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I’m sticking with the bullying and the lying

Mostly the lying. But it seems that the Second Amendment Foundation is sticking to its guns about alleged journalist Steve Bailey (prior coverage here and here) breaking the law:

Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey is having a hissy fit about finding himself in the same uncomfortable position he has wished upon so many law-abiding American gun owners; he’s being investigated for violating a federal gun law, when he believes he did nothing wrong.

He thinks it is no big deal that some 20 months ago he accompanied John Rosenthal, head of Stop Handgun Violence in Massachusetts, and two other men, to a New Hampshire gun show, where he admits giving money to one of his companions to buy a handgun. He acknowledged that he asked a gun dealer at the show whether he could personally purchase the gun, and was turned down cold because he lives in Massachusetts.

Bailey handed $240 to a man identified as Walter Belair, a New Hampshire resident, after the dealer allegedly stated it would be legal for Belair to purchase the gun. Bailey then expensed the purchase price to the Globe and wrote about it in November 2005, omitting these important facts. Bailey and Rosenthal made a big deal of this escapade during a July 10 chat on WRKO-AM with talk host Tom Finneran, both contending the dealer knew it was a straw sale.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), which I founded more than 30 years ago, and others called for an investigation because what Bailey described was arguably a straw purchase, and that’s a felony. Bailey is miffed because on the day we asked for the investigation, and his dismissal from the Globe for this ethical breach, agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and a Manchester police officer tracked down Belair at work, showed him a search warrant and subsequently confiscated the gun.

Bailey complained that “intimidation is the stock in trade of the National Rifle Association and all the NRA knock-offs out there. Dare to say we need fewer, not more guns in this country, dare to say we need a uniform system for monitoring gun sales in this country and you become a target to be hunted down…Count me as a proud member of the gun lobby’s hit list.”

Portraying himself as a martyr for gun control extremism does not trump the fact that Bailey is being investigated for violating a federal gun law. His on-air braggadocio brought that down, and being disingenuous about it is flimsy. The “gun lobby” doesn’t dispatch federal agents to investigate people. The audio of his broadcast provided ATF with probable cause, and SAF doesn’t issue search warrants, judges do.

This is the kind of treatment to which he and Rosenthal think other Americans – those who own firearms and buy or sell them at gun shows – ought to be subjected, but not them. Bailey somehow thinks that just because he’s an anti-gun columnist, he should be immune from the law. Welcome to the world of gun control that people like you created, Steve. Like it so far?

Poor Steve. He’s just a victim of the evil gun lobby. We’re out to get him, you see, what with our demanding the novel idea that existing law be enforced. See, I got up this morning, received my marching orders, and was told to go on the attack. It’s true. We have secret meetings and everything. And a handshake. Next week, we get our decoder rings. Oh, wait. I’ve just been informed I’m actually not a member of the NRA. So, forget all that.

Anyway, here’s the deal. I don’t think Steve really violated the law. Additionally, if he did, it would be very difficult to prove since he is not in possession of the gun. What I do care about is that he egregiously lied. But, as far as he’s concerned, he lied to fight the Righteous Fighttm so it’s OK. I do hope he gets a slap on the wrist but that is unlikely. It is, however, quite refreshing to know that he’s scared enough to start covering his ass. Welcome to the laws of us little people in fly over country. Hope you enjoyed your stay.

8 Responses to “I’m sticking with the bullying and the lying”

  1. robert Says:

    If all the adults in this story weren’t conspiring to break Federal Firearm Statutes………then it can’t be done.

    I say lock them all up. They will get their day in court.

  2. Unix-Jedi Says:

    I don’t think Steve really violated the law.

    I don’t know.

    I’ll wait for the ATF to finish investigating and interviewing the people in question, and let them figure it all out – all we know now is that he was either lying then, or lying now.

    Bailey handed $240 to a man

    That was $240 that was “his” money. More specifically, it was his money, via the Boston Globe, who might have certain issues with their money being used to buy guns for other people (presuming his latest whining is actually the truth under fire.)

    If his original story is true, then that would concievably open up the Globe to some investigation, no? Yeah, I think I might deny it and just get fired for expense report shenangians if it were me, too.

  3. KCSteve Says:

    showed him a search warrant and subsequently confiscated the gun.

    Sounds to me like he had the gun when BATFE came looking.

    Did they say what model it was? I’m guessing ‘petard’.

  4. BobG Says:

    What I find laughable is the implication that the NRA sent the BATF to harass him; does this idiot journalist even read newspapers? I’m starting to get the feeling that journalism is a career you go into when you aren’t bright enough or educated enough to do anything else.

  5. Unix-Jedi Says:


    Gell-Mann Amnesia at work.
    Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

    In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

    That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all.

    But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.

  6. Terry C - Wingers R Whiners Says:

    Gun nuts – what total eedjits.

  7. SayUncle Says:

    terry, your capacity for insightful discussion is dizzying.

  8. SayUncle » Desperation Says:

    […] as a contact John Rosenthal. You know that guy who may or may not have conspired to engage in a straw purchase with the Boston Globe’s alleged journalist Steve […]

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