Having spent a year’s worth of investigative effort tracing the connection between Maryland and Virginia “crime guns” and the dealers who originally sold them, prying into sales records which may or may not be protected by law, the Washington Post reckons those records should be made public. Well they would say that wouldn’t they? Then they wouldn’t have to spend so much time and money uncovering them. And then . . . uh . . . something. “The Post report shows how contrary to the public interest that legislation [shielding gun sales data] was,” they claim. I like so totally missed that. Today’s summation editorial attempts to connect the dots for dolts . . .
Licensed gun dealers cannot be held liable for crimes committed with guns they sell. But they should be held to the toughest standards possible to ensure lawful sales. Those with a high number of “crime gun” sales should be inspected frequently, and penalties for dealers who allow illegal transactions should be swift and stiff. That isn’t likely to happen, though, as long as the public is kept in the dark about the extent of the problem and who the wayward dealers are.
So, outing the dealers who sell the most guns that eventually end up in the hands of criminals makes it more likely that the agencies in charge of enforcing existing laws for the sales and purchase of firearms will kick their ass? You know; when the gun dealers break the law. Which, as far as we know, they haven’t.
If making this info public tgo name and shame dealers and inflame the public was the series’ ultimate goal, WHY DIDN’T THE POST PUBLISH THE LIST OF CRIME GUN DEALERS?
By not doing so, the newspaper made a mockery of their own “investigative report.” And by focusing all their animus on one dealer, Realco, they looked as they were: petty and vindictive.
Cherry picking data to prove a dubious point is a practice best left to the Mayors Against Illegal Guns and their ilk, rather than performed by a newspaper with a storied history of investigative journalism.
Clearly, the Post didn’t put its Pulitzer-Prize thinking cap on. They came at the crime gun problem from an anti-gun perspective and got lost in a maze or their own creation. Worse, they demonized law-abiding gun dealers who are, unless I’m mistaken, are innocent until proven guilty.
This WaPo report shed neither heat nor light on the issue of straw sales (customers illegally purchasing guns for criminals). Surely the series should have concluded by proposing some concrete steps to prevent or punish the practice, rather than simply saying it exists. What an incredible waste of time and energy,