Sunday, December 09, 2007

Amazingly Laughable

I wonder sometimes if these folks even know how to tie their own shoelaces:
SMYRNA, Ga., Dec. 5 — In Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s campaign to remove illegal guns from New York City’s streets, he sued 27 out-of-state gun dealerships last year over what he said were illegal sales. Most agreed to settle, while others chose to take their chances in court.

But here, in this town of 48,000 where Julia Roberts was born, the fight has become deeply personal. Jay Wallace, who owns Adventure Outdoors, one of the major gun distributors in the area and a defendant in one of the city’s lawsuits, is countersuing Mr. Bloomberg, alleging fraud, slander and libel. A well-known resident who has operated the business here for 31 years, Mr. Wallace has drummed up support with an online fund-raising campaign, a summertime rally that drew hundreds, and celebrity representation by a lawyer who is a former congressman, Bob Barr.

The Georgia courts have ruled that Mr. Wallace’s suit can proceed here, a decision Mr. Bloomberg’s lawyers have appealed in the hope of having it dismissed. Mr. Barr and his law partner, Ed Marger, said they expected some action on the matter within the next week.
(emphasis added) Well, now, Mr.. Wallace, those are some serious charges! I can't imagine, then, that they aren't true, that you didn't behave within the bounds of the law!

Um. Oops.
Mr. Bloomberg announced the first federal lawsuit, against 15 dealerships, with great fanfare and emotion at a City Hall news conference in May 2006, calling the gun shops “rogue dealers,” “the worst of the worst” and “a scourge on our society,” according to court filings. The second suit, against 12 dealerships, was announced last December. John Feinblatt, the city’s criminal justice coordinator — who is also named in Mr. Wallace’s libel suit — accused the dealerships of having “New Yorkers’ blood on their hands.”[...]

In a sting operation, the city sent teams of private investigators, usually a man and a woman, to five states. Posing as gun buyers, they went to stores whose guns had been linked to more than 500 crimes in New York City from 1994 to 2001.

Bloomberg administration officials said the investigators caught 27 dealerships allowing so-called straw purchases, in which one person submits to the required federal background check for a gun that is clearly to be used by someone else.
So, um, Jay...can I call you Jay?...what part of "not following Federal law and doing a thorough background check of the person actually buying the gun" has slandered you, son?

Jay, I don't have to say it. Let me have one of your customers say it: “You set up in business saying that you’re a responsible citizen, and part of being a responsible citizen is looking out for other citizens,” he said. “When you’re granted a license and the right to do business you have to take the good with the bad, so you have to take that responsibility to heart.”That means following the law. Period. Those laws are there to protect the innocent and punish the guilty and, guess what?, YOU'RE GUILTY! So sit down, shut up and write the nice mayor a check.

I have no real problem with guns, to be completely honest here. I think guns in an urban setting are idiotic, but as someone who knows what rural America can be like, calling a cop and waiting a half hour before a patrol car shows up, I understand the need for guns out in the sticks.

So I don't stand fore-square against guns, just so we're clear. I don't think most Americans need them, however, and the fact that there are nearly as many Americans as guns is a noxious one to me. I don't think guns deter crime anymore than a good strong lock does. And I don't think arming the citizenry is going to do even one bit of good, since it merely encourages people to actually go out and use those guns.

After all, if you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail to you.

All that said, the underlying problem here is one of greed and discompassion for one's fellow man. If you don't care who the gun gets used on, you shouldn't be in the business of selling them. Period. End of story.

So, Mr. Wallace, close up your shop. There's ample evidence beyond this sting operation that your store is about as selective as a vending machine.