Dayton gun show arrests are proof that pro-gun rights advocates are right

by Gerard Valentino

Recently, at a gun show in Dayton, Ohio several people were arrested for violating the law by buying a gun when they knew it was illegal for them to do so. As usual, the media tried to hang the arrests on gun show promoters and stirred up discussion about the mythical gun show loophole.

From the article:

"The gun show loophole is a deadly serious problem — and this undercover operation exposes just how pervasive and serious it is," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said following the 2009 investigation funded by the city.

A fact that anti-gun zealots will never admit, however, is that gun sales are regulated the same regardless of location. So, whether someone buys or sells a gun at a gun show, or whether a grandfather gives a family heirloom shotgun to his grandson, the laws are the same. Mayor Bloomberg and people of his misguided ilk also refuse to admit that unbiased studies show criminals rarely buy guns at a gun show.

The pro-gun side of the gun debate chafes at the mere mention of the so-called gun show loophole because it is driven by the anti-gun movement's desire to destroy gun rights, to vilify gun shows, people that attend gun shows and the gun culture. Destroying gun shows and how they benefit the gun culture is the true goal of anti-gun leaders, not keeping criminals from buying guns.

Pro-gun advocates have also claimed that existing gun laws are more than adequate to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

By arresting people that knowingly bought a gun while under disability (in this case the word means being barred from owning a gun by law), law enforcement did the right thing, and that is the message that needs to be heard. The mere presence of law enforcement will also send a message to other criminals that gun shows are not the place to try and buy a gun illegally.

Law enforcement also needs to become more vigilant about stopping so-called "straw purchases," where someone that can legally purchase a gun through a licensed dealer does so with the intent of giving it to someone prohibited from owning a gun.

Whenever a criminal obtains a gun, society is put at risk, which is why gun owners and pro-gun advocates have a vested interest in keeping it from happening. It is particularly important that gun sellers are vigilant when selling a gun at a gun show because we all get a black-eye when someone gets caught in an illegal gun sale.

Oddly enough, if law enforcement begins to crack down on straw purchases and illegal buyers at gun shows it will prove that existing laws are adequate and the anti-gun movement will lose a key piece to their anti-freedom message. To that end, the anti-gun community continues to call for more regulation that can be easily bypassed by criminals. Yet another point that exposes their true aim, which is destroying all private ownership of firearms by making it nearly impossible to buy a gun legally.

When law enforcement stops an illegal gun purchase it is a reminder that proper enforcement of existing gun laws, as predicted by gun advocates, is a successful way to stop criminals from getting a gun. In most cases, such a policy also leaves honest citizens free to buy and sell guns without government interference - an outcome that is acceptable to everyone except gun control zealots.

Despite the successful application of gun laws in this case, the anti-gun side isn't satisfied. While they should be happy that several criminals were arrested before the guns they bought could be used in a crime, they are instead still crusading for more gun laws.

All the lies about merely wanting to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, or the mentally ill, are the first step in a bait-and-switch. In the end, only a complete ban on all private ownership of firearms will satisfy the anti-gun crowd. Nothing less will suffice – just as the pro-gun community has predicted.

Gerard Valentino, a former military intelligence analyst, is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.

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