Thursday, May 04, 2006

Careless Fact Checking

I’ve been busy making a living the past few days and have had little time to read blog posts let alone write them. Work has a habit of intruding into fun things in life. Things like shooting, hunting, reading, shooting, sleeping, reloading, writing. And, did I mention shooting?

I went from a period with not quite enough on my work plate to several major projects clamoring for my attention and all have due dates crowded into a tiny few squares on my calendar. Enough complaining already, I’m sure you’re bored.

While surfing the Internets for gun-related articles I stumbled on this little jewel. Because I haven’t had time to keep up with my favorite blogs, this article may have been discussed to death by now. If so, I apologize in advance.

In a commentary The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) doesn’t think gun control should be local. I guess they wouldn’t be happy if we modeled a nation-wide law on New Hampshire’s laws instead of the laws in their home state, Massachusetts. Having lived in both states, New Hampshire’s laws are so much better, but CSM thinks it knows how we should lead our lives.

Right of the bat, the commentary condemns the National Rifle Association for cowing Congress with its might and it keeps harping on NRA. I’ve mentioned my NRA life membership several times in Ten Ring. I’ve agreed that they sometimes compromise with gun banners more than I would like, but that they are the only pro-gun rights organization that gun banners fear and loathe. Once more, proof positive that my NRA dues are good for something.

The rest of the article talks about a New York City lawsuit that is under way despite Congressional mandates. NYC wants to bash gun makers with information gleaned from ATF crime trace records. Their lawyers hope the data shows a pattern that would lead to holding at least a few gun dealers culpable for a criminal’s misuse of a gun.

There seems to be a contradiction here when it says that five out of six guns used in crime are obtained illegally. Think about that—we already have laws and criminals still get guns illegally. Once again they prove that they won’t obey any law we care to write. Okay, fine there may be a matter of interpretation as to what makes a gun “illegal.” However, the writers make a serious factual error showing their naiveté when they state, “Despite tough laws against guns in many cities and states, lax federal rules do not prevent the sale of handguns across state lines.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Except for certain narrow exceptions it’s illegal to transfer a handgun to someone who doesn’t live in your state. Also you can’t just cross the border and buy a gun at the local gun store (Code of Federal Regulations Title 27, 478.29). You can transfer a handgun over state lines if you involve a Federal Firearms Licensee on both sides of the transfer and if the transfer is in accordance with the laws of both states. Who edits these commentaries anyway?

At the very bottom of the commentary is an offer to subscribe and it only costs 43 cents per issue. Guess who didn’t subscribe.

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