Arizona officials are pretty miffed that those city slickers in Mayor Bloomberg's administration hired private investigators to illegally purchase guns at a Phoenix gun show last week. Undercover video showed investigators at the Crossroads of the West gun show easily buying Glocks like the kind used by Jared Loughner in the Tuscon massacre—a loophole in federal gun laws allowed them to buy the guns without a background check, but two gun vendors illegally sold guns to "buyers" who confessed that they probably wouldn't pass a background check. The probe was a chilling reminder of how easy it is to get your hands on semi-automatic weapons, but Arizona officials think Bloomberg should just mind his own beeswax.
Arizona’s attorney general Tom Horne is hurt that Bloomberg's office didn't notify local police about the probe. And he took the opportunity to do a little trash-talking about NYC:
Local law enforcement and the Arizona Department of Public Safety were never notified that Mayor Bloomberg’s operation was being undertaken. That is standard professional courtesy and is also designed to protect the general public. Arizona law enforcement should have been made aware that people posing as criminal elements were in fact undercover officers. The fact that no such notification was made indicates this so-called sting is nothing less than a public relations stunt.
I would suggest that Mayor Bloomberg consider the skyrocketing crime rate in New York City before he asks any more of his city’s police to leave town on these p.r. missions. According to the most recent FBI statistics, violent crime in New York City increased significantly in 2010 compared to data from 2009. Robbery went up 3.9 percent, forcible rape rose 13.9 percent, aggravated assault increased 8.8 percent and murder rose 12.3 percent. Clearly, the good men and women of the New York City Police Department have more pressing crimes to investigate than alleged violations at a gun show 2,400 miles away.
Ooh, Bloomberg's going to remember that when he's President! In the meantime, an aide to the Mayor tells City Room that 90 percent of the guns recovered in crimes in New York City come from out of state, so Bloomberg has every reason to be concerned about easy gun purchases elsewhere. And maybe if Mr. Horne did his job, we wouldn't have to schlep all the way out to Arizona to make