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Ventura County Star Propaganda

re: "Americans Outgun Safety," by Dan K. Thomasson
Ventura County Star, Tuesday, December 18, 2001
See: http://www.insidevc.com/vcs/opinion/article/0,1375,VCS_125_912580,00.html

Editor:

In Mr. Thomasson's curious rant, there were many unsupported claims--more guns to be shipped overseas? More to fall into the hands of those "who truly are dangerous"? More accidental deaths?

Mr. Thomasson is supposedly a journalist--might he cite his sources? Perhaps it is the "[g]un-control groups" who allude to web sites (also unreferenced, of course) where al-Qaida [sic] agents supposedly conduct classes on acquiring arms in the U.S. market...as if they are not far more freely (and cheaply) available far closer to home. Now there are some truly reliable sources...would these be the same gun-control groups that continue to cite the imbecilic Arming America by Michael Bellesiles, after even the New York Times has admitted that the supposed "academic" is a fraud?

There is also much that is absurd. The "NRA represent[s] the gun manufacturers"? No, Mr. Thomasson, that would be the American Shooting Sports Council, or ASSC. The NRA represents me, although not very well, which is why I prefer to support true champions of the Bill of Rights, such as the Gun Owners of America and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, rather than the accommodationist quislings of the NRA.

And some of the screed was simply incomprehensible. A "converted AK-47"? Converted from what? To what? But these are, relatively speaking, trifles. Let us speak instead of Mr. Thomasson's willful, bald-faced lie: "There also is strong evidence that most crimes are committed these days with weapons bought at the hundreds of gun shows that take place each weekend."

If Mr. Thompson had access to FBI statistics that show a recent rise in gun sales, he no doubt could have found the Department of Justice statistics that give the most recent (1997) stats for the percentage of state-incarcerated criminals in possession of firearms, who obtained their weapons at gun shows. It took me all of about ten seconds to find the DOJ's published study at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/fuo.pdf.

The figure is 0.7%.

Now, Mr. Thomasson may be an idiot or a pathological liar (both might be a reasonable surmise), but what is the Star's excuse? Does the Star not have the resources to check such patently false "facts" before publishing them? Of course it does. Since pretty much every firearms-related "fact" that the Star ever prints is just plain wrong, I have repeatedly offered to perform this function for the Star, free of charge. This offer, to date, has not been taken advantage of.

Obviously, the Star has made a conscious decision to print propaganda that it knows to be false, rather than to print the easily discoverable truth.

There are phrases appropriate to describe such willfully dishonest acts. "Responsible journalism" is not among them.

Terence Geoghegan
Ventura, CA 930xx
(805) 6xx-xxxx x 11 (office)
(805) 4xx-xxxx (cell)
(805) 6xx-xxxx (home)

P.S.-- I will be leaving for Mexico City in the wee hours of Saturday until January 3rd. If this screed needs to be edited for publication, please call me at the office tomorrow; after that, my cell phone should ring through in Mexico. Alternatively, I will be checking my e-mail by webmail.

I'm a Libertarian.
I support gun rights and gay rights;
I support reproductive rights and recreational pharmaceutical rights.
I support your right to privacy and your right to your own wallet.
I'm against the draft, and taxes, and compulsory state "education."
If you're not for liberty, what difference should it make to me which particular stripe of totalitarian you are?
--Terence Geoghegan


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