May 20, 2019

Aiding and Abetting Second Amendment Enemies

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Recently a Maine outdoor writer, willingly and eagerly, told his readers that Maine has a gun problem. His words were, “The only gun problem we have in Maine is the sale of our guns to the bad guys from out of state. We have ample evidence that bad guys come to Maine to buy guns in the private marketplace, sometimes lots of guns, and then use them in crimes.” Yes, those are the words people like Michael Bloomberg want to hear, especially coming from people who pretend to be supporters of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Such actions aid and abet the enemy.

Unfortunately, and is often the case when emotional clap trap makes its way into the media, no evidence was provided, even though it was stated that “ample evidence” exists.

Here’s just another one of those cases where we can repeat the often used cliche, “Statistic show that statistics can show anything.” And, if somebody published it in the media, it must be true.

I did my own research to see if I could find any truth to the statement that Maine has a gun problem. I figured what better nonsense to look at than the numbers idiots in the media like to wrongly embellish to promote their agendas. I went to the Trace Reports of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). I located the trace data for Maine for the year 2014. Not that anybody else bothered to take the time to read the disclaimer about the trace data that the BATFE uses, but had they, within an honest approach, they might have disregarded the trace data because it really means nothing when discussing something like gun sales to out of state gun buyers, i.e. “bad guys.” But evidently to state that Maine has a gun problem, might sell more copies than to say there really are no data that points a finger at people coming from out of state to Maine for the purpose of acquiring a gun to use in a crime.

I have no idea where the writer, mentioned above, got his information that caused him to conclude Maine has a gun problem. You can do better.

Read the BATFE disclaimer: I don’t think it’s really that difficult to read and to comprehend, but I do understand many will not get it.

(1) Firearm traces are designed to assist law enforcement authorities in conducting investigations by tracking the sale and possession of specific firearms. Law enforcement agencies may request firearm traces for any reason, and those reasons are not necessarily reported to the Federal Government. Not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime.

(2) Firearms selected for tracing are not chosen for purposes of determining which types, makes or models of firearms are used for illicit purposes. The firearms selected do not constitute a random sample and should not be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals, or any subset of that universe. Firearms are normally traced to the first retail seller, and sources reported for firearms traced do not necessarily represent the sources or methods by which firearms in general are acquired for use in crime[emboldening added]

Other than using this data for the purpose of determining how many traces the BATFE put on specific guns, it tells us nothing else. The report tells us that in 2014 the BATFE “recovered and traced” 316 firearms in Maine…period. To make conclusions based on this, that Maine has a gun problem because it is a source for “bad guys” buying guns in Maine and using them in a crime, is bunk and nonsense.

How are 316 traces of guns in Maine a problem? It’s impossible to know how many guns exist/are owned in Maine by Maine people. Some estimates show that around 50% of all Maine households have at least one gun. The U.S. Census tells us that in 2015 there were 730,000 “housing units” in Maine and 553,000 “households” with an average of 2.34 persons per household. At a bare minimum then, if 50% of households have at least one gun, then Maine has 276,500 guns. Mind you, those willing to tell the census they have guns, probably is not representative of gun ownership. How many guns, on average, does each household, willing to say they have guns, possess? We know that Maine, last year had requests for background checks for gun sales of about 100,000. You can do your own calculations but it might not be far fetched to conclude that there are at least one million guns in Maine alone. Maine’s deep history of gun use and ownership should lead us to conclude that guns passed on from one generation to another, not registered – and never will be – perhaps numbers well over one million, with continued gun purchases, sometimes at a fever pitch.

But let’s use the 276,500 official number of guns in Maine. Of 276,500 guns, 316 ended up getting a trace – and we have no idea why any of those 316 guns were traced. How is that a problem? If my math is at all accurate, that’s about 1/1000th of the number of guns owned in Maine that get traced. How many of those traced guns were used in a crime? How many of those guns ended up out of state and used in a crime? We don’t know because the BATFE told us they didn’t know or at least wasn’t going to tell us.

Even, as I have read in other reports, to compare traces of firearms from one state to another, is meaningless. A Portland Press Herald report attempted to show that Maine has more gun traces than Massachusetts and that’s because Massachusetts has stricter gun laws. So what! To infer that a resident of Massachusetts who comes to buy a gun in Maine because it’s easier and faster, is a criminal and/or is intending to commit a crime, is the work of biased journalism combined with ignorance of the facts. At the very least, the report is extremely misleading.

When anyone is allowed to print stuff in the media that leads people to think that Maine is guilty of promoting crime because people from out of state go there to buy guns, that is the real crime. Somebody shut these morons up. Everyone start asking the tough questions. We need to stop these criminals from getting away with their propagandizing.

Also stated and implied in other reports, people are led to believe that criminals come to Maine, buy a gun, and then go commit a crime. That’s not true. The BATFE trace report says the the average length of time from sale of a gun in Maine that is traced, until it is recovered in some kind of crime, is 12 and a half years, two years longer than the national average. So, in that 12.5 years what was the life history of the gun?

If Maine has a gun problem, it’s probably that there are too many people in Maine willing to give up more of their rights because they read nonsense like “Maine has a gun problem” and without expending an ounce of energy, blindly believe it as truth. Oh, my!

The fact is that Maine has guns – not as many per-capita as a lot of other states. It’s a little easier and faster to purchase a gun in Maine, but so what. Even if “bad guys” were coming to Maine from Massachusetts to buy guns to use in crime, whose fault is that? Massachusetts has strict gun buying laws but a crime rate higher than Maine’s. Massachusetts is forcing residents to go to neighboring states to buy their guns. Those eager to state that Maine has a gun problem haven’t a clue as to whether or not anyone coming from out of state to buy a gun is doing it with the intention to commit a crime or that any gun sale ends up in a crime.

Even not knowing which of the 316 guns traced by the BATFE were used in a crime, we don’t even know how many of those were the result of an out of state gun purchase by “bad guys.” Why do even self-proclaimed Second Amendment supporters spew this nonsense? It doesn’t make any sense at all.

I have done the work for you and provided most of the links for you to examine for yourself…..