My vote for the most ridiculous story of the year: the rabbi who went to Germany to lobby foreign gun makers to adopt policies conducive to civilian disarmament. Rabbi Joel Mosbacher and some equally deluded clergymen did so oblivious, it seems, to the fact that the Nazis disarmed millions of Jews before slaughtering them like cattle. Or worse. Mosbacher took some major heat on TTAG (and elsewhere) for his main criticism: European manufacturers are selling guns though “unlicensed dealers.” Undaunted by his violent collision with ignorance, the group met with reps from GLOCK, SIG and Berretta. Now they’re back! Surprise! They learned nothing in the process . . .
As I returned from a week-long trip to Europe, along with three other clergy who have long wrestled with gun violence in their inner-city communities, I had reason to think that we may see gun sanity in our lifetimes. And the reason has to do with an expression from the business section of the paper, one that I’ve never used in my rabbinate until this moment: emerging markets.
In Europe, and in the United States, my colleagues and I are seeing an emerging market for smarter, safer guns and better distribution practices by gun manufacturers. Actually, in the interests of full disclosure, let me rephrase that: we are helping create that market.
Working with the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation citizens’ organizing network, clergy in ten states have been approaching mayors, police chiefs, governors (and President Obama, who hasn’t responded) to ask that they pay more attention to the practices and capabilities of the companies they buy guns from.
Oy vey. As this excerpt from his nydailynews.com article Gun sanity in our lifetime indicates, the rabbi reckons forcing governments and individuals to adopt technology they don’t want is the key to, uh, forcing governments and individuals to adopt technology they don’t want. His emerging stupidity arrives in the next few paragraphs, recapping the “questions” that the rabbi wants police purchasing agents to ask gun makers. Let’s have a look . . .
Does the manufacturer refrain from selling its products through dealers with a history of selling guns that end up at crime scenes? Good.
Not good. What responsibility does a gun dealer have to make sure that a legally sold product—I repeat legally sold—is not later used for illegal purposes? Do we apply the same standard to car dealers? Liquor stores? Sporting goods stores (re: baseball bats)? Of course not. That’s not how we roll in a free market system. Or a system based on personal accountability rather than pre-crime. Or one that respects our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
Besides, the majority of guns used in crimes are NOT purchased from gun stores; they’re stolen from lawful owners. So even if a large percentage of guns found in local crime scenes originated at a particular gun store, withholding product from these stores would accomplish nothing in terms of reducing crime. In terms of choking off the supply of legal guns in [what’s likely to be] a low-income area? Success!
Does the manufacturer insist that dealers train their employees to spot “straw buyers” — people buying guns for end users who are circumventing background checks? Good. Does the manufacturer run buyback programs that help keep its used products from being sold on the internet? Good.
I wonder if the rabbi knows that the firearms industry lobby group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), has been running their “Don’t spy for the other guy” anti-straw purchase training program (held in conjunction with our dear friends at the ATF) for more than a decade. Gun makers bankroll the NSSF. So they’re already footing the bill for proactive anti-straw purchasing training.
As for manufacturers running gun buyback programs, huh? Why should/would they want to get involved in a program with no proven effect on crime rates or negligent discharges? More than that, gun makers can’t resell the broken-ass guns, so there’s no profit in it. Unlike the public sector, which feels free to piss away taxpayer funds on feel-good “gun safety” theater, profit-making businesses can’t afford to do stupid things for no good reason. Unless you think capitulating to pig-ignorant gun control bullies and alienating your paying customers is a smart move.
Speaking of dumb, gun makers have to work to stop used products from being sold on the internet? (I think Rabbi Mosbacher means “through” the internet.) Right. Gun manufacturers should pressure people to stop buying and selling products legally. That’s their proper role in society. Not.
Does the manufacturer cooperate fully with law enforcement — for example, by developing advanced ballistics technologies like bullet microstamping? Very good.
The rabbi is implying that law enforcement wants to develop “advanced ballistics technologies like bullet microstamping.” They don’t. Gun grabbing politicians want it. Cops know microstamping doesn’t work. Cops know it can’t work; the epic failure of New York’s Combined Ballistic Identification System proved that point. Anyway, gun makers cooperate fully with law enforcement already. The greater danger: they’ll cooperate too much with law enforcement. Like . . . giving in to gun control-lead police purchasing policies.
Is the manufacturer moving at breakneck speed to bring safer guns to market, like those with biometric recognition or other systems that prevent non-authorized users from pulling the trigger? Great! More market share for them.
Who determines what “breakneck speed” is? And if the government mandarins are so all-fired fired-up about biometric recognition guns why don’t they buy them? Equip cops with these “safer” guns. That’ll drive the market! You know; if they work so well.
Government buys 40 percent of the guns sold in America — 25 percent to equip our military, and 15 percent for law enforcement. Shouldn’t the guns purchased with tax dollars to protect the public come from companies that are fully committed to that goal?
Nope. Guns purchased with tax dollars should be from companies that make the best possible guns at the best possible price and backs them up with the best possible service—rather than, say, the company that flies the decision makers down south, puts them up in luxury hotels and plies them with cocaine and hookers. Or, for that matter, the company that best trains gun dealers how to spot straw purchasers.
Like race hustlers before him, rabbi Mosbacher is a putz who wants to use political muscle to interfere with fundamental freedoms and commercial reality. The first gun company that gives in to these anti-gun bully-boy tactics will face a consumer backlash that will make the Smith & Wesson crack back seem tame by comparison. They know it, even if the rabbi doesn’t. And thank God for that.