Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, found in observing 28 gun shows in five states that one-third to one-half of the sales at gun shows were by unlicensed dealers who did not have to run criminal background checks on the buyers.How's that again?
Estimates by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., Congress' main gun control advocate, confirm that about one-third of the dealers at gun shows are unlicensed sellers.
Dr. Wintemute's "methodology" -- walking through a gun show and making ill-informed guesses -- has been discredited already and in the next paragraph, we are treated to what must pass for "logic" in J-school: "Estimates...confirm...."
No, dears, you poor, sad creatures, "estimates" confirm nothing. Zilch. Nada-zero.
Measurements, actual hard data, can confirm things; guesses by hostile, ignorant parties cannot.
Also? There ain't no such thing as an "unlicensed dealer" other than the criminal sellin' guns on the sly, not out in the open at a gun show. At gun shows, you will find some individuals selling their own, personally-owned weapons; they are not "gun dealers" and face serious consequences if they try to be.
But, hey, if walkin' around lookin' counts, I'll give it a go. My own gun show cred is deep but not wide. I go to the Indy 1500 shows nearly every time they hit town (there's one coming up! Yayy!). They are, I'm told, among the larger gun shows this side of the Mississip'. Individuals sellin' guns at these shows comprise 10% or less of the total number of sellers and drop to about half that if we exclude the guys walking around with a sign on their back or a rifle on their shoulder, selling a single firearm. Humorless types from the bATFe* are all over the place and should Joe Citizen begin to comport himself as a dealer by their ill-defined standards, at the very best he gets a stern talking to and an unofficial Federal invitation to depart. In terms of number of guns sold at the shows, actual, real gun dealers who do actual, real NICS checks sell enormously more than do individuals. Next time I'm going to try taking notes but the disparity is huge.
The article is rife with fear-mongering, inaccurate bilge. It's stunning how far away from reality some (many?) Authorized Journalists exist.
* Wound my way from one end of a 1500 to the other and there was a fellow pretending to read the paper while peering over it at the attendees. I was putting my purchases in better order and he struck up a conversation, making a number of disparaging remarks about the crowd and how he disliked these events. "So," I ask, all wide blue eyes and innocence, "how long have you been with the Bureau?"
Sheesh. Can't you guys hire people who watch spy movies even a little bit?