Posts Tagged ‘MAIG’

MAIG Mimics Brady Campaign’s Misuse Of Tracing Data

October 2, 2010

This week, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) released a report, similar to earlier efforts by the Brady Campaign, claiming that guns originally sold in states that don’t have the gun control laws that MAIG likes are more likely to end up “recovered in out-of-state crimes.”

As you probably have already deduced, MAIG’s conclusions, like Brady’s, are based entirely upon BATFE firearm tracing statistics, which BATFE and the Congressional Research Service have repeatedly said should not be used to reach broad conclusions about criminal activity with guns.

BATFE says, for example, “Not all firearms used in crimes are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime. Firearms selected for tracing aren’t chosen for purposes of determining which types, makes or models of firearms are used for illicit purposes. The firearms selected don’t 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. . . .[S]ources reported for firearms traced do not necessarily represent the sources or methods by which firearms in general are acquired for use in crime.”

Of course, for many years on many issues — “assault weapons,” “Saturday Night Specials,” lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers, and the list goes on — anti-gun groups have resorted to tracing data because crime and other reliable data have not supported their arguments. In this instance, for example, MAIG contends that illegal acquisition of firearms is associated with 10 specific state-level gun laws. But, the 10 laws — some of which are already in effect at the federal level — don’t correlate to state total violent crime rates. And, the 10 states with the highest violent crime rates, and the 10 states with the lowest rates, both have an average of two of the 10 gun laws.

Nor is there a correlation between the states’ violent crime and murder rates, and what MAIG calls their “export-import ratios” — the relationships between the numbers of traced guns that come into the states from other states, and the number of traced guns that eventually go from the states to other states. In fact, each of the 10 states that MAIG singles out for derision, for not having the 10 laws it favors, has a lower percentage of guns sold in the state later traced by BATFE, as compared to national figures.

A number of other factors underscore the limitations inherent in using tracing data in the first place. For example, while BATFE takes the position that illegal trafficking is more likely indicated when firearms are traced within two years of their original sale, the average interim period on traced guns nationally is 11 years. BATFE often does not even attempt traces on older guns, believing they would be unsuccessful or fail to reveal evidence of illegal trafficking. As MAIG pointed out, BATFE was not able to complete traces on 61 percent of the guns for which traces were submitted by law enforcement agencies.

Furthermore, while MAIG’s whole premise concerns interstate trafficking of guns, 70 percent of guns that BATFE traces were recovered by the police in the same state in which they were originally sold.

Of course, no comment on the lack of correlation between tracing and violent crime would be complete without mentioning that the vast majority of traced guns have not been used to commit violent crimes, but were rather taken into custody by police for possession and other less serious offenses.

Finally, when guns do cross state lines, it is not necessarily because they were illegally trafficked. People move across state lines for a variety of reasons, such as to take a new job, to be nearer family members, or to be in an area with warmer weather and/or a lower cost of living. And, a gun owner may sell a firearm to any dealer anywhere in the country, because the prohibition on interstate sales of firearms only applies to sales between two non-licensed individuals.

Thus, not by coincidence, guns that are recovered in one state, but originally sold in other states, typically come from neighboring states. For example, “out-of-state” guns recovered in Kentucky most commonly come from Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee. Those recovered in Ohio typically come from Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. And so on.

MAIG’s new “trafficking” report breaks no new ground. And, coming on the heels of FBI data showing violent crime at a 35-year low, it fails to make even a superficial case for gun control. But, considering MAIG’s support of microstamping and restrictions on concealed carry, its efforts to push Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s horrendous “terror watchlist” and “gun show” bills, and its penchant for blaming U.S. gun laws for Mexico’s ongoing war with drug cartels, the new report makes clear that the group’s leader, Michael Bloomberg, intends for it to remain the most aggressive and highly visible threat to the Second Amendment in the near term.


Bloomberg Felon News: Just keep on fibbing…

September 10, 2010

The Straw Purchase felon just can’t seem to get anything right, and on the anniversary of the terrorist attack on NYC at that!

No one in this country knows better than New Yorkers what “devastation” looks like. On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center buildings and their surrounding area were reduced to rubble, burying nearly 3,000 Americans. To this day, the images are difficult to comprehend; they show a concentration of man-made destruction unprecedented in the United States and perhaps anywhere on Earth.

New York’s current murder rate pales in comparison to that of 2001, of course. But it also pales in comparison to what it was in other years gone by. Due in part to crime-fighting programs adopted under former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, New York City’s murder rate is only a fifth of what it was 20 years ago.

Presumably, New Yorkers are well aware of the relative safety in which they live today.  However, the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has a skewed perspective even though the September 11 anniversary is front and center in every news outlet today due to other controversies.

With New York City’s and the nation’s murder rates lower than anytime since the 1960s, Bloomberg sounded the alarm, saying “Illegal guns and their accompanying violence devastate communities across our country.”

