08 September 2009

Someone snarking at Tam?

Cruising around some of the blogs I haven't been keeping up on, I found this little gem.

Now, I remember Tam commenting on this study. But, for the sake of fairness, decided to go take a look at the actual report to see if the snark was warranted...

From what little I could find, it was.

To recap what others have said: A Dr Wintemute went to several gun shows, along with a hidden camera. What he saw there led him to conclude that gun shows are THE leading source of "crime guns" in America (actually, all of North America). This is in direct opposition to the FBI's findings, that only 2% of guns used in crimes come from gun shows...

Let's actually look at what Tam was snarking at: the concept (and it's rampant in our society) that having a bunch of letters after your name makes you an expert in EVERYTHING.

Unless you've been studying guns (and gun laws), and have vision so good you can differentiate between an actual select-fire m-16 and a semi-only AR* at a distance, you have no basis to judge whether or not a transaction is legal. Telepathy would be another good thing to have here. Allow me to explain.

Judging the difference between an illegal gun and a legal gun, without handling the weapon in question, is impossible. The things that can make a gun illegal (full auto, silencer, size**) can NOT be determined just by a quick glance. Measurements are needed, fake "silencers" were all the rage for awhile as a cosmetic thing, and FA would require a working knowledge of the weapon's inner workings. So simple observation doesn't work for that area if illegality...

Maybe he's talking about illegal activities?

Let's see... I suppose straw purchase of a weapon would qualify. Actually, that is THE only activity that I can think of that you could "guess at a distance"***. Problem being, how do you tell? If my wife wants to get me a Glonkulator 2010 for my birthday (which would be perfectly legal), but wasn't sure what I was talking about, she might go to a gun show with a friend of mine, and ask his opinion. From a distance, this would look like a classic straw purchase (but would still be entirely legal).

Very much in the same way a father picking up his teenage daughter from a teen club might look like someone soliciting a prostitute.

So yeah... Tam's snark (as usual), is warranted in this case.

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But what about Mike's assertion that "pro-gun folks resist these intelligent and highly educated men so aggressively? Why is it necessary to attack them on their expertise as well as their veracity? What's wrong with simply discussing the issues?"

He's referring to folks who are vocal anti-gun supporters (including the illustrious Paul Helmke). Still, I think I'll address this one.

Mike... if you're reading this, it's not that we're "resisting these... men so aggressively". We're rejecting their findings, as they do not match the evidence that we have seen time and again. Almost every claim made by the anti side has been refuted, fairly completely. They've been caught in lies so many times that we (on the pro-gun side) have simply gotten to the point that we don't even bother checking.

Honestly, if Paul Helmke came up to me and told me I was on fire, I would doubt him. Despite the sense of heat. It's gotten that ingrained in us now.

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* Unless you actually opened the weapon up, or manipulated the selector switch, you can NOT tell any difference. Hell, I have a friend with a lower that's semi-only, but marked for FA.

** Full auto capability, minimum length, and silencers are all regulated by the Federal government. Each requires a tax stamp and paperwork. And it's always possible that someone could be taking legal possession of such at a gun show

*** There are other activities that would be illegal. But how the hell could you tell if someone was falsifying info on the 4473, or was handling weapons as a prohibited person?

1 comment:

mikeb302000 said...

Thanks for the link and for offering your explanation. You may be right about the antis. I'm trying to be objective, and honestly I don't see it as such a black and white thing like you do.