Congressional Staff Buys Guns Illegally
by Ari Armstrong, April 3, 2001
Quick! Call 1-800-GESTAPO!
One definition of a police state is when government agents get to do things that send normal citizens to prison.
In a March 22 AP article, Shannon McCaffrey writes of the latest illegal actions of the government, funded by tax dollars:
Undercover congressional investigators using fake IDs were able to skirt mandatory background checks and purchase guns... The GAO [General Accounting Office, not to be confused with GOA] report was released Wednesday as part of a larger study -- "Lying and Buying: Using False Information to Obtain Firearms" -- prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee.
Why would the GAO use tax dollars to willfully break the law? Why, to push for more victim disarmament laws, of course. McCaffrey notes that "Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., ...one of Congress' leading gun control advocates, plans legislation to close the ID loophole."
How might this "loophole" be closed? McCaffrey notes that the states where GAO bought guns illegally "have no additional state gun control measures such as fingerprinting or waiting periods." Note again how a "loophole" is invoked to violate Constitutional rights.
NRA leaders are frustratingly foolish. Anybody with an ounce of common sense could have predicted that by supporting the Brady law the NRA was thereby also supporting Brady's complete gun registration agenda, the obvious forerunner to gun bans, which Brady also supports. The NRA MUST repent and condemn the Brady law on principle.
Of course, McCaffrey failed to note one obvious implication: if the Brady law is such an abysmal failure, why not repeal it? If the so-called "ID loophole" is closed, criminals will still get guns easily. In fact, a new breed of criminal will arise to satisfy the demand for "illegal guns." The only demonstrated effect of the Brady law is to increase some categories of violent crime by wrongfully denying some citizens their right of self-defense (see John Lott's More Guns, Less Crime.)
But no one will accuse McCaffrey of being an informed writer. Her final sentence reads, "Two undercover GAO agents then went to randomly selected gun stores and gun shops where they filmed their purchases of rifles, handguns, semiautomatic weapons, pistols, ammunition clips and hollow point bullets."
I asked Bruce Tiemann (http://spot.colorado.edu/~tiemann/guns.html) to offer some technical definitions. He sent me the following:
There is a technical difference between both pistols and handguns, and between clips and magazines, though there is almost an institutional indifference to using these words properly.
So why did McCaffrey choose to use redundant language? Was it just to increase the dramatic impact, or is it because she doesn't have the first clue about firearms? "Pistols" are necessarily "semiautomatic weapons," and rifles may be. Plus, the Brady registration law says nothing about magazines ("ammunition clips" to McCaffrey) and ammunition, so why did she include information about these items? McCaffrey could simply have written what's relevant, "Two undercover GAO agents then went to randomly selected gun stores where they filmed their purchases of rifles and handguns."
But of course the AP is simply an unbiased observer in the gun debate, right?