Bloomberg revisited his perennial cause célèbre —gun control—because his anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), has issued an Issue Brief urging Congress to  “close the gun show loophole”—gun control supporters’ Orwellian “doublespeak” for “prohibit private sales of firearms at gun shows and everywhere else.”

Since U.S. crime rates are so low, MAIG invoked Mexico’s war with its drug cartels, repeating the soundbite first heard in 2009, when Attorney General Eric Holder tried to use Mexico’s problem as the excuse for reinstating the federal “assault weapons” ban. “In fact, 90% of guns recovered and traced from Mexican crime scenes originated from gun dealers in the United States,” MAIG says.

Discovering that geography is more than a subject taught in elementary and middle schools, MAIG adds its revelation that “four in ten of the U.S. guns recovered in Mexico between 2006 and 2009 were originally sold by gun dealers in Texas. The three other states that share a border with Mexico – Arizona, California, and New Mexico – were the source for another one-third of the U.S. guns.”

Of course, the operative words in the “90 percent” soundbite are “and traced.” The GAO has already reported that most guns seized in Mexico, from cartels or anyone else, have not originated in the United States. For example, GAO noted, “In 2008, of the almost 30,000 firearms that the Mexican Attorney General’s office said were seized, only around 7,200, or approximately a quarter, were submitted to ATF for tracing.” The others were not submitted for tracing, presumably in many cases because their markings indicated that they were not traceable to the U.S.

For all their effort, Bloomberg and MAIG got scant coverage by the news media. But the debate will likely continue over how many guns are smuggled from the U.S. to Mexico, what percentage of the cartels’ guns originate in the U.S., and from which countries the cartels obtain their machine guns, grenades and other weapons that are unavailable in the United States.

One thing is sure, however: Americans have greater access to U.S. guns than does anyone in Mexico, and our murder rates pale in comparison to those of our southern neighbor. For example, the murder rate of Juarez is nearly 100 times higher than that of El Paso, just across the border. If anything, that’s a criticism of Mexican laws, which prohibit honest people from getting guns with which to protect themselves.


A mayor problem

October 12, 2009

The Texas Fred spitting match notwithstanding there appear to be more than a few Mayors across the country that are concerned about the Bloomberg Follies.

For example, Mayor Robert Shiner of Mentor, OH was listed as a member of MAIG, but Shiner hasn’t been Mayor since November 2008 and his office says he never agreed to be a MAIG member. Mayor Dale Strasser of Brunswick, Ohio found his name used in MAIG advertising when it was actually the Brunswick city manager, Robert Zienkowski, who signed up for the group. And Mayor Keith Hoffman of East Berlin, Ohio said his participation, which began about a month ago, resulted from a misunderstanding of the group’s objectives, and he is currently trying to get his name off the list. “It was a mistake really,” he said. “They swindle you in and then put your name on the list.”

According to the NRA, at least 30 mayors have appeared on the MAIG membership list despite the fact they were not mayors of the localities as advertised. More than 60 mayors have now removed their names. Many may have been misled by the Bloomberg organization or may have been added to the member list against their will or without their knowledge.

Full Story

You can fool some of the people all of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time…

Bloomberg sycophants

October 10, 2009

The Bloomberg sycophants are marching along like good little serfs as usual. Read on…

Bathed in camera flashes during a “news conference” on October 7, 2009, New York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg was in his element in announcing “a wide-ranging undercover investigation by the City of New York into illegal gun sales” that revealed “a willful disregard of the law” by “74% of gun show sellers.”

Or, so he claimed.  The ego-driven multi-billionaire’s publicity stunt was neither “wide-ranging” nor representative of what occurs at gun shows, nor was it intended to be.  And it determined nothing about “74%” of all gun show sellers.

Instead, as Bloomberg’s report on the stunt openly admits, his “investigators” attended gun shows only “in states . . . that supply crime guns trafficked across state lines at the highest rates,” only in neighborhoods with the highest incidence of “federal prosecutions for straw buying and trafficking, and proximity to urban areas experiencing gang violence,” and ultimately focused their attention on only 47 individuals who, based upon their comments and actions, seemed the most likely to violate a gun sale law.

Even that amount of deliberate skewing of Bloomberg’s sample of the nation’s “gun show sellers” did not work as he expected.  Only 35 of the 47 (hence, the fraudulent “74%” claim) ultimately exercised poor judgment with respect to a gun sale law or, in perhaps some of the cases, may have been willing to break a law, and thus be subject to prosecution.

Anti-gun groups and politicians immediately heralded Bloomberg’s effort as definitive proof of the need for more restrictions on guns.  “Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Police Department, the public can see firsthand what goes on at these weapons markets,” said the Brady Campaign. “This investigation reveals how easy it is for criminals and even terrorists to purchase firearms at gun shows,” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

And, since the day of fair, hard and objective reporting has apparently passed into journalism’s history, newspapers went along with Bloomberg’s charade like shills at a carnival game of chance, reminding us why public confidence in “the press” has dropped to 15% in annual polls.

