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Gun Shows — The Truth Comes Out

by Dr. Michael S. Brown

December 13, 2001

Times have been tough for the anti-gun lobby. Political analysts have declared gun control a dead issue, court cases are not going their way, and gun shops are crowded with liberals seeking security in gun ownership.

During hard times it is natural to fall back on proven strategies, so anti-gun groups are trying to revive an issue that was quite successful during the glory days of the gun control movement. With the aid of a few attention-seeking senators, including John McCain, they are renewing their attack on gun shows, which their propaganda wizards once labeled: "Tupperware parties for criminals."

For several years prior to the 2000 election, clever advertising campaigns in many states convinced voters that gun shows were illegal arms bazaars where sinister dealers sold machine guns to dangerous criminals and innocent children alike. Their advertising dollars were leveraged by sympathetic media outlets, which amplified and legitimized the message.

One of the most effective sound bites ever created by the gun control propagandists was, "gun show loophole." This refers to the private sale exemption that was deliberately placed into federal law. The purpose was to avoid the unproductive complications that would arise if gun sales between friends, relatives, and collectors were forced to undergo the same background checks as sales in gun stores.

Nobody likes a loophole, as beleaguered gun owners discovered when the media repeated the misleading term ad infinitum.

Politically motivated police officials sometimes got into the act by reporting that a large number of criminals admitted to obtaining guns at shows. They neglected to mention that the last thing a crook wants to tell the police is who really supplied him with his illegally owned firearm. Saying, "I got it at a gun show," is a very easy way out.

Another important factor was that very few voters had ever attended a gun show, so it was easy to portray these harmless middle class gatherings as wretched hives of scum and villainy.

With such a strong hand to play, it is no wonder that anti-gun forces wish to revive this issue. However, the new offensive is marked by a distinct change in tactics. Press releases from anti-gun organizations are now claiming that gun shows are major sources of weapons for terrorists.

This wild claim is supposedly based on two isolated cases of foreign terrorists who were arrested for buying guns to be shipped to their associates overseas. But since the gun haters are constantly looking for ways to reduce the number of guns in America, it is difficult to see the problem.

It is also a very big stretch to connect gun shows with the current crop of terrorists who hijack airliners with box cutters or blow themselves up with explosives. Many observers are puzzled by this strange new theme, but there is an obvious explanation. This seemingly bizarre leap of logic is probably related to a report recently released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

"Firearm Use By Offenders" details the results of a 1997 survey of about 16,000 inmates in state and federal prisons. The report contains many interesting facts, but the most embarrassing item for the gun controllers is related to gun shows.

What percentage of criminals obtained their crime guns from gun shows? The anti-gun lobby has always been suspiciously vague about this critical number, but their emotion-charged statements have always been carefully designed to give the impression that gun shows are highly popular with criminals.

Judging by the intensity of their efforts, one would assume that the number must be high, perhaps thirty percent, perhaps fifty, maybe more.

Now we find out the truth. The real number is… seven tenths of one percent.

Shocked? Don't take my word for it, read it yourself at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/fuo.htm.

The real reason the anti-gun lobby is trying to link gun shows with terrorism is that they know the "Tupperware party for criminals" game is over.

One might assume that the anti-gun lobby would simply move on to some new "gun safety" issues. But their objection to gun shows was never really about criminals, it was part of a cultural war.

For people who truly hate guns, the thought of all those evil guns and despicable gun owners gathered together in one place is unbearable. Better to lie and mislead the public than to tolerate such an abomination, they believe.

This is not the first time that a public opinion campaign was based on a false premise, but voters who cast ballots based on deceptive information deserve to know that they were deliberately misled.

Journalists who once wrote stories that were little more than digests of anti-gun press releases now seem to be viewing the issue with a bit more skepticism. Perhaps some even feel a bit of shame at the way they suspended their ethics and jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon.

It will be interesting to see if the media takes note of the remarkable fact that less than one criminal in a hundred obtained their guns at gun shows.

Dr. Michael S. Brown is an optometrist and member of Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws, www.dsgl.org. Write the author at: [email protected]
 

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In Canada gun control has proven expensive and useless but the anti gun lobby is not backing down. Our present government has promised to dismantle long gun registration but they have a minority government and don't have the support from the other parties to drop it. An increase in gang shootings in Toronto and Montreal last summer and even more this summer, usually with hand guns, has split the government over the issue. Rather than getting rid of gun control there are many left wing nut bars here that are demanding the government ban all private hand gun ownership in Canada and increase the restrictions on long guns. There is no evidence that it will help reduce crime and gun crimes are up a lot since gun control was put into place over 10 years ago. Our laws are already getting very restrictive but the anti gun lobby doesn't look at facts and ignores any study that doesn't agree with what they want.
 

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This blame game is never ending the Mexicans blame thier gun problems on us as they take millions of us dollars every which way...
The Canadians say the same thing. The entire world blames all thier problems on us as they hold out their hands for mo money. The worst thing is our politicians blame us too.
 

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The Canadian government is now finally trying to repeal our hated long gun registry. It has cost tax payers over $$2.5 billion to register long guns and not a single shred of evidence that it has saved a single life or been useful to anyone. There is still opposition to the repeal but it looks like it might get scrapped in the next year or so. The murder rate has gone up almost 40% since the gun registry was brought in. Almost all are gang and drug related murders in the cities. Last year my city Oakville in (Halton County)as voted safest in Canada with no gun murders for over 4 years now. We are one of the wealthiest towns (except at my house) and have the highest number of police per polulation of any Canadian town. We also have one of highest numbers of gun ownership including hand gun ownership in Canada. We have the most guns and the least crime gun crime.
 

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The Canadian government is now finally trying to repeal our hated long gun registry. It has cost tax payers over $$2.5 billion to register long guns and not a single shred of evidence that it has saved a single life or been useful to anyone. There is still opposition to the repeal but it looks like it might get scrapped in the next year or so. The murder rate has gone up almost 40% since the gun registry was brought in. Almost all are gang and drug related murders in the cities. Last year my city Oakville in (Halton County)as voted safest in Canada with no gun murders for over 4 years now. We are one of the wealthiest towns (except at my house) and have the highest number of police per polulation of any Canadian town. We also have one of highest numbers of gun ownership including hand gun ownership in Canada. We have the most guns and the least crime gun crime.
More responsible gun owners equals less gun crime...that's what the pinko liberal leftists will never understand. On the other hand, you have Washington D.C. where all forms of crime, including crimes involving the use of a gun, have done nothing but escalate since the (now declared unConstitutional) ban on handguns.

So, I say every person legally allowed to own a gun of any kind should go buy one. Maybe March could be International Buy A Gun month? I say that tongue-in-cheek, but with a thread of reality. What if?
 

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Joe I don't know if you noticed this thread is about 10 years old. Despite the drastically changed political climate, the arguements remain the same.

Welcome to the site. Please check out the stickys concerning new members and especially political posts
 

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Please also note, as a heads up, that board policy no longer allows quoting full articles this way without the express permission of the copyright holder. The reason is explained here.
 

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More truth...

nvshooter -

Your post has been deleted as it is considered a political rant. Please read the "sticky" above on political postings.

kdub
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