Shockingly reading from the same script, WTMJ talkers Jeff Wagner and Jessica McBride took shots on their blogs at Mayor Tom Barrett for suggesting maybe, just maybe, we needed more regulation of handguns in wake of the Memorial Day weekend shootings.
Curiously neither praised him for scrounging the budget for dollars to “resources for police to have overtime in this hot time of the year,” as the Journal Sentinel noted.
But as so often is the case, McBride is the worst offender.
McBride nips at Barrett’s ankles over his comments that he wants to sit down with the ownership of Badger Outdoors – which last year led all gun shops in the nation for guns linked to crimes – and “sit down and roll up our sleeves and see that the guns they sell don’t end up being used in crimes.”
The J-S story says:
In 1998, Badger had the most crime guns traced to it among all gun dealers in the United States and then fell from the top spot, only to regain it last year. Badger has been criticized for selling cheap handguns, which were bought by “straw buyers” with clean records and then passed on to gang members. In a 1999 sweep, the majority of straw buyers bought the guns legally at Badger.
McBride – who moans that the city is “too weak-kneed to stop gang members from loitering on street corners” (something her hero Jack Bauer certainly wouldn’t tolerate) – goes off.
What behavior by Badger Guns and Ammo is he trying to correct? They are FOLLOWING THE LAW. It’s not the fault of the gun dealer that people legally purchase firearms and then pass them to people who can’t legally possess them, such as felons, who commit crimes.
Last year 537 crime guns were traced back to Badger, which apparently was doing all it could to ensure the cheap handguns it sells didn’t fall into the wrong hands. Just think how many they could have sold if they hadn’t followed the law!
Really, what’s with all this piling on? It’s as if they revel in their crime gun status.
As it turns out, they hadve!
In 1999, the year after they received their first No. 1 crime gun ranking, Badger put up a sign declaring it was “Voted number one by the Milwaukee Journal” (which broke the story about its status).
In a Journal-Sentinel story at the time (11.30.99), the civic minded owners said they thought the sign was funny and helped business.
“We’ve been pounded so much it was time to make a joke of it. We didn’t mean to offend anyone. It was meant in a jovial way,” [said co-owner Mick Beatovic.]
The story quoted Michael McCann and then-Milwaukee Police Chief Arthur Jones, neither of whom thought the sign was funny.
It’s not clear why the Journal Sentinel didn’t mention this anecdote in the story. It adds a little color to the gun shop that’s kept selling cheap handguns for years after it was obvious they wind up in the
hands of criminals.
And it's not clear why law and order Jessica McBride, who has no problem with aggressive police action, is troubled by the city pressuring a gun dealer that has reveled in how many of its guns have wound up at crime scenes (including a case in 1999 where a weapon bought at the shop was used by a criminal who shot at a cop).
After all, she knows all about the sign. She wrote the original story.