Thursday, January 31, 2008

Team 5 Investigates - My Initial Reaction

Overall, it was an OK piece with minimal factual errors. There were a few questionable bits I'll have to watch again before offering a more detailed critique.

One thing that jumped out at me was that there was no one from any pro-gun rights group interviewed, while noted gun-grabber John Rosenthal was allowed to spew out his usual misleading nonsense about no one needing to show an ID or undergo a background check to buy a gun in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont.

In Rosenthal's defense, the audio seems to have been cut off before he could finish the sentence, so he could have clarified that statement, but given his past history and his tendency to over-embellish the truth, I have my doubts.

He also made the claim that "the federal government has virtually no effective gun laws" to "prevent" the illegal trafficking of firearms. Well, guess what, there aren't any laws on the books to "prevent" someone from walking into a bank and demanding cash. Doesn't mean there aren't plenty of laws on the books to "prosecute" those involved in bank robbery or gun trafficking.

The only way to "prevent" the illegal trafficking of firearms is to invent magic gun vanishing pixie dust and a delivery system that can blanket the globe with the stuff.

The gun show footage they used was from a show somewhere in Vermont, and did show one private seller there telling Channel 5's "buyer" that he wasn't supposed to sell them handguns, but that he would if the price was right. Hard to tell exactly what went on without seeing the unedited tape. I assume the seller knew the prosepctive buyer was from out of state (federal law prohibits out of state handgun purchases).

Also, I don't know what the law is in Vermont with regards to private sales between individuals. I believe the New Hampshire law states that it is illegal to sell a handgun to a felon or a person not "known" to the seller. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

I'll have more later. I don't know if they'll put the video up on their website, but the extended scumbag interviews (the gangbangers, not Rosenthal) will be.

UPDATE: Channel 5's print version (partial transcripts) can be found here.

UPDATE II: One more comment before I hit the sack.

This report "proved" two things. First, as was illustrated nicely by Steve Bailey's earlier "investigative" piece on this subject, if you have two people, one with guns and one with money, who are both willing to violate multiple state and federal gun laws, there's a good chance that the illegal sale of firearms will soon be taking place.

Second, a determined criminal with money will arm himself (see point #1).

What they didn't show, John Rosenthal's incessant yammering notwithstanding, was any direct connection between firearms purchased at New England gun shows and firearms connected to inner city gang violence.