August 10, 2007
Gavin Newsom speaks, but with credibility?
Gavin Newsom (who would like to ban dogs based solely on their breed) never seems to run out of crazy ideas.
As Clayton Cramer documents in a post titled "San Francisco's Mayor Newsom Decides To Punish Illegal Acts By Criminalizing Legal Acts," Newsom wants to ban gun shows at the Cow Palace -- not because illegal gun sales occur there, but because (claims Newsom) illegal sales occur in the parking lot. There's a problem for Newsom, though. The Cow Palace isn't in San Francisco. So he wants a state law passed ending gun shows at the Cow Palace. Presumably, he thinks he has power beyond his jurisdiction, based on his say so.
Let me get this straight: what's happening in the Cow Palace is legal--background checks are being run, people who can't legally buy guns are prevented from buying them. What is happening in the parking lot is illegal--people are buying and selling guns without background checks, waiting periods, etc. So the city needs to shut down the lawful activity?To that I'd add that I went to countless gun shows at the Cow Palace back in the 90s, and I talked to many, many gun dealers and individual patrons. The parking lot was crawling with BATF agents, and it would have been the last place in the world that anyone in his right mind would have attempted an illegal sale. BATF agents would actually solicit illegal sales, and the gun dealers and their customers were well aware of it. If you wanted to get in trouble with the BATF fast, the parking lot of a gun show was probably the best place to do it.
Is it possible that things have changed over the past few years, and that the BATF, California State Police and the local San Mateo County police have decided to turn a blind eye on anything that goes on right outside a well-known gun show on the outskirts of one the most anti-gun cities (in one of the most anti-gun states) in the United States?
Possible, but I doubt it.
I wish I was in the area, because I'd like to ask some of the dealers.
Looking further into this, it appears that Newsom and his gun-grabbing pals have no direct evidence of sales occurring in the parking lot:
San Francisco political leaders Thursday called for the end of gun shows at the Cow Palace, saying the shows on state-owned property are effectively turning California into "a merchant of tools of death."Frankly, based on what I know about the place, I don't believe it. While I don't doubt that guns are sold in the public housing development, I'm wondering about the credibility of the unverified stories implicating the gun show. The guns shows are crawling with cops, because no one wants trouble.
I also see that the shows in question are run by Crossroads of the West, still run by Bob Templeton, whom I got to know quite well.
Bob Templeton, president of the Utah-based Crossroads of the West Gun Show, disputed that claim, saying he has asked officials with the Daly City Police Department, Cow Palace management and the California Department of Justice whether they know of any illegal gun sales that have ever taken place at the shows. They all said no, according to Templeton.I'm smelling a rat here. Is there any way to verify what Newsom says? Or is he just reciting fourth hand hearsay from self-appointed activists like Shawn Richards?
Shawn Richards, director of Brothers Against Guns, said people during the gun shows drive through the public housing developments near the arena, including Sunnydale, and illegally hawk weapons to residents. They also illegally sell weapons in the parking lot of the arena itself, he said.Did Richards witness this? Did anyone call the cops? Why should I believe it? Richards, BTW, is described as an "Ex-gang member (a few), ex-con (3 years in the state penitentiary), ex-dealer and current God Of The Projects." (And he's also said to be a former gun dealer who now complains that gun shows are "disrespectful" and "a slap in the face.")
A look at some of the "facts" Richards recites here hardly inspires, um, confidence:
Yee: Assault rifles -- they're hitting the streets in alarming numbers. Shawn Richards, founder of Bruthas Aginst Guns, is pretty clear where they're coming from.A man who says "tankers" are unloading "assault weapons" from all over the world, which are then sold in gun stores? Putting aside the fact that they're illegal in California, I don't think this is a credible source.
But I guess if you're Gavin Newsom and the issue is guns, who needs credibility?
posted by Eric on 08.10.07 at 06:27 PM
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