Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Lies from Mayors Against Illegal Guns

A recent Freedom of Information Act request by a California attorney (Eric Flagel, with Michel & Associates; Long Beach ) has obtained the Mayors Against Illegal Guns "Blueprint for Federal Action" via the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. In reading the document (forwarded by our good friends at Amendment II Democrats), I don't think there's any illusion left, if there ever was, that the MAIG agenda has any intention other than to completely disenfranchise Americans from their 2nd Amendment rights.

Politically, the most ominous & disturbing recommendation in the report is "Recommendation #38" (pg 34) that calls for an executive order to create a ban on the import of all "non-sporting purposes" firearms. Throughout the document, MAIG pretends such an order would merely enforce existing law, though clearly that is not the case. Hopefully President Obama will live up to his campaign promises not to take away firearms as MAIG brings increasing pressure to bear on him. (Letters from pro-2nd Amendment Democrats would be especially helpful now!)

I don't know where the fanaticism and extremism of MAIG's position stems from, but it's worth reviewing the document, which makes it clear MAIG does not act in good faith and deserves no cooperation or consideration as a legitimate source of information or policy recommendations. Hopefully, pro-gun activists and others who support laws and policies based on both the Constitution and on facts will contact their senators and representatives to ensure they get accurate information. (Hint, hint.)

Some excerpts:
"The Blueprint for For Federal Action on Illegal Guns" (Dated August, 2009)

pg 9. "...The events at Virginia Tech demonstrated the potential for catastrophe when mentally ill people gain access to guns..."

Fact: The events at VT happened in part because a psychiatrist illegally took the young man's records HOME where they were not available for years to other mental health experts. Nothing proposed or in current law would have prevented the purchase of firearms that took place. Prosecution of the doctor is, of course, not included in the MAIG manifesto.

pg 13. Proposes keeping records for 20 years for proceed sales to anyone on the "terror watch list."

Fact: The terror watch list violates 5th amendment protections of due process and further is rife with sloppiness and errors that include putting children on the list. Other sections in the manifesto would require prosecution for anyone banned from a firearm purchase who tries to buy a firearm, which seems to include simply being on a list.

This is downright Orwellian or Kafkaesque: you don't know you're on a list you shouldn't be on and no one will tell you if you're on and then you get prosecuted for violating a law that prohibits you from doing something you had no way of knowing you were prohibited from doing. WTF?

pg 19. MAIG data repeats the demonstrably false statement that "90%" of illegal firearms in Mexico come from the U.S.

This claim more than anything shows the willingness of MAIG to use data they cannot but know is wrong & in this case, an outright lie. Claims like this make it impossible to accept ANY of MAIG's data without reviewing the original sources. In short, they have no credibility.

To expose the lie behind the "Myth of 90%" please see the excellent LA Times article from March 15, 2009: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexico-arms-race15-2009mar15,0,229992.story

From the LA Times: "Traffickers have escalated their arms race, acquiring military-grade weapons, including hand grenades, grenade launchers, armor-piercing munitions and antitank rockets with firepower far beyond the assault rifles and pistols that have dominated their arsenals...Most of these weapons are being smuggled from Central American countries or by sea, eluding U.S. and Mexican monitors who are focused on the smuggling of semiauto- matic and conventional weapons purchased from dealers in the U.S. border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California."

Enough said on that?

pg 23. One of the problems that comes out in the MAIG manifesto is a lack of proper focus.

MAIG is going after dealers when even in their own report they cite that one of the largest sources of guns used in crime is theft from private homes. Their proposal to require FFLs to report thefts of firearms is ludicrous, since an FFL would always report a theft of property, especially guns unless they were engaged in subterfuge that the ATF is already well equipped to look for and catch. Such language makes one wonder what the true aim is.

Data directly following pg 23 implies dealer resistance and subterfuge in avoiding ATF requests is common among FFLs, again, without citing any data showing that to be the case. In this section, the insidiousness of the tone is hostile to gun owners & gun dealers without even realizing it--clearly this manifesto is intended for a presumed "friendly audience." Similar attempts throughout the report to link gun dealers with child pornography rings also show MAIG's actual contempt for gun owners & the general public.

pg 33. MAIG calls for research into the sources of guns used in crime.

This is a telling section that shows their complete ignorance on this subject. In short, this exposes that they are proposing solutions without having any knowledge of the problem & that they have not even availed themselves to the available data, probably because it is at odds with their proposals. There is already a good deal of information on the true sources of illegal guns in both the U.S. and Mexcio, but reading it or referencing it would require MAIG to expose the worthlessness of most of their proposals.

pg 34. BAN ON THE IMPORTATION OF NON-SPORTING PURPOSES FIREARMS

MAIG's Recommendation #38: "The federal government should resume enforcement of federal law that bans importing "non-sporting purpose" firearms and ammunition."

First off, there currently is no such law. MAIG is calling for an executive order from the president to get this ban re-enacted.

Secondly, this call for a ban comes after the section admitting they don't have information on the sources or types of guns used in crimes.

Third, the MAIG report claims that crime in Mexico justifies a new ban, which is based on the myth of 90%.

Fourth, and most misleading, the MAIG report at this point claims that many firearms are illegally imported into the U.S. by dealers who then sell them into Mexico. As evidence of the illegal imports, MAIG claims to reference a GOA report (citation 104), but the actual citation is to a "Violence Policy Center" publication that misquotes the GOA report: http://www.vpc.org/studies/indicted.pdf

In fact, even this hand-picked VPC report includes NO INFORMATION on illegal imports of firearms into the U.S. The same report does, however, include odd references to "armor piercing pistols" that show the authors are either ignorant or intentionally misleading their presumed audience. It also erroneously claims that the "assault weapons ban" is still in effect but simply not enforced, which is inaccurate (putting it generously), and then repeats the call to "enforce the existing ban." This bit of sophistry pretty much condemns the whole report to the dust bin for me.

pg 34. At the risk of undermining their own exaggerated claims about semi-automatic pistols and rifles, MAIG on this page vilifies 12 gauge shotguns as their next target.


So, if you were looking for some fiction reading for the long weekend, this report is it. If you're looking to start a conversation in good faith about building safe communities in America, look elsewhere.

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