Wednesday, February 24, 2010


And spank Obama for things he isn't actually doing?

When President Obama took office, gun rights advocates sounded the alarm, warning that he intended to strip them of their arms and ammunition.

And yet the opposite is happening. Mr. Obama has been largely silent on the issue while states are engaged in a new and largely successful push for expanded gun rights, even passing measures that have been rejected in the past.

... lawmakers in Montana and Tennessee passed measures last year -- the first of their kind -- to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold and used in state. Similar bills have been proposed in at least three other states....

A major setback for [Virginia] gun control advocates was this week's House vote repealing the one-gun-per-month law, which was passed in 1993....

I didn't remember that that was the year the one-gun restriction was passed in Virginia. You see, up here in New York City, especially during our high-crime years, it was known that multiple-purchase wasn't just a way for virtuous Virginians with country music on the truck stereo to defend themselves:

Virginia's Governor, Douglas Wilder, has been pushing a one-gun-per-month bill for his state because it has become a source for illegal gun smuggling on the East Coast. Dealers from New York City, where local laws sharply restrict access to guns, drive to Virginia and fill the trunks of their cars with weapons purchased in stores with the help of local residents. Then they haul the guns back to New York and sell them illegally on the street at huge markups.

Since it wouldn't pay to travel back and forth for one gun at a time, limiting purchases to one per month could quickly put the smugglers out of business in Virginia.

That's from The New York Times on February 4, 1993. Well, the law passed in Virginia that year. Guess when homicides in New York City began to plummet?

(Click to enlarge.)

Yes, homicides started to drop a bit for a couple of years after 1990 -- but the plunge started just about when this law passed. (Obviously that wasn't the only reason -- the use of CompStat computer tracking of crime, a general turning away from crack, the fact that "zero tolerance" policies of arresting people on misdemeanor charges often found that the arrestees were wanted on serious charges -- all of these changes were part of the reason violent crime plunged in New York starting in the early '90s. Cite your own pet reason. But the Virginia law had to be a part of the solution. And by the way, our two Republican mayors since then, Giuliani and Bloomberg, have been very pro-gun control.)

Virginia gun laws are rather lax even with the one-gun law in effect -- and, what do you know, the state is still the #1 source of NYC crime guns. It's also a top source for crime guns in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and D.C. So hey, why not let more guns flow out of state? Because, after all, we have to stop the jackbooted fascist Kenyan from taking away our right to self-defense. Oh, wait, he's done just the opposite:

In the meantime, gun control advocates say, Mr. Obama has failed to deliver on campaign promises to close a loophole that allows unlicensed dealers at gun shows to sell firearms without background checks; to revive the assault weapons ban; and to push states to release data about guns used in crimes.

He also signed bills last year allowing guns to be carried in national parks and in luggage on Amtrak trains.

Gun fetishists are like anti-Semites who see a Jew saving a Christian child's life and declare that that's proves all Jews kill Christian babies and use their blood in Passover matzos. Empirical evidence is not allowed to get in the way of delusional hate propaganda.

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