Last week, the Glendale City Council voted 3-2 to ban gun shows on city-owned property, as the LA Times reported. For those that don’t know, Glendale is a city of about 190,000 people located southern California. It’s also about 5 miles away from where I live.
Okay, so why did the City Council opt to ban gun shows on city-owned property, which includes the Civic Auditorium, the preferred venue for most shows?
Because the council members, those who voted for the ban, are idiots. Listen, I don’t like using ad hominem attacks, that is to say I hate name-calling, but I can’t think of any logical reason why anyone would want to ban gun shows, especially given the facts.
Look, the numbers are pretty clear on this, overall criminals don’t purchase firearms at gun shows. For example, a study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics Department in 1997 found that less than 2 percent of criminals who possessed a firearm acquired it at a gun show.
More recently, Daniel Webster of the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research conducted a study in 2004 that showed similar results. Among offenders who were incarcerated from crimes committed with handguns, only 1.7 percent claimed to have obtained their weapon at a gun show or a flea market.
Where do the vast majority of criminals get their guns? According to Webster’s study, 11 percent get them from a licensed dealer, 39.5 percent from friends or family, 37.5 percent the black marked or ‘the street,’ and about 9.9 percent are stolen.
So, given this data that proves gun shows are not a hotbed for criminal activity, how does banning gun shows on city grounds benefit the public?
Simply put, it doesn’t. In fact, by prohibiting gun shows, Glendale stands to lose upwards of $50,000 in tax revenue per year (in 2012, Glendale generated $57,473 dollars from gun shows), so one can make a cogent argument that the move to ban gun shows actually hurts the city.
Sure, $50,000 isn’t a ton of money, but every little bit of revenue helps.
There’s another point that needs to be addressed. California does not have a gun-show ‘loophole.’ All gun purchases, even those made between private buyers and sellers at gun shows, are subject to a background check facilitated by a FFL. In essence, under California law, there are universal background checks on all transactions.
The point is that gun shows do not, in any way, present a threat to public safety. They are as safe and as regulated as any gun store. Consequently, there is no logical reason to ban them on city-owned property.
Along this line, Steve Friesen, the Glendale Gun Show operator, who was planning on running five more shows through November 2014 at the Civic Auditorium put things in proper perspective following the Elementary School Shooting at Sandy Hook in a statement to the Glendale community.
“The tragic events at Newtown hit every American hard, and now we are left asking what can be done to prevent such things from happening again,” he wrote. “I don’t know all the answers, but I know this: hastily going after and punishing those businesses, organizations and citizens, that are exercising constitutional rights is not the answer.”
Indeed. But, that is precisely what’s being done, a knee-jerk policy reform that defies common sense. Then again, that seems to be par for the course for California, a state that is run by idiots.