Already thoroughly debunked.
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New gun show "study" re-warms emotion to push anti-gun agenda
September 4, 12:45 PM
Seattle Gun Rights Examiner
A new study from perennial anti-gunner Garen Wintemute, MD titled Inside Gun Shows: What Goes on When Everybody Thinks Nobody’s Looking, may have a short shelf-life after Wintemute acknowledged to a reporter for a Fox News affiliate in Sacramento that the data isn’t there to support what amounts to personal opinion and insinuation.
KTXL in Sacramento attended a press conference held by Wintemute to announce his “findings” and in the process encountered another researcher from UC Davis, where Wintemute heads the Violence Prevention Research Program for the Department of Emergency Medicine. That researcher was identified as Jesse Bengson, who told a reporter that he had hoped to see some scientific data linking gun show sales to crime.
Well under 10 percent of those present are other than white males, and most of these men appear to be well over 50 years of age.”
“None of that was presented,” Bengson observed.
To which Wintemute responded, “It’s just as a matter of logic that private party sales are more likely to result in criminal use of firearms, but it’s an inference at this point.”
Does anyone wonder what would happen if Prof. John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns had uttered such a statement in defense of his research? People like Wintemute would be heating up the tar and gathering feathers.
Gun prohibitionists have had a tough time selling the gun control philosophy over the past few years, particularly when they don’t get a completely free ride from the mainstream press as they used to. ABC’s inimitable John Stossel really did a number of many of the gun control myths on a “20/20” segment a couple of years ago that remains one of the best pieces ever done on the issue by any network.
A story on Wintemute’s new report will appear in the upcoming issue of Gun Week under my byline.
The report’s executive summary contains a couple of glaring contradictions beyond his “inference” about private party gun show sales providing more guns for criminals.
Much has been said by gun prohibitionists about the so-called “gun show loophole” being these private sales, which do not require background checks under existing federal statute. Wintemute’s report tends to contradict his own notion.
Another UC Davis researcher who attended the press conference hoping to see scientific data linking gun show sales and crime was disappointed.
"None of that was presented," said Jesse Bengson.
“Much of the concern about gun shows and crime guns focuses on private party gun sales,” he writes. “Licensed retailers are implicated, too. Results of trafficking investigations suggest that two-thirds of crime guns obtained at gun shows are sold by licensed retailers. Among gun dealers, those who sell at gun shows are more likely to have crime guns traced to them than those who do not.”
He also asserts that “There is solid evidence, primarily from investigations of illegal gun trafficking, that gun shows are an important source of crime guns.” However, he immediately adds, “But less than 2% of felons incarcerated for crimes involving guns acquired those guns themselves at gun shows.” He suggests they get the guns through straw sales, but that would still suggest that the transactions involve commercial dealers who run background checks on the buyer, not private sellers.
To further demonize gun shows, Wintemute goes after the “demographic homogeneity” at these shows, complaining that “Well under 10 percent of those present are other than white males, and most of these men appear to be well over 50 years of age.”
So what? Why does Wintemute want to stereotype gun show attendees as white guys over age 50? (One might legitimately ask, would he raise equal alarm if he visited a bunch of hip-hop clubs and found “well under 10 percent of those present to be white males over 50 years of age?”)
Wintemute conceded that the data isn't there.
'It's just as a matter of logic that private party sales are more likely to result in criminal use of firearms, but it's an inference at this point.'
Then he drops this gem: “Three aspects of the social environment at gun shows seem to have significant potential to contribute to firearm violence. These concern 1) promoting objectification and violence in relationships between men and women, 2) facilitating children’s access to firearms, and 3) endorsing violence as a tool for problem-solving.”
Translation: Beyond just supplying guns to thugs and crackheads, gun shows are also breeding grounds for domestic violence, child endangerment and vigilantism. At least, that is the image that prohibitionists hope would be burned into everyone’s subconscious.
But there is more. Wintemute saves some space to lament the appearance at gun shows of “Neo-Confederacy” groups, “Ku Klux Klan” merchandise and “new Nazi materials.” And in the same sentence he specifically notes that The Turner Diaries (a white supremacist Armageddon-type fantasy), and Mein Kampf (Adolf Hitler’s book-length diatribe) can be found next to More Guns, Less Crime.
That latter book was the exhaustive work by Prof. Lott and David Mustard some years ago that demolished much of the anti-gun propaganda that had, up to that time, been pandered as definitive research on the scourge of guns in society. Anti-gunners would dearly love to relegate Lott’s research to the trash bin, but they can’t.
Wintemute’s report is based on covert visits (with hidden cameras) to 78 gun shows in 19 states over the course of three years, 2005-2008. That’s not a very big sampling; less than 1 percent. He notes that of the 9.9 million background checks conducted for gun sales in 2008 alone, only 147,000 resulted in a denial, approximately 1.5 percent.
There is one important thing to be learned from Wintemute’s study: Even with the barest minimum of statistics, anti-gunners will reach conclusions based on a “matter of logic” and “an inference at this point” to continue their campaign of public disarmament.