Friday, July 20, 2007

This Just In!


Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey is still a disingenuous hack.

In responding to the stories that have followed his on-air confession of having possibly violated federal firearms laws, he writes:

There is an epidemic of handgun violence in Boston's poorest neighborhoods...

Bad handguns! Go to your room!

He can't even make it to the end of his opening sentence without resorting to worn-out, leftist catch phrases. By constantly referring to it as "handgun violence", the liberals are shifting the responsibility for inner city violence from the criminals, where it belongs, to the tools used by the criminals, and by extension, to all law-abiding citizens who own similar tools for self defense.

...and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating me?

Yeah, they do that to people who are under suspicion of breaking the law. Funny how that works, huh?

Consider this my confession. I plead guilty to offending the loony gun lobby.

You think I'll have any luck going back through his past columns and finding a reference to NARAL as the "loony abortion lobby", or its members as "abortion nuts"? Or maybe he's referred to the AARP in the past as that "loony old folks lobby". Or the MTA members as "union nuts".

Yeah, and maybe the flying monkeys are congregating in my colon, as we speak, going over their preflight checklists.

In the likely event you missed this alleged story, here are the facts. You be the judge.

Facts? From a rabid anti-gun writer at the Boston Globe? Why am I now overcome with a ridiculously heavy sense of doubt?

Twenty months ago, a lifetime in columnist time, I wrote in this space about going to a gun show in New Hampshire. The idea was to see how easy it would be to buy a handgun just across the border from Massachusetts, which has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The answer: not very hard at all.

Oh, I get it. He's speaking in code. Very clever.

When he says "facts", what he means is "abject lies".

And, when he says "not very hard at all", what he means is "not actually possible".

Sheesh, you think he'd include a glossary or at least some explanatory footnotes with this column, as a courtesy to his readers.

The stated purpose of his column (previously fisked here) was to show how easy it would be for someone from Massachusetts to buy a handgun just across the border in New Hampshire. The funny thing is, when he tried, he was denied. Had to do with that being, like, against the law, or something.

I went with John Rosenthal, the Boston gun-control advocate the gun lobby loves to hate, a cop named Andrew Heggie, and a former prison guard, Walter Belair. I also took my kids, who got in free. The cereal makers may be cutting back on marketing to kids, but the gun industry knows it is never to early to target the next generation.

Well, someone has to counter the efforts of the leftists indoctrination program known as American public education.

We shopped till we dropped.

WHAT? Oh, wait. He's speaking figuratively there. I got all excited for a minute.

Someone beat us to the used grenade launcher (price: $190), but it took Belair, a New Hampshire resident and licensed gun owner, less than 20 minutes to complete the purchase of a trashy little .38-caliber revolver, perfect for a night out in Dorchester.

Perfect? Hardly. But not too bad, considering.

It's got adequate stopping power, but personally, I'd want something with a greater ammunition capacity.

The gun, which retails for $349, was bargain-priced at $240, which I had given to Belair. (And, of course, expensed to the Globe.)

Gee, maybe that's why the Feds are looking into it, to ensure that all applicable federal firearms laws were complied with. Of course, admitting on the air that you violated federal gun laws might not have been the brightest thing you've ever done in your life.

Belair could have bought 100 guns in tax-free, no-limit New Hampshire that day, and I could have put them in my trunk and driven (illegally) home. That was exactly the point I was making.

What about this point you conveniently forgot to make? That is that you could have done nearly the EXACT SAME THING (bought 100 guns, though not tax-free, put 'em in the trunk and driven home) in Massachusetts. The only difference being that your buyer would have had to have been a Massachusetts resident who had coughed up the $200 needed ($100 for a pistol class, $100 for a License to Carry) and who lived in any of the gun rights-friendly towns in MA.

There are actually quite a few of those, you know.

That is not what I did. Belair took the gun with him; I'm afraid of guns.

So, with the exception of the extra $200 that it would have required for this scenario to have played out in the land of "the most effective gun control laws in the nation", there's pretty much no story here.

All bailey was able to demonstrate was that someone willing to violate state and federal gun laws (and able to find someone else willing to do the same) can illegally obtain handguns.


Who knew?

Oh, and had the buyer actually purchased 100 handguns that day, the dealer would have been required under federal law to report that multiple purchase to the BATFE.

Oops, I guess he “forgot” to mention that one too.

Damn the NRA. It’s all their fault,

You would have thought I burned Johnny Pesky's jersey at Fenway Park. I got hundreds of vitriolic e-mails and phone calls from the live free and die bunch. No other column in a decade has approached it for hate mail, and that's saying something. In general, these are exactly the people I'd rather not see armed.

