Blogger Bruce Reyes-Chow got a post published in the SF Gate titled “A Few Thoughts on Gun Violence and Liberty.” The Bad News is that it is filled with the usual anti-gun talking points. The Good News is that apparently Mr. Reyes might have realized he was sorely misinformed from what I could gather reading the responses in his blog.
This post is intended to be a long response to his blog. I rather do it here than occupy a long tract of space in his comment section. Here we go:
Now before anyone starts flaming this post and/or does the “What would you do?” taunt, please know that our family has been touched by gun violence, we have lived in neighborhoods where gun violence is very real and we have NEVER felt that the best response for an individual or a community is to have more guns.
Estimado Señor Reyes, so have I. That person that died in my arms had one characteristic common to many other victims of criminals: He was unarmed. Would owning a gun guaranteed his survival? Maybe, maybe not but being unarmed did guarantee 100% death.
I am not 2nd Amendment scholar, but I believe that our individual right to bear arms should be challenged if society deems that we do not have the psychological capacity to make good choices about the use of those arms.
Constitutional Guarantees subject to psychological examinations? Will you subject yourself to an examination in order to voice your opinion or be forced to testify against yourself? Because once you attack one of the Rights, you will attack all. Make no mistake that it will happen once that legal standard is established.
but let me be clear in saying that allowing this kind of blind distribution of guns in our communities is an assault on my liberty and the liberty of my family.
There is no “blind distribution of guns” anywhere. There are no evil people running trucks in the wee hours of the night dumping handguns in schoolyards for the children to find in the morning. Exaggerations like do little to take you seriously Mr. Reyes, please avoid them.
Now we move to the old “It is a good idea!” by Mayor Bloomberg A.K.A. The 10 points of the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership which Mr. Reyes seem to like.
Could not reasonable people agree that this is a good idea? Heck even Walmart has signed on and is part of this movement and, for many folks, you can’t get more “American” than that.
Walmart signed the deal basically because it was trying to get permission to open stores in NYC. It got shafted by Bloomberg and I cannot recall any store that videotapes transactions. In Florida WalMart would be in violation of the law anyway.
Before I tackle the “10 points,” I must point out one immutable statistic since the FBI and other entities decided to tackle the subject is that criminals obtain their guns illegally in an outstanding percentage. Some studies run a 95 percentile of weapons and the FBI report “Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers” indicates that all but one of the guns used to kill police officers in the study were obtained illegally. For the sake of this argument let’s stay with the 95% illegal-5% legal.
1-Videotaping the Point of Sale for All Firearms Transactions. Participating retailers will videotape the point-of-sale of all firearms transactions and maintain videos for 6 months to deter illegal purchases and monitor employees.
You actually impose an unnecessary burden on a Gun Shop to maybe catch a sale of an illegal gun? Who will pay for that? The gun store? The customers? Libraries are forbidden to keep track and give to Law Enforcement any database of books that customers read, why is our right treated with less respect?
2-Computerized Prime Gun Trace Log and Alert System. Mayors Against Illegal Guns will develop a computerized system that participating retailers will implement over time to log crime gun traces relating to the retailer. Once the program is in place, if a customer who has a prior trace at that retailer attempts to purchase a firearm, the sale will be electronically flagged. The retailer would have discretion to proceed with the sale or stop the sale.
Pardon my french but, who the fuck is MAIG to take upon itself Law Enforcement duties? And that is double when you see the record of MAIG mayors that are serving prison time or were forced to quit for crimes or malfeasance. I do not trust a bunch of crooked politicians with any kind of deeply personal information like that and you shouldn’t either. Next, What defines a trace? A gun involved in a crime? Again, who the fuck is MAIG or the retailer to deny the acquisition of a gun without all the information? Was the gun stolen and used in a crime so now the person who was already victimized by a criminal must be victimized again by denying the right to legally buy a firearm because Mr. Bloomberg says so? Does not sound a tad facist to you?
3-Purchaser Declaration. For sales flagged by the trace alert system, participating retailers will ask purchasers to fill out a declaration indicating that they meet the legal requirement to purchase the firearm.
I do hate to rain on your parade, but for quite a while now (read decades) any firearms transaction with a retailer is done by filling ATF Form 4473:
The Form 4473 contains name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, make/model/serial number of the firearm, and a short federal affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison in addition to fines, even if the transaction is simply denied by the NICS.
So, what is the point in filling one more form? Mr. Bloomberg is gonna do what? Make sure the violator does not put salt in his french fries?
4-Deterring Fake IDs. Participating retailers will only accept valid federal- or state-issued picture IDs as primary identification. Retailers will utilize additional ID checking mechanisms.
OK, seriously. You think that gun retailers don’t do it already? You do realize that one of the most common employees in gun stores are retired LEOs or active LEOs getting some extra income? Also, gun stores are fertile hang outs for cops who have no problem sharing the latest info on recognizing fake IDs to the owner and employees. By the way, how well trained do you think your average WalMart employee is recognizing fake IDs? Yep, don’t answer that one.
5-Consistent Visible Signage. Participating retailers will post signage created by the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership to alert customers of their legal responsibilities at the point-of-sale.
If the customer hasn’t figured out the penalties or does not give a damn while filling the 4473 form, what makes you think a sign will do?
6-Employee Background Checks. Participating retailers will conduct criminal background checks for all employees selling or handling firearms.
Novel idea! I am sure not one single owner of a gun shop has done that before! I mean, they will let anybody walk in from the street and confide hundred of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to a total stranger. Mr. Reyes, I know that the narrative is that we are a bunch of inbred redneck morons but please, not even you believes that we would be THAT stupid.
7-Employee Responsibility Training. Participating retailers will participate in an employee responsibility training program focused on deterring illegal purchasers. The Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership will create an online training system based on WalMart´s training program.
The average training gun shop program is called Don’t Lie For The Other Guy which is in partnership with the National Sport Shooting Foundation and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. They specialize in guns and not on cheap chinese imports of hawaiian shirts and automotive services.
8-Inventory Checking. Participating retailers will conduct daily and quarterly audits. Guidelines will be based on WalMart´s existing audit procedures.
Do you know the kinds of hell the BATF (The government entity thet performs gun audits) rains on a gun shop with sloppy auditing procedures? We are talking good-bye sunlight, hello cell, SWAT raid, guns pointed at your face, lose the rest of your inventory, fines in the six figures. I am guessing not being able to fry foods with partially hydrogenated oils is a bigger punishment in the opinion of Mr. Bloomblerg.
OK, two ore to go.
9-No Sales Without Background Check Results. Participating retailers would prohibit sales based on “default proceeds,” which are permitted by law when background check has not returned a result within 3 days.
May a 1,000 citizens be denied of a right than one mistake being made! Yep, that makes sense… in Soviet Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and countries like that. Presumption of innocence must be thrown out in order to give fearful bunnies a fake feeling of warmth.
10-Securing Firearms. Participating retailers will maintain firearms kept in customer accessible areas in locked cases or locked racks.
OK, that is it. You have to get the heck out of San Francisco and see the real United States of America. You think gun stores keep Glocks in baskets parked outside the store?
Mr. Reyes, I am sorry to say that your “knowledge” of us is not based in reality but on talking points and amplified lies told by a few political heads with other intentions. You do not know us, do not know our culture and our beliefs. You have a cartoonish image of us that runs contrary your own “Open Mind” thoughts. Again, get out of San Fran and spend a day at any gun show in the country. You will not find more friendly bunch or a more safe location (have you heard of any shootings at gun shows in the last four or five decades?) Yes, you will find people with strong opinions about guns, the Second Amendment and many other themes that you may not partake, but you will not feel threatened or even be insulted by anyone. And you have a 95% chance that you will not face one single criminal; can you say the same about where you live?