Spoofing a well-known travel review site, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence group this week launched its CrimAdvisor website spotlighting the “friendliest” states for criminals to buy, carry, or even traffic guns.
The purpose of the site is to draw attention to the gun control group’s efforts to expand background checks to include virtually all private sales and transfers. Citing the often-debunked claim that only 60 percent of current gun sales include a background check, the group is advocating Brady checks on all gun sales through its “Finish the Job” campaign, which the new site promotes. In conjunction with the website, the group partnered with Funnie or Die to produce a video highlighting how easy CrimAdvisor is to use.
“We made something funny out of something that isn’t,” Dan Gross, Brady Campaign president said in a media call Thursday, “in order to highlight the real impact of what is too often just referred to as common sense gun laws, or gun safety laws, or maybe worst of all a gun control debate. Make no mistake, these are laws that make a huge difference in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people like domestic abusers, fugitives, felons, and rapists.”
The data used on the CrimAdvisor site, which Gross described as “TripAdvisor for criminals,” is based on a 14 page report released by the group which in turn draws its findings from non-scientific studies conducted or funded by other gun control organizations such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Violence Policy Center, and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
On the site, each state is reviewed and ranked according to the data compiled by the group.
For instance, on the state page for Florida, whom the Brady’s give a rating of five bullet holes, the group writes, “Great destination for criminal tourism. No background checks at gun shows or online. Easy to carry loaded, hidden guns, George Zimmerman-style. They’ll give a concealed carry permit to almost anyone who asks from anywhere in the country.”
Among the tongue-in-cheek criminal reviews listed are one from, “Mrs.FutureZimmerman91,” who writes, “REPEAT CUSTOMER! Florida is my JAM!!! They have all these hunky bad boys-its like the old west down here! You can be from ANYWHERE and carry almost ANYTHING- the cops don’t control the gun permits, the Department of Agriculture does! HAHAHAHA. And they suck at it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”
Florida was given the “2015 Criminal’s Choice Award” as being one of the top 15 states recognized by the group, “with the loosest gun laws in the nation making them the best locations for criminals and other dangerous people to easily get guns.”
Meanwhile, other states with very strict gun control laws such as one-bullet-hole-rated California, get rave mock feedback from Brady-invented criminals such as “Don’tHesitateSucka” who writes, “I demand a gun, they should give it to me! Now, if I want to pull off a job with a short turnaround time, I have to get in my car and go to Arizona. Do you have any idea on how inconvenient that is for me? Crappy Service!!!”
Gun rights advocates aren’t laughing.
“CrimAdvisor is a nonstarter, just a poorly-coded repackaging of the same meritless Brady Campaign gun control propaganda of yesterday, ” Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition and executive director of the Calguns Foundation, told Guns.com Thursday.
“The Brady Campaign is drowning in an ocean of defeat as legislatures and courts across the country reject their misinformation in favor of Second Amendment rights. CrimAdvisor is exactly the kind of Hail Mary effort we’d expect to see from a dying organization,” said Combs.
As far as predicting any success for the gun control group, Combs felt that the lion share of vistors to the site would come from a sense of curiosity.
“CrimAdvisor is nothing but an attention-seeking gadget by an organization that desperately seeks relevance,” said Combs. “CrimAdvisorwill probably get more traffic from amused gun owners than from the Brady Campaign’s own dwindling number of supporters.”
Guns.com reached out to Trip Advisor for comment on the use of their brand, modified logo, and styling and the possible loss of revenue this could bring if the nation’s 100 million gun owners confuse the two sites and think that Trip Advisor is supporting the Brady parody, but did not receive a timely response.