I have more work to do

I spent a lot of time with Paul Barrett of Business Week at Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno a couple months ago.

He has another article on guns up on the web now. This time it is about guns “walking” to Mexico. It was interesting and had some information on the topic I was only dimly aware of (the extent to which the Bush administration was involved in a  similar program).

As I told him in email I still have some work to do with the words and phrases he uses. An example:

Detty, the proprietor of Mad Dawg Global Marketing in Tucson, Ariz., is a federally licensed firearm dealer who sells the high-capacity, military-style rifles at gun shows or from the living room of his Spanish colonial-style home on the outskirts of town.

“Military-style” is misleading in a derogatory manner. The original AR-15 was a civilian firearm before it modified and sold to the military as an M-16. And I’m nearly certain there have been just as many if not more AR-15 rifles sold to private citizens as the militarized version have been sold to the military. So “military-style” is inaccurate at best and at worst it is intentionally inflammatory. And what does “high-capacity” mean? Who is the arbitrator of gun accessory descriptions that gets to decide what is “high-capacity” versus “normal-capacity”? “High-capacity” is the inflammatory phrase used by the anti-gun people.

Another example:

Also working for him was the striking ineffectiveness of federal gun laws.

While technically true it again is inflammatory. What is equally true is that any law, be it federal, state, county, or city, is going to be ineffective when it tries to block the exchange the goods or services between willing parties. The country learned that lesson with Prohibition in the 1920’s, the War on Drugs for the last 30 years, and it cannot be a surprise to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that an attempted ban on firearms that were exceedingly difficult to legally define would soon be circumvented. And with a few more brain cells one would have little trouble predicting that the sales of such firearms would increase with legal restrictions against them (Forbidden fruit).

The implication of Barrett’s phrase is that if only the federal gun laws were written better or more broad they would have been more effective. Are the laws against recreational drugs effective enough for you?

If someone wants to avoid alienating a large group of people they should avoid using words and phrases that add little or nothing to the topic at hand and are offensive to those same people. I don’t think I’m just being a little thin skinned. Those words and phrases are the same words and phrases used by our political enemies who on a daily basis attempt to restrict and eliminate the exercise of the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. It would be like invoking images of male sexual predators of little boys while advocating prison sentences for consensual homosexuals. It’s misleading and inflammatory with the sole purpose of denying a specific enumerate right (freedom of association in the case of homosexuals).

Update: Forest/trees. Regardless of the inflammatory phrasing it is a very good thing that the bungling and illegal acts of the ATF are getting mainstream media attention.

5 thoughts on “I have more work to do

  1. It’s my understanding that the program during the Bush administration was radically different, in that they actually attempted to trace the physical movement of the firearms after having been sold. This was done via radio transmitters implanted in the stocks of the rifles. It failed, since the batteries died before the guns were moved significantly, and apparently the buyers were aware they were being tracked (and often removed the tracers or just moved around aimlessly until the power died).

    The program was abaondoned, in large part because of concerns about arming the cartels.

    The “Gunwalker” programs (particularly “Fast and Furious”) made absolutely NO attempt to actually follow the firearms. Further, the BATF’ers personally did the purchases, mandating that the gun shops involved NOT file 4473’s. Funny how when the rogue personnel of the federal agency which regulates your business tells you to violate the regulations, you really don’t have a lot of choice, other than to do it or go out of business.

    The problem is that it had to have been approved at the highest levels, and the fact that Holder and every single one of the supervisors and agents complicit in this conspiracy isn’t facing arrest is a slap in the face to every American with an interest in rule of law, rather than “rule of whim of our supposed masters”.

  2. We have millions of laws now. More than anyone knows and can count.

    How many effective laws do we have?

    I would guess None. They probably are all broken every day. Made worse when our own law enforcers are the ones doing it.

  3. The Obama administration has already given up on the attempt to say “Bush did it too”, and that excuse of Holder’s was eviscerated already. The Bush admin program attempted to electronically trace the weapons, and the Mexican govt was involved.

    Barrett is not impressing me as much as he did you, Joe.

  4. To be fair, the ArmaLite AR-15 began life in 1957 as a selective-fire rifle, developed upon request of the US Army’s Continental Army Command (CONARC). The US Army made its first major purchase of the M16 and XM16E1 in 1963. Colt did not introduce a semi-automatic version of the AR-15 until 1964.

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