Michael Moore’s other job

An article in the Virginian-Pilot is a bit silly at times (referring to a struggle on the streets “where good guns try to hold back the bad ones”), but brings up some of the (rather obvious) unintended consequences of restrictive gun laws.

But clamping down on firearms can have an unintended effect.

“You create a market when you tighten things up,” Garfield Headlam said.

He should know. Headlam is serving a 10-year prison sentence for operating a gun-running ring out of Norfolk in the late 1990s.

This was amply demonstrated by the mob empires created by Prohibition, and the drug cartels who profit from the “War on Drugs.” Still, the only tool in the statist toolbox is apparently a hammer, so every social ill is treated as a nail.

Money like that has made gun runners bold. Fourteen Virginia gun shops were burglarized last year, including six in Hampton Roads. In two of the cases, thieves sawed a hole in the roof and used ropes to drop inside. In another, armed men forced a clerk to the floor and walked out with 75 handguns.

In all, the 14 burglaries netted 270 firearms. Some have already been recovered by police in northeastern states – one less than 15 hours after it was taken from a gun shop in York County.

This looks an awful lot like a direct causal link between restrictive gun laws and increased crime. Rather than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacking some states for “weak gun laws,” states like Virginia should demand something be done about the “strong” laws in places like New York.

The next part got my attention in a hurry:

“They walked right by the jewelry and went straight for the guns,” said Michael Moore, head of the Norfolk office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

BATFE agent Michael Moore–now that’s a marriage made in heaven.

Headlam (the “gun-runner”) then sheds some light on the “gun show loophole” myth.

They all knew that in Virginia, they could avoid the background checks if they purchased secondhand guns from private sellers – either at gun shows or through the classifieds.

But, Headlam said: “We never bought from any of them. That one-on-one stuff gets too complicated. People want to have a conversation. They get all skeptical. For real, it was less hassle at a gun shop.

The “gun shows are arms bazaars for gang-bangers” myth is starting to get more than a little frayed around the edges, it would seem, with gun traffickers more daunted by the idea of a friendly conversation with a private vendor than by criminal background checks–still proud, Paul?

That doesn’t stop our noble BATFE friend, Michael Moore, from policing gun shows, though.

Working out of a nondescript office on Granby Street, the ATF’s Moore l eads a team of nine agents who try to stem the tide. Their territory stretches from the North Carolina line to the other side of Williamsburg, from Emporia to the Maryland line of the Eastern Shore.

They regulate gun shops, monitor gun shows, conduct surveillance, go undercover and watch the classifieds for sellers who surface too frequently [and stomp kittens to death, and burn children alive–never mind].

What does “watch the classifieds for sellers who surface too frequently” mean? How frequently is “too” frequently? Is there some law on the books regarding frequency of classified ads for guns, which although blatantly unconstitutional, would at least allow people to know what is illegal?

Sounds like material for another “documentary,” eh, Michael?

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