Rich people like his buddy Rosenthal arming himself? Fine and dandy. Unwashed commoners who understand and respect the US Constitution arming themselves? Oh the horror!

In January I wrote about a 14-year-old boy who was gunned down on Bowdoin Street. Not a word of outrage from this crowd.

I take it I can't list him as a regular reader of my blog.

It got to the point where I had to actually take a break every once in a while, because all I was doing on this site was expressing my outrage at the politicians and judges in Massachusetts who continually failed to do anything to remove violent criminals from the general population and put them in prison where they belong.

If a career criminal with a rap sheet a mile long, and five or six outstanding arrest warrants, shoots some kid in a city park, how is that the fault of the country's law-abiding gun owners (myself included) who make up the membership of the National Rifle Association?

What a twit.

I can't believe I'm once again wasting my energy writing about this loser.

This was all ancient history until 10 days ago when Rosenthal and I talked about our trip to the gun show on WRKO-AM's "Finneran's Forum," where I am a daily (paid) guest. The loonies went off again. On Wednesday the Second Amendment Foundation issued a press release headlined: "SAF calls for firing of Boston Globe columnist in straw purchase." It asked the ATF to open an investigation.

(It turns out that Alan Gottlieb, the foundation's founder and the guy who thinks I should be fired for unethical conduct, was convicted in 1984 for filing a false tax return, a felony. His right to possess a gun was later restored through an ATF program that gave felons a second chance. Gottlieb says the case should have been a civil matter; he says he settled the case for $18,000. But that's another story.)

Coincidence or not, you decide, two ATF agents and a Manchester, N.H., cop visited Belair at his work the same day. They had a search warrant and a tape of the radio interview. They wanted to know about the gun, Rosenthal, and me. Belair told them the gun was at home; they went there later in the day, and confiscated it. They did give him a receipt.

Jim McNally, a spokesman for the ATF's Boston office, declined to comment.

This is how it works. Intimidation is the stock in trade of the National Rifle Association and all the NRA knock-offs out there. Dare to say we need fewer, not more guns in this country, dare to say we need a uniform system for monitoring gun sales in this country and you become a target to be hunted down.

"Hunted down"? And we're the voice of fear-mongering and hyperbole, where discussions of gun laws are concerned?

Democrats and Republicans have allowed themselves to be cowed by this one-issue bloc for too long.

Yeah, that would be the issue of individual liberty and personal choice. Ugh, how repulsive, indeed.

The list of what ails America's poor urban neighborhoods is long. Start with the disaster of children bearing children, our scandalous dropout rate, and the drugs that are everywhere. But the flood of guns belongs prominently on that list, too.

How about adding to that list racist gun laws, and the politicians who support them, that prevent low-income people of color from defending their families?

I know. It's a "loony" thought to even consider.

Count me as a proud member of the gun lobby's hit list.

Sorry, but only one list entry per person, Steve. And, you're already on my list of people on whom I wouldn't waste a perfectly good bucket of warm horse piss.

UPDATE: Just a small question concerning one of Steve "Inanimate Objects Scare the Pee-Pee Out of Me" Bailey's "facts".

Since when is Lebanon, New Hampshire "just across the border from Massachusetts"?

It's about 125 miles from his office on Morrissey Boulevard in Boston. Even if he started in Lowell, it's still about a 100-mile drive north up I-93 to 89. A veritable stone's throw, if you will.

UPDATE II: The local lefties are lapping this shit up.

Unbelievable story:

Yeah, that's the thing about lies and misleading statements. They tend to not be all that believable.

Bad-ass Globe columnist Steve Bailey exposes how easy it is to buy guns in NH (and potentially take them back to MA); gun nuts go crazy; the ATF harasses Bailey.

What freakin' country is this? (Thanks Jay.)

Yeah...pretty "bad-ass".

He "exposed" how a law-abiding American citizen, and resident of New Hampshire, can go a gun show, select a handgun, fill out the paperwork required by federal law, undergo a criminal background check, hand over his cash, and take possession of a handgun.


Get the Pulitzer people on the phone!

And, from the comments, this absolute gem from the official John Rosenthal Talking Points Playbook.

Firearm death rates/100,000 NH 5.8 MA 3.1

The numbers speak for themselves from Bailey should be applauded and law abiding people in New Hampshire should toughen up that state's gun control laws.

BMG: Reality-based commentary.

by: Bob @ Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 12:41:48 PM CDT

The numbers speak for themselves, do they, Bob?

Let's have a look at that link, shall we?

Crime Statistics > Statistics > Firearms Death Rate per 100,000 (Latest available) by state

New Hampshire 5.8
Massachusetts 3.1

Holy crap! His argument is airtight! His logic is infallible! His mastery of statistics is simply awe-inspiring!


Actually, it's not airtight, infallible, or awe-inspiring.

Though I did get the "crap" part right.

It's called hand-picking statistical data points to line up with a pre-determined ideological conclusion. It's a favorite tool of gun-grabber's like Rosenthal and Bailey.

Actually, it's pretty much Rosenthal's only tool. If I had a nickel for every time he repeated that statistic as if it were the be all and end all of firearms-related statistics, I'd have, let's see...carry the assload of nickels.

Here's how it works, using the same link from above:

Look everybody! The numbers speak for themselves!

Crime Statistics > Statistics > Firearms Death Rate per 100,000 (Latest available) by state

#1 - District of Columbia = 31.2
#45 - New Hampshire = 5.8

Look! I've just "proven" that draconian gun control causes a drastic increase in firearm fatalities!!!

This is the point where I try my best to avoid any name-calling. That wouldn't be nice to all the batshit insane ding-dongs who fall for all this crap being peddled by the anti-gun rights brigade.

Given that New Hampshire falls in between Washington DC and Massachusetts on that list, you'd be hard-pressed to draw up any conclusions correlating the strictness of a state's gun laws with its firearms death rate. That is, if you're capable of rational thought. I don't want to make any assumptions here.

So, let's consider this statistic, the "firearms death rate". how is it calculated? What goes into arriving at this number?

Does it include accidental hunting deaths? What do those numbers look like for these states in question? How about suicides? Does it differentiate between criminal use of firearms and justifiable homicide? How about fatal shootings by law enforcement officers?

I wonder.

Rosenthal certainly won't tell us.

Here's another factor that you won't want to overlook when analyzing the "firearms death rates" of these two states. Well, unless you're John Rosenthal, that is, in which case you probably do want to overlook it, as it drives the proverbial Mack truck through the only bullshit talking point you've got.

What do you suppose would happen to the "firearms death rate" in Massachusetts, if all the shooting victims from Roxbury and Dorchester had to be driven by ambulance to a hospital in Woburn for life-saving treatment? Fortunately, that is not the case, as I wrote about in June of last year:

The fact that Boston Medical Center, the largest 24-hour Level 1 trauma center in New England, is in such close proximity to the neighborhoods where most of the shootings are taking place is the main reason the death rate for gunshot victims in Boston is as low as it is today.

But, that was just me hypothesizing out of my ass with nothing to back up what I was saying. If only someone would do a study to show if having a world-class trauma center nearby has any effect on the death rate from injuries for those areas.

Hey look, here's one.

Granted it's from North Carolina, but I doubt the results would be much different for the other 49 states.

An analysis of the association of trauma centers with per capita hospitalizations and death rates from injury.


CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that the presence of a trauma center and advanced life support training were the two medical system factors that were the best predictors of the per capita county prehospital and total trauma death rates. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that trauma centers are associated with a decrease in trauma death rates.

So, I think it's safe to say there are multiple factors at play where these "firearms death rates" numbers are concerned.

Here's another one.

Come on, kids, this is fun! Take your fingers out of your ears and take your blindfolds off. It won't hurt, I promise.

Homicide rates (per 100,000 pop.) for 2005 (most recent data available):

Massachusetts: 2.64
New Hampshire: 1.39

Let's look at what they label "Gun Homicides".

Massachusetts: 1.53
New Hampshire: 0.43

How about the overall Violent Crime Rates for 2005 (per 100,000 pop.):

Massachusetts: 456.9
New Hampshire: 132.0

Now, which state is it that we are supposed to be looking at as a model for nationwide standardization of gun laws? Of course the gun grabbers wil respond to those by telling me they're not taking into account factors such as economic disparity, poverty rates, lack of a "living wage", or any of the favorite "social justice" talking points to which they cling so dearly.

If John Rosenthal throws some bullshit statistic around without breaking down the raw data therein, he's a fucking hero, because his objective follows the roadmap of leftist ideology.

But, let the gun rights proponents try to present a rational statistical argument, and the Left will assail it as nothing but a smoke and mirrors game designed to intimidate the other side.

That's how they operate.

Political correctness and strict adherence to liberal doctrine override all. And as soon as the Right succumbs to this "truth" and plays along, there will be peace and prosperity throughout the world.

Bottom line: If you gun grabbers want to engage us in a game of "My Statistics Can Beat Up Your Statistics", I've only got one thing to say. Bring it on, bitches! I've got all night.