by Dan Gibson
I'm not really a gun guy. I've shot guns a few times with my father, but I don't own one, I probably never will, and I'm generally disturbed by the rollback of Arizona laws restricting guns in public places. Still, I'd really rather New York City stay out of our business here in Arizona, even if they're working toward a goal I might agree with.
GunShowUndercover.com has three seemingly edited YouTube clips and a report from an operation described by the site:
New York City’s investigation documented gun sales at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix on January 22 - 23, 2011. The City organized a team of undercover investigators, most of whom have prior law enforcement experience. Investigators used sophisticated video and audio recording devices. Cameras were concealed and had lenses no larger than the tip of a ballpoint pen. On Saturday, January 22, investigators observed sellers, and purchases were made on Sunday, January 23.
The first video (above) shows what is apparently a completely legal transaction that could have occurred in a number of places in the United States. A guy goes to a gun show and buys gun from a private seller, but because the gun is of the same sort Jared Loughner used, we're supposed to be shocked and dismayed, I suppose. In two other videos, a different "investigator" purchases a gun and in the middle of the transaction mutters something about not being able to pass a background check. In one of the two videos, I could barely hear him make the disqualifying statement and in the other, the salesman is clearly hard of hearing. There were clearly a lot of vendors at the gun show...did the investigators pick these two guys because they seem least likely to notice or care? Did any vendors refuse to sell them a gun? There's a lot of questions left unanswered.
In the end, however, you'd think the government of New York City would have better things to do than run stings on Arizona gun shows, especially since Loughner bought his gun from a chain store and the legality of his purchases were never in question. There are certainly questions to be asked about gun culture in Arizona, but anyone who knows our state knows it won't be the mayor of New York City who drives the conversation.