“[I]n almost three out of four instances, undercover investigators were able to purchase guns illegally,” the New York Times dutifully reported. Bloomberg’s investigators “repeatedly bought guns from unlicensed dealers at gun shows even though they disclosed they probably couldn’t pass a background check,” said the Washington Post. “Bloomberg’s sting documented that these transient marketplaces for guns, ammunition and accessories are a multibillion-dollar business that is funneling weapons directly into criminals’ hands, in plain sight,” said the New York Daily News.  “Any doubt that stricter regulation would be helpful was removed last week when the results of an undercover investigation of gun show sales in Tennessee and two other states was released by the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg,” the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal editorialized.

Bloomberg’s bottom line?  You guessed it.  Congress should adopt S. 843 and H.R. 2324 to “close the gun show loophole by requiring background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows.” Bloomberg and his media friends failed to mention, of course, that both bills also propose that gun show promoters be registered, be required to pay unspecific fees, and be required to maintain ledgers of all non-dealers who bring firearms to shows (even if they bring them to sell only to dealers).  H.R. 2324 further proposes that promoters be required to provide such ledgers to the Attorney General.  For more information about anti-gun show legislation, see our facts sheets on S. 843 ( and H.R. 2324 (

Reporters worthy of the name would have pointed out that buying a gun for a family member or friend as a gift is not a straw purchase.  It’s a violation of the law only to buy a gun for a prohibited person.  And competent reporters would have also noticed that Bloomberg’s “investigation” actually undercuts his call for requiring background checks on non-dealer sales at gun shows.  The most common gun sale violation, Bloomberg says, is that straw purchasers defeat the background check.  Requiring more sales to be run through checks would not alleviate the straw purchase problem one whit.

Individuals—dealers and non-dealers alike—who knowingly break the law should, of course, be prosecuted, as NRA has long advocated.  Obtaining and providing a gun for a prohibited person are both federal felonies, each punishable by 10 years in prison.

However, enforcing gun sale laws is the responsibility of the BATFE, and state and local agencies.  Bloomberg has no jurisdiction in other cities, let alone outside New York State.  His periodic interstate escapades, of which “Gun Show” is but the latest, are not only possibly illegal (in that they may violate firearm sales laws), but risk compromising federal, state and local law enforcement agencies’ investigations.

At the bottom line, Bloomberg’s effort shows that even when you work very hard to find law-breakers at gun shows, you find that such individuals are few and far between.

Once again, Hizzoner demonstrates his true priority—media grandstanding.


Bloomberg Follies: Grassroots politics is alive and well in the United States

September 20, 2009

The felon that is Mayor of New York City just can’t seem to get a break from the people that he so despises. Imagine that!

Grassroots politics is alive and well in the United States, as gun owners have been making their voices heard to their mayors. In the past few weeks, gun owners have been contacting their mayors who joined New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).

The result:  MAIG has lost over 50 members because gun owners took action to tell their mayors the truth about this organization.  Many of the mayors who have resigned from MAIG have indicated they were unaware of the full extent of their anti-gun agenda.  They now know they were mislead by MAIG’s claims that it was only concerned with “illegal” guns.

In response to NRA-ILA’s efforts to inform voters and mayors regarding the truth about MAIG and its anti-gun agenda, Bloomberg’s group has contacted mayors repeating their claim that they are only concerned with “illegal” guns, claiming that NRA is misrepresenting their agenda.  But the facts are clear.

MAIG has never taken any direct action regarding illegal guns. (Click here to read more about MAIG.)  All of their priorities, from repealing the Tiahrt amendment, to opposing interstate Right-to-Carry reciprocity, have been targeted at law-abiding gun owners.  Law enforcement groups, like the Fraternal Order of Police, have made their support for the Tiahrt amendment clear.  The Tiahrt amendment protects not only ongoing criminal investigations, but also the lives and safety of law-enforcement officers. (To read what FOP President Chuck Canterbury wrote on the Tiahrt amendment click here.)

The real reason MAIG opposes the Tiahrt amendment is because it interferes with the efforts of anti-gun mayors like Bloomberg, Boston’s Thomas Menino (a MAIG co-founder), and Chicago’s Richard Daley to bring bogus lawsuits against lawful firearm manufacturers.  These suits are designed to punish gun makers for the acts of criminals, and to use the courts to impose strict regulations on gun sales that legislatures have rejected; gun regulations that negatively impact law-abiding gun buyers, but have no impact on criminals.

MAIG opposition to Right-to-Carry reciprocity is a clear example of their opposition to legal gun ownership and self-defense.  Reciprocity would only apply to those who have permits, and then only if all local laws are followed.  Criminals and gunrunners do not undergo background checks, take training courses, and seek certification to obtain a carry permit–law-abiding gun owners do.

Gun owners must keep up the pressure on their mayors to ensure that their rights are respected.  If your mayor is a member of MAIG, contact him and let him know the truth about this anti-gun group’s real agenda. (To find if your mayor is a member of MAIG, click here.)  If your mayor is one of those who has resigned, call and thank him for his support.


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