Clever Framing on the Part of Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s bought and paid for propaganda wing has an article on firearms lost during shipping. No one, of course, wants to see firearms end up in the hands of people who would misuse them. But notice what they focus on:

Security experts said the new rules were likely too weak to capture the extent of the problem, and that shipping companies might avoid disclosing guns lost in transit in hopes of warding off negative publicity

“A lot of people don’t want to talk about it, so they don’t report it, don’t go public with it,” said Keith Lewis, vice president of operations for CargoNet, a firm that tracks and helps investigate cargo thefts. “It’s all about brand protection.”

 I keep telling people not to underestimate Bloomberg. He has the money to hire smart people. He knows how to hire smart people. He himself didn’t make enough money to buy whole countries by being a dummy.
Bloomberg’s crowd has been looking for easy wins. They’ve been looking to pick fights where we’re on shakier ground, and where it’s easier for them to frame persuasive arguments. This is one of those areas. Who wants firearms to get stolen in transit? But by advocating more regulation for common carriers shipping firearms, it makes it likely the carriers will do one of two things:
  • Raise the cost of shipping firearms to cover regulatory compliance. A win for gun control; higher price, lower demand.
  • Get the big common carriers to bow out of shipping firearms due to compliance costs. Manufacturers and distributers would then have to use specialized carriers which will be very expensive. Win for the gun control crowd; higher price, lower demand.

Remember the what, as a whole, inoculates people from supporting gun control, and you’ll understand what I mean. You see the same thing with the gun violence restraining orders. Who wants to stand up for crazy people with guns? Or wife beaters with guns? People like easy, simple to understand solutions. They don’t like complexity. Our ultimate argument is due process, and to be honest, most people don’t even know what that is. Regulation, any regulation, is a win for them. And once you start losing, you tend to keep losing.

3 thoughts on “Clever Framing on the Part of Bloomberg”

  1. I would think the industry would want to get on the good side of this. As someone who ships stuff fairly regularly for business, I can assure you it would not be hard to have an email go out as a package is shipped and confirmation of delivery (Both FedEx and UPS already offer this as you type the label) and a script could be written to compare daily the “sent” and “received” confirmations, alarming the undelivered item for further investigation. No rocket science required.

    1. This is something that should also be a concern for valuable objects in general, not just guns. If I needed to ship a laptop or an important-to-me heirloom, I wouldn’t be happy to learn that it happened to disappear in route!

      Having said that, I can’t help but wonder: are shipped firearms losses (or any losses, for that matter) *really* so bad that we need legislation about it? This is something that I think we need to emphasize. More regulation may sound good on paper, but if it’s really addressing a non-problem, all it does is make things worse for honest people, while bringing no safety benefit whatsoever.

      1. “Firearms lost in shipping” are newsworthy. Every time. “Lost laptop” only to the person that lost it.

        And then there was that guy who got a rifle when he was expecting a color TV… Which was a case of a parcel service employee wanting a color TV and using the incorrect shipping label to cover his tracks, IIRC.

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