New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will stand for re-election early next month. No matter what you think of him, or whether he should serve another four years as mayor, he provided a public service to the nation with his four month probe showing how easy it is to buy guns in this country.
If you want to know why so many people die by the gun in America, consider the results of his investigation. In nearly three our of four cases, undercover investigators were able to purchase guns illegally.
This is interesting on several levels. First, Bloomberg didn’t just talk about the probe. He showed video after video of gun sellers more than willing in many cases to skirt the law. In one, a man tells a dealer at an Ohio gun show that he couldn’t pass the required background check. The dealer smiles, and tells him it doesn’t matter “Because I wouldn’t pass either, bud.”
In another video, at a gun show in Nashville, a man asks a female friend to buy a Glock for him. That would seem to be a violation of federal law. The seller, who apparently knows what’s going on, asks the woman for identification, then sells her the gun. It seems the explosion of gun and ammunition purchases since the election of President Barack Obama has led more than a few folks to ignore even the lax restrictions now in place.
The purpose of the sting, according to Mayor Bloomberg, is to get Congress to act on a bill sponsored by New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. That bill would require background checks for all sales by private sellers at gun shows. Maybe that would change the city’s tabulation that out of 47 purchases at seven gun shows in three states, 35 were illegal.
It would seem as though Congress has little wiggle room here. After all, they moved with extraordinary speed to defund ACORN after a video sting operation. In that instance, no actual illegality has been alleged. Can our lawmakers be so hypocritical (or frightened by the NRA) that they’d reject video footage of actual criminality while calling for the heads of every present and former ACORN employee?
I hate to say it, but they probably can. When it came to ACORN, the acted as judge, jury, and executioner based on videos provided by a pair of conservative hustlers. That may have been in violation of the Constitution, but what the heck! In this case, Mayor Bloomberg was making a point about illegals guns that are purchased elsewhere and end up taking lives here in New York. The fact that his police commissioner joined him in exposing the results of this sting also points out the fact that some of the lives lost to illegal gun sales are those of police officers. Despite this, it’s likely no one will be prosecuted for those illegal gun sales captured on video. Wanna bet?
But you tell me. Will Congress finally act to curb the kind of illegal gun sales captured in Mike Bloomberg’s sting?