Ventura County Star Propaganda
re: "Americans Outgun Safety,"
by Dan K. Thomasson
Ventura County Star, Tuesday, December 18, 2001
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.
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?
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