And there I was thinking that the Washington Post had spent all it ammo against gun dealers whose sales were tied to criminal activity. This morning the WaPo unleashed a fresh salvo, taking their smear campaign national—whilst taking another shot at their old friends Realco. In the second paragraph of Ohio store leads the U.S. in guns linked to crimes, we learn that “The Washington Post has obtained the names of the gun dealers nationwide with the most traces over the past four years.” Well FINALLY. A link to the raw data gathered by the Post during its year-long investigation into gun traces. Nope. It’s a renewed attack on Realco guns . . .
The chart above is from that link: a screen grab from a dynamic graphic called “The Hidden Life of Guns,” sub-headed “A Source of Crime Guns.” Despite the use of the indefinite article, Realco is the only dealer included in the graphic. The illustration’s default—“all” mode—would have you believe that Realco is the only source for guns used in homicide, assault & robbery and illegal guns in the D.C. area. Guilt by overlay.
Note: just because Realco is the closest gun dealer to a high crime areas doesn’t mean it supplies ALL the guns used in those crimes. Or that it sold a single gun illegally. The caption offers the Washington Post’s “smoking gun” against Realco.
Since 1992, more than 2,500 guns recovered by police and tied to crimes in the Washington area have been traced back to their original sale at Realco Guns in Forestville, Md. The total is four times that of the dealer with the next highest number of gun traces.
First, the stat covers an arbitrary amount of time, eighteen years, without a year-by-year breakdown. Although those 138 guns per year is “four times” larger than the “competition,” it’s impossible to analyze the numbers properly without the complete data. For example, relative to the crime rate at the time of the trace.
Second, “tied to crimes” is an entirely misleading statement. This figure indicates traces. That includes guns that were recovered without being used in a crime. The “crime” was that someone stole them.
The plain, unvarnished and complete gun trace data would be really helpful here. In fact, The Washington Post should put up or shut up. As I’ve said throughout this series, the paper should release the raw data upon which it’s based its report. Otherwise, one wonders if the editors are spinning the facts to suit an agenda. Perish the thought.
As for today’s main article, it’s more of the same: stats pulled for maximum guilt-by-association and innuendo It ends with a quote from the President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, re: the civil lawsuit filed against Badger Guns
“We need to send a powerful message to gun dealers like Badger Guns that they will be held accountable when they knowingly funnel guns into the criminal market,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center.
I guess the idea of enforcing existing laws against illegal sales just isn’t enough for those who would never consider applying common sense analysis to genuine statistical data. Or provide that data to the public, so that they can judge for themselves what, if anything, needs to be done.