Monthly Archives: February 2013

Evil Gun Shows

Went to a local gun show yesterday, where I saw lots of people meticulously filling out the paperwork for their background checks.  I also saw about 10 or so individuals milling about in the crowd trying to sell a firearm of their own.

I like going to gun shows.  For one thing, it temporarily renews my faith in humanity — that we aren’t a completely wussified nation … yet.  I’ve bought everything from knives to sheet sets, forceps, socks, flint and steel, hand-carved back scratcher, and a tactical bag I use to carry my camera equipment.

I’ve even bought a few guns at them.  Background check every time.

There was a letter to the editor in today’s paper, trashing the NRA for resisting closing “The Gun Show Loophole™“, going on to claim that “40 percent of all gun sales are not subjected to background checks because they are made at gun shows.”

What?  What were all those people doing, wasting time filling out their paperwork, and all those dealers on the phone with the FBI background check line?

That 40% statistic is getting a lot of repetition these days. It’s laughably false. It’s a conflation of different statistics with that number from a 20 year old study. Background checks are mandatory for guns bought from dealers at gun shows.

While it remains true that individuals who attend gun shows (not dealers) can sell their firearms to another individual, it certainly doesn’t account for anything close to 40% of sales at gun shows  much less 40% of all gun sales period.  (I’d question whether or not even 40% of all gun sales happen at gun shows). The 40% number comes from a nearly 20 year old National Survey of Private Ownership of Firearms survey where gun owners were asked if they THOUGHT there was a background check when they obtained their firearm. The question was not about gun shows, and would have included people who weren’t aware that a background check was done or people to whom firearms were passed down from parents and grandparents. Didn’t take long to track down the study itself, via this excellent post by the Carolina Shooters’ Club.

The National Institute of Justice did a study on private firearm ownership. They found that 60% of gun purchases occurred at FFL dealers, or gun stores. The Brady campaign has extrapolated from this that 40% of the purchases must occur without a background check then. But that’s not what the study said.

Only individual to individual sales that occur at gun shows (and these sales don’t have to occur at gun shows) are exempt from background checks. The vast majority of gun sales at gun shows in fact, do require, by law, a background check.

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Four Liberal Tactics

Over time, I’ve noticed that liberals have four common tactics they use again and again and again. I’ve labeled these tactics as Demonstrate, Legislate, Adjudicate, and Steamroll. They don’t have to be tried in any particular order, but they do seem to pop up regularly. So let’s look at each one.

Demonstrate. This is the liberal cry of “I (don’t) want” as expressed by the masses of sign-holders or Occupy Wall Street squatters. In the first case, the union didn’t want non-union workers at the port, and in the second case the Occupy crowd wanted other people’s money. The tactic is pretty simple: browbeat verbally (or physically beat) your opposition into doing whatever you want.

Legislate. Liberals love democracy — as long as the vote goes their way. When the vote doesn’t go their way, they will bring the issue up again and again, but once it passes, however narrowly, the liberals will declare that the people have spoken and there should never be another vote on the matter ever again. To be fair, conservatives will bring an issue up for a vote multiple times, too. But conservatives usually understand that an issue voted on and passed one year can be voted on and repealed another. Once passed, laws are not set in stone for conservatives the way they are for liberals. Well, assuming that the liberal was pushing for the law in the first place.

Adjudicate. A common next step for liberals, after failing to get an issue passed by the people or representatives, is to go to the courts and force it through there. Since proponents of gay marriage were having problems getting the majority of voters to agree with them, their alternative tactic was to make it legal through judicial fiat. That’s how it worked in California, Connecticut, and Iowa. So if you can’t get 50% + 1 vote from the people or the legislature to pass what you want, then there’s always the option of having someone in black robes do the heavy lifting for you.

Steamroll. If all else fails, Liberals simply try doing what they want anyway, ignoring both votes and courts to proceed in their desired direction. Recently, Pres. Obama appointed three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), doing so by exercising his ability to appoint people to positions that require Senate ratification when the Senate isn’t in session. But the Senate considered itself to still be meeting in “pro forma” meetings. Senator Harry Reid started the process in 2007 of holding “pro forma” sessions to prevent then-President Bush from making these recess appointments. In January 2012, Pres. Obama used the “steamroll” tactic to recess-appoint four nominees, as the New York Times put it, “effectively calling the pro forma Senate session illegitimate.” A year later, the D.C. court of appeals ruled that Pres. Obama was wrong to do so. In response to this ruling, the NLRB chairman, Mark Pearce said that the NLRB “respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the president’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld.” That’s a classic “steamroll” response. “Courts? Pfft. I’m gonna roll on. After all, who’s gonna stop me?”

Liberals seem to believe they should use any tactic necessary to get what they want. As Nancy Pelosi put it, “We’ll go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in, but we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.” And if they can’t get it to work with Demonstrate, Legislate, Adjudicate, and Steamroll, liberals will just pick one of the four tactics and try again.

Cross-posted at The Captain’s Comments

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