(From Napa Daily Register, 31 Aug 2007 through the NRA/ILA Daily Update, 31 Aug 2007)

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Attack on gun shows misses the mark
By JOE TURNER
Friday, August 31, 2007
Mrs. Dolores Flanagan’s Aug. 18 opinion (“Reining in guns in San Francisco”), in her defense of Mayor Newsom’s political attack on the gun show at the Cow Palace, missed the point.

That is often the case when people light into a subject about which they know nothing. The mayor’s announcement that he would seek to end the gun show at the Cow Palace is part of his rapidly accelerating campaign for reelection. Unfortunately, the mayor has not always thoroughly vetted his announcements.

The first in this string of announcements was that he planned to ban bottled water at city hall and on city property. The reason for the ban would be the billions of empty water bottles that go to dumps. Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Actually, it is a meaningless idea and pure grandstanding because San Francisco and County mandate recycling of all trash, including water bottles. So the folks in the City do not contribute to any landfill issue and especially not empty water bottles.

The Cow Palace gun show was the mayor’s second bogus announcement. Keep in mind that the Cow Palace is not in San Francisco. It is in the city of South San Francisco, a fine city that just might want to have a say when their big neighbor to the north starts ordering them around. Anyway, apparently the mayor and his three supporters, the rest of the Gang of Four, neglected to check the records. Had they checked, they would have seen that there have been no unlawful gun sales at the gun show, in the parking lots or anywhere near the Cow Palace for years. How do I know this? Easy, the BATF and the California DOJ records are easy to access, so easy, in fact, that one would think this bunch of screwballs would have checked. Had they ever attended a gun show they would no doubt have noticed the many, many officers — BATF, California DOJ, local police and others — who watch the shows and the parking lots from start to finish.

In California, gun shows have been off the radar for law enforcement for years. What might or might not have happened in the past is long gone. In California and in the United States we have very strong gun laws. In California, the private sale of a gun — for example, a sale from one friend to another — carries very strict penalties. Every single sale must be submitted to the FBI’s NCIS system and the California Department of Justice and the buyer must wait 10 full days no matter how many guns the buyer has purchased in the past. Every sale is a totally new application. The notion that people are hanging around buying and selling guns unlawfully at gun shows and the associated parking lots is so silly and uninformed that those of us with accurate knowledge of gun transactions are embarrassed at the stupidity of those who claim otherwise.

Last week I tried to go all week thinking and acting like a liberal. I wanted to be fair and I wanted to give the dark side an even chance. I was willing to take a chance because, after all, John Wayne taught us that, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” I figured it would be easy. First, I would try to feel guilty about everything that ever happened in the world and, second, I would believe what liberal newspapers and politicians tell me. I failed in this sincere effort after less than five minutes. I was about six lines deep into an editorial in the Chronicle when I knew I had no chance to be a liberal.

I wish liberal zealots would get their facts straight and I wish the mayor would give us a little integrity on these issues. He is a fine fellow but all too often he falls under the sway of the mindless liberals.

(Turner lives in Napa.)