Bloomberg's Gun Show Sting: Off Target as Usual

Mark Browning
When New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to get tough on crime in the Big Apple, where does he turn? Naturally, he goes to Arizona. We learn this from an ABC News report about an undercover investigation at an Arizona gun show. This report ominously states that "despite the mass murder" in Tucson in January, people "who likely wouldn't pass a background check can still easily purchase similar weapons." You can take ABC's text or on-air report's word for this since they show none of the undercover footage mentioned.

They do link to two videos of an undercover investigator buying handguns. The investigator brings up the issue of a background check himself, something I'm sure criminals commonly do, and in both cases, when told, correctly, by the seller that no check is required, he replies, "That's good, because I probably couldn't pass one." His tone could reasonably be taken for slightly sarcastic or joking. He certainly does not sound ominous. Had the guy said, "That's good, because I just got out of the penitentiary" or "That's good, because my wife had me declared mentally incompetent," I'd be a great deal more impressed.

The truly off-target thing about this report, however, comes at the very end. After mentioning the Tucson shooting specifically and then spending considerable time worrying about the so-called gunshow loophole, the story's final paragraph presents this:

Jared Loughner, the man accused of killing six people and wounding 13 others, in the apparent assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., on Jan. 8 legally purchased a similar Glock semi-automatic pistol from a gun store in Tucson months before the shooting.

Loughner passed an FBI background check, despite teachers, friends and students repeatedly claiming the 22-year-old displayed erratic, disturbing behavior.

In other words, the supposed loophole is utterly irrelevant in the case of Jared Loughner. Loughner passed his background check. He purchased his pistol-a semi-automatic, ABC repeatedly mentions, so that we know he didn't buy a muzzle-loader-at a gun store.

Mayor Bloomberg sent his investigators west and ABC willingly connected the semi-visible dots. Perhaps all parties should seek the source of New York and national crime a little closer to home.
When New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to get tough on crime in the Big Apple, where does he turn? Naturally, he goes to Arizona. We learn this from an ABC News report about an undercover investigation at an Arizona gun show. This report ominously states that "despite the mass murder" in Tucson in January, people "who likely wouldn't pass a background check can still easily purchase similar weapons." You can take ABC's text or on-air report's word for this since they show none of the undercover footage mentioned.

They do link to two videos of an undercover investigator buying handguns. The investigator brings up the issue of a background check himself, something I'm sure criminals commonly do, and in both cases, when told, correctly, by the seller that no check is required, he replies, "That's good, because I probably couldn't pass one." His tone could reasonably be taken for slightly sarcastic or joking. He certainly does not sound ominous. Had the guy said, "That's good, because I just got out of the penitentiary" or "That's good, because my wife had me declared mentally incompetent," I'd be a great deal more impressed.

The truly off-target thing about this report, however, comes at the very end. After mentioning the Tucson shooting specifically and then spending considerable time worrying about the so-called gunshow loophole, the story's final paragraph presents this:

Jared Loughner, the man accused of killing six people and wounding 13 others, in the apparent assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., on Jan. 8 legally purchased a similar Glock semi-automatic pistol from a gun store in Tucson months before the shooting.

Loughner passed an FBI background check, despite teachers, friends and students repeatedly claiming the 22-year-old displayed erratic, disturbing behavior.

In other words, the supposed loophole is utterly irrelevant in the case of Jared Loughner. Loughner passed his background check. He purchased his pistol-a semi-automatic, ABC repeatedly mentions, so that we know he didn't buy a muzzle-loader-at a gun store.

Mayor Bloomberg sent his investigators west and ABC willingly connected the semi-visible dots. Perhaps all parties should seek the source of New York and national crime a little closer to home.