Still reeling from the stinging legislative defeats of 2013, proponents of tougher firearm regulations are increasingly turning their focus to private sector campaigns.
Gun control groups have claimed victories in recent months, successfully pushing Starbucks to declare guns unwelcome in stores and persuading Facebook to crack down on unregulated firearm solicitations.
“Whenever the anti-gun groups get stymied in Congress they resort to boycotts and other private measures.”
With no end in sight to the congressional gridlock that has thwarted more stringent federal gun laws, groups say they will continue to apply pressure on major companies.
The Push to Ostracize Gun Fans on Facebook
This, at least, is the premise of a new gun-control petition, in which the entertainingly neurotic founder of Moms Demand Action, Shannon Watts, complains that “Facebook and Instagram are currently being used to facilitate sales and trades of firearms between private sellers.” In consequence, Watts and her cohorts are calling for the company to “ban gun-themed fan pages on the site,” technology website VentureBeat confirmed yesterday. Thus far, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a few drearily predictable celebrities, and nearly 100,000 Americans have added their names to the supplication.
“…After all, the Internet presents a genuine and welcome challenge to centralized authority, and the state has not yet managed to quell the unruly hordes. And do Facebook and Instagram contribute to this headache? Yes, of course…”
In her entreaty, Watts gripes that Facebook’s “platforms unfortunately allow users to buy, sell, and trade firearms without requiring criminal background checks.” This, she suggests, is “a threat to public safety and the security of our families.” In fact, the “platforms” “allow” no such thing. As a spokesman for Facebook noted with barely disguised irritation, “you can’t buy things on Instagram and Facebook, nor can you promote the sale or use of weapons in advertising.” What he presumably didn’t feel he needed to clarify is that what the two “platforms” dofacilitate is people talking to one another — a service, it should be remembered, that is provided by almost every interactive system on the Internet, including e-mail, instant- and text-messaging services, photo-sharing venues, blogging hosts, comments sections, and forums.
Rich Lowry writes: Michael Bloomberg is the mayor of New York and a media mogul who weekends in Bermuda and whose net worth is an estimated $27 billion. Victor Head runs a plumbing business with his brother in Pueblo, Colo.
The two clashed from a distance in the Colorado gun recalls, and Head gave the billionaire a righteous drubbing. The defeat of two pro-gun-control Colorado state senators in the recall elections sends a message that should be heard all the way back on the Upper East Side, and maybe even in Hamilton. Read the rest of this entry »
AWR HAWKINS writes: From the moment the recall effort in Colorado began, money started flowing in from out-of-state gun control proponents and influence flowed in from Chicago. It was all part of an effort to protect state senators Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) and John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) from being recalled.
And by extension, it was about protecting Colorado’s new gun control laws as well.
When the gun control measures were passed, and then signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper (D) on March 20, Coloradans in Giron and Morse’s districts felt hoodwinked. El Paso County Sherrif Terry Maketa said, “The two senators dismissed [their constituents’] opinions, literally said they did not want to hear from them,” thus setting the recall effort in motion. Read the rest of this entry »
The districts that contain Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City ranked last in terms of federal gun law enforcement in 2012, according to a new report from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks federal data.
Federal gun crimes include illegal possession of a firearm in a school zone, illegal sale of a firearm to a juvenile, felon, or drug addict, and illegal transport of a firearm across state lines. In Chicago, the majority of gun charges last year were for firearms violations.
The districts of Eastern New York, Central California, and Northern Illinois ranked 88th, 89th and 90th, respectively, out of 90 districts, in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita last year, but it wasn’t always this way. All three districts fell lower on the list than they had been in years past. In 2010, for example, Chicago was 78th in federal weapons prosecutions.
These cities also have some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, as well as the most active mayors in championing gun control. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are all members of the national Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign.
D.C., which also has tough gun laws, was in the lower half of the list in 2012, coming in at 78th. In 2011, D.C. prosecuted a higher number of gun crimes, coming in at number 49.
National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre first pointed to the report on Meet the Press Sunday, when he demanded to know why the national press corps wasn’t asking the White House or U.S. attorneys general to explain lax federal enforcement of gun laws…
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