Anybody who knows anything about Michael Bloomberg knows he thinks he can tell you what to do with your life. He wants you to eat only the foods he approves of, and he wants you to stop smoking, even if your smoking does not affect anybody else. He also is on a crusade against the 2nd amendment, which clearly spells out a right to gun ownership, a right that is routinely violated in New York.
Now Mr. Nanny State is criticizing the Church because of its ownership of the for-profit company KSL. KSL has an on-line classified section. Think of Craig’s list or Ebay. Among the hundreds of items listed is a section of “Firearms and Hunting.” If you visit, there are several thousand guns listed for sale. There are many more items for recreational vehicles and furniture, so firearms is not central to KSL’s classifieds, but like a Wal-Mart and many other retail operations, they also sell firearms.
Bloomberg claims KSL is the third-largest source of on-line firearms sales. This is impossible to confirm, but let’s just assume it is true. My point is: so what?
It may be shocking to latte-sipping New Yorkers, but people in the West have guns. I know, hard to believe, right? And sometimes when you have a gun, or want a gun, you want to sell it or buy another one. You can go to a pawn shop, but the prices are high — that’s how pawn shops stay in business. Many other places will also buy and sell your used gun (I bought one from Wal-Mart in Colorado), but you can usually get a better price if you sell directly to somebody else.
Let’s be clear: KSL is simply providing an information service putting together willing buyers and sellers. It is just like this web site. Or this web site. If you search, there are dozens of large web sites where people can buy and sell guns.
It is always the refuge of the tyrant to blame the platform for people’s private actions. Being in the telecom business, I remember when people blamed the phone companies for 1-900 numbers. Sorry, telephones were just the platform. Today there are still people blaming the internet for porn or gambling. Sorry, porn and gambling existed long before the internet. KSL is just the platform for providing information for people to do things they would do otherwise, ie buy and sell guns.
Again, shocking information for New Yorkers, but guns make the world safer. I highly recommend that skeptics of this statement read John Lott’s book “More Guns, Less Crime.” He shows without a shadow of a doubt that states with more guns have lower crime rates. As he says: “Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.” The causation is clear: when gun control laws were instituted in the 1970s and 1980s, crime went up. As gun control has decreased, crime has plummeted.
I would not be surprised to see KSL back down and take out its “Firearms and Hunting” section. Many newspapers do not allow classifieds for guns because they are run by nanny state liberals who do not know the First or Second Amendments (among other reasons). Same thing with Craig’s List. That would be a shame. Guns will still be bought and sold. The KSL ban will do nothing to prevent that. Let the market work, I say.