making gun-trafficking and straw purchases a crime."

Don Pelton said...

I posted a longish comment yesterday that never got posted (it appeared to be in moderation).

Please let me know if it was offensive in some way.