When you want to find incompetence, corruption and plain old-fashioned stupidity regarding the handling of firearms, look no further than state, local and federal government agencies. The private sector, on the other hand, remains surprisingly competent and responsible when it comes to dealing in firearms. Look no further than the latest report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for proof of this. Starting in 2015, the Obama administration launched a daring sting operation in order to take down online gun sellers. The results were extremely telling.
The Obama administration sting began with the mindset that all private sellers of firearms (defined as “normal everyday people”) who are not Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders must be greedy, irresponsible criminals. If government has not issued a person a license to do something, they must not be able to do it competently or safely, right? Just ask the Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers if you doubt this; thousands of lives are probably saved every single year because a board of bureaucrats keeps unlicensed hairdressers from going rogue.
So, the Obama administration attempted to make obviously illegal purchases of firearms from online forums and markets in states where this is allowed. If you did not realize that this is legal in many states, it’s because the media lies about guns every single time. In states where freedom still exists, you can buy or sell a firearm from a complete stranger at a yard sale without any help at all from a federal regulator. It’s no different than selling your lawn mower to a neighbor, which is as it should be.
The GAO attempted to purchase firearms by posing as wife beaters, convicted felons and others who are currently banned from gun ownership. The original plan was to make purchases from 75 different sellers and then issue a report that would prove that private citizens are too stupid, greedy, irresponsible and dangerous to sell firearms.
In 29 attempts to get the seller to illegally ship a firearm, the sellers always refused. Another 27 sellers refused to sell a weapon after learning that the fake federal “buyer” was prohibited from gun ownership. Two sellers took money from investigators but did not actually send them a firearm, figuring they could rip off a “criminal” and they wouldn’t call the police. The end result was that the federal government tried and failed to illegally purchase firearms — every single time. They gave up after 72 failed attempts.
It turns out that private citizens are largely competent, conscientious and law-abiding when it comes to selling their firearms over the internet, even without a government license to do so. Let’s compare that to the sheer incompetence of government agencies, just for fun!
The General Services Administration (GSA) has transferred almost 10,000 surplus military weapons to local police departments since 1999. A grand total of 485 of those weapons went missing. Congress was shocked to learn that the weapons included semi-automatic rifles, uzis and grenade launchers. An incompetent federal bureaucrat somewhere took a look at the town of Cayce, South Carolina (population 13,000) and said, “You know what the police need in Cayce? Two grenade launchers!” Said launchers vanished.
Law enforcement agencies in the San Francisco Bay area lost 944 firearms between 2010 and 2015, including 600 pistols, 251 shotguns, 15 sniper rifles, 27 semi-automatic rifles and 12 grenade launchers. Kate Steinle was killed by an illegal alien using a federal agent’s stolen sidearm. Law enforcement agencies in the Washington, DC area lost 350 firearms between 2011 and 2016.
The Obama administration sold thousands of firearms to straw purchasers with the specific intent of the weapons ending up in the hands of the Sinaloa drug cartel (Operation Fast & Furious). The operation was discovered after Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered by a man using one of the Obama administration’s weapons. One of the Fast & Furious guns even turned up at the Paris nightclub massacre in 2015, in which Muslim refugee terrorists killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more.
The private sector upheld the law in a blind test and federal investigators went 0 for 72 in attempts to catch citizens breaking the law. Government agencies, on the other hand, not only break the law occasionally (Fast & Furious), but display an overall level of incompetence that has no equal in the private sector. Maybe the government should get out of the gun business entirely.
~ American Gun News