Paul Helmke said, on February 13, 2007:
"The response by the Bush Administration's Justice Department to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking come across as an effort to silence the messenger rather than respond to the problem of a rise in violent crime,"
I am noticing a constant trend: there is at least one factual misrepresentation in each of the Brady Campaign's Statements. Mr. Helmke apparently isn't aware that violent crime has been on a downward trend since 1991, and is now at a 30-year-low.
Moreover, Helmke is supporting the recent efforts of Mayor Bloomberg. Bloomberg has gained notoriety for his recent publicity stunts aimed at forcing New-York-style gun control beyond his jurisdiction. Bloomberg seems to be unfamiliar with the concept of federalism, confusing his position with one in which he can force his views on the constituents of rural Virginia. In an abuse of the legal system, he sent "investigators" to gun retailers in other states to conduct purchases of handguns. While these purchasers were legal on the part of the seller, they were the basis of blackmail lawsuits against 28 retailers. Unfortunately, several of these stores were forced to settle the lawsuits because they didn't have the budget to litigate against the multi-millionaire Mayor.
Because the transactions were legal on the part of the seller, U.S. Justice Department's Michael A. Battle recently announced that no criminal charges would be brought against any of the 28 gun retailers. This is the "silence the messenger" action Helmke is referring to. Sorry Helmke, people in America generally aren't charged with crimes unless there is some reason to believe they have committed a crime.
Bloomberg's efforts are understandable at least, he is seeking a scapegoat for his failed policies. Criminals in New York have easy access to guns because criminals do not obey gun control laws, not because of retail gun dealers in other states. All Bloomberg has done by enacting policies that discourage gun ownership in New York is aided criminals by insuring their victims are defenseless.