The Hidden Life of Guns

Here I thought that they just basically sat in my safe when I wasn’t using them. The Washington Post tells a different story. It’s actually more balanced than you probably would have seen out of the Post in the past.

10 Responses to “The Hidden Life of Guns”

  1. Dannytheman says:

    I read it quickly and maybe I missed it, but the first thing that came to my mind was, “Are those 40 dealers in higher crime areas”statistically?
    Maybe I am wrong, but I would think gun dealers who live in higher crime areas are more prone to have sales to people who end up having an issue with the gun?! Does that make sense, or am I being pigheaded and bigoted?

  2. I’m not sure I would call the stories that balanced – at least the one attacking the Tiahrt Amendment. Both of the outside “independent” experts, Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Reseach Foundation and Glenn Pierce of Northeastern Univ., are the recipients of funding, either directly or indirectly, from the Joyce Foundation.

    The story dealing with Realco gun shop did say that the ATF and MD State Police found their records in order and that they were following the letter of the law. I guess we should be thankful for that.

  3. Stacy says:

    The fundamental problem here is that the relationship between the vast majority of conscientious gun dealers and the ATF is fraught, because there are both outside groups and individuals within ATF who really are using issues like this as a stalking horse for gun banning. Unfortunately, from the standpoint of someone not a gun hobbyist, it can easily look like the entire industry is circling the wagons around known bad apples. Probably not a good strategy

  4. Sebastian says:

    I didn’t say they were balanced, just that it wasn’t the hatchet job we would have seen from the media in the past :)

  5. Mike says:

    You’ll also notice that even in that story, they didn’t bother charging the straw purchasers.

  6. @Sebastian – I stand corrected. You did say “more balanced” instead of balanced. While still a hatchet job, I’d say they only used a shingling hatchet instead of a Hudson Bay axe or the full-blown 4 lb. felling ax.

  7. Laughingdog says:

    I love how they never normalize the numbers. I would wager that the stores with the largest number of firearms that have been used in a crime are also the stores that do the most business.

    I know that D&R and Bob’s are in Portsmouth and Norfolk respectively. Both cities are pretty scuzzy. Good homes are never more than a couple of blocks from places that are pretty ghetto. I also know that Bob’s is one of the best known and busiest gun stores around here. I got my first two guns there myself. Strangely, none of mine have rushed out to commit any crimes.

  8. @Laughingdog: Or as Eric Shelton says on the Handgun Podcast, if handguns cause crime, mine’s defective.

  9. Bill says:

    Sent this to the Post’s LTE mailbox. Any odds on whether or not it ever sees ink?

    I just read your first article concerning the Hidden Life of Guns. If I may be so bold as to summarize:

    1) Certain gun stores have higher incidences of so-called “crime guns” that are traced back to them.
    2) The number one store mentioned, Realco, has been subject to numerous inspections over the years, every one of which revealed that Realco has scrupulously complied with the law, and that most “crime guns” traced back to the store have therefor been the result of illegal “straw purchases”, of which Realco had no knowledge when the original purchase was made.
    3)The guns are traced back when a person who is legally barred from having a weapon is in fact found to be in possession of such a weapon.

    So basically you’ve spent the last year putting together an investigative series demonstrating that Realco operates in an area where the local citizenry goes out of its way to circumvent or outright subvert the law. You are then shocked and amazed that people willing to break the law to purchase a weapon that they are legally barred from owning further break the law by using the weapon to murder, maim, or intimidate (which, I believe are also illegal).

    Good work folks!

  10. Actually, the Realco statistics aren’t at all surprising when you consider where they’re located:


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