Steve Bailey of the Boston Globe Responds
There is an epidemic of handgun violence in Boston’s poorest neighborhoods, and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating me?
Well, you implied you broke the law. Then went public with it. Why wouldn’t they?
Consider this my confession. I plead guilty to offending the loony gun lobby.
Really? That’s the best you can do? I mean, you implied you broke the law and then failed to mention the involvement of anti-gun group’s president in your, uh, journalistic (term used loosely) practice. And somehow that’s the fault of that evil gun lobby?
Twenty months ago, a lifetime in columnist time, I wrote in this space about going to a gun show in New Hampshire. The idea was to see how easy it would be to buy a handgun just across the border from Massachusetts, which has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The answer: not very hard at all.
But you had to break the law to do it, right? That’s rather our point: criminals don’t obey the law.
I went with John Rosenthal, the Boston gun-control advocate the gun lobby loves to hate, a cop named Andrew Heggie, and a former prison guard, Walter Belair. I also took my kids, who got in free. The cereal makers may be cutting back on marketing to kids, but the gun industry knows it is never to early to target the next generation.
And would it have been so difficult to disclose that involvement 20 months ago? And there goes that evil gun industry, what with trying to sell their products and all.
Belair could have bought 100 guns in tax-free, no-limit New Hampshire that day, and I could have put them in my trunk and driven (illegally) home. That was exactly the point I was making. That is not what I did. Belair took the gun with him; I’m afraid of guns.
Were you lying then or are you lying now?
Coincidence or not, you decide, two ATF agents and a Manchester, N.H., cop visited Belair at his work the same day. They had a search warrant and a tape of the radio interview. They wanted to know about the gun, Rosenthal, and me. Belair told them the gun was at home; they went there later in the day, and confiscated it. They did give him a receipt.
The ATF investigating a possible gun crime? Shocking!!! I mean, we loony gun types often say that we should enforce existing law.
And, lastly, more on that evil, evil gun lobby (which seems to be what he devotes most of his paragraphs too) in all Bailey’s pant-shitting hysterical glory:
This is how it works. Intimidation is the stock in trade of the National Rifle Association and all the NRA knock-offs out there.
To date, the NRA has not been involved in this case. That I know of. Another little stretch of the truth there Steve?
Anyway, you keep referencing gun types as loony and such. But, you know, at least they’ve not been caught lying about alleged gun crimes.
Update: BTW, the article seems to be engaging in some major ass-covering. After all, we now know that Steve did not take possession of the gun (he’s an admitted hoplophobe, after all) and the guard retained the weapon (assuming we can believe Steve, which is hard to do. But he does claim the ATF took the weapon from the guard). However, if the dealer knowingly sold the weapon aware of the fact that the buyer was buying for someone else, then that is a violation of the law. Of course, we have to again rely on Steve’s word, which is hard to do. So, to conclude: Steve likely did not break the law. He just implied that he did. Journalistic integrity, indeed.
Update 2: Amen:
Donít get me wrong, I donít think you should go to jail, because I donít think what you did ought to be against the law. But instead of insulting us, maybe you can wake up and smell the coffee, and admit that perhaps we have a point in our opposition to these laws?
Still more because it’s fun: Reporter Michael Silence on us loony gun sorts:
Geez, talk about stereotyping. And here all these years of practicing journalism I thought we tried to avoid that.
And in comments Sam reports another whopper by Steve:
BTW, Bailey is lying at some point in this episode. On his previous appearance on WRKO, he admitted he had made a straw purchase and when asked about the location of the gun, he mumbled something about a desk drawer somewhere. Now he says that he had never taken possession of the gun. Who knows which is the truth?
Some prison guard does. And if pressured with going to Club Fed, he’ll talk.
Still more: That’s why they call them stories.
More from Bruce.