Globe columnist Steve Bailey goes after “the loony gun lobby,” which has worked itself into a lather because a squishy gun deal he wrote about a few years ago — and talked about on the radio recently — turns out to have been charged to his Globe expense account. According to Bailey, authorities have now confiscated the gun. He writes:
This is how it works. 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. Democrats and Republicans have allowed themselves to be cowed by this one-issue bloc for too long.
Of course, in this case Bailey is referring to an NRA knock-off — the Second Amendment Foundation, whose leader, Alan Gottlieb, Bailey reports, has had some problems with the Tax Man that were serious enough to strip him of his own right to pack heat, at least temporarily.
More: I want to address the idiotic notion that Bailey was involved in an illegal “straw purchase,” which at least one Media Nation commenter has fallen for. What straw purchase? Bailey gave money to Walter Belair, a former prison guard, in order to buy a gun. Belair didn’t buy the gun for Bailey; he bought it for himself, and, indeed, kept it until it was confiscated by the feds.
The last I checked, you’re still allowed to give people money. Bailey had no responsibility for what Belair chose to do with the money unless he had advance knowledge that Belair was going to use it to break the law. In fact, Belair’s purchase was entirely legal — that was the point of Bailey’s 2005 column. It strikes me as a virtual certainty that the feds will soon be returning Belair’s property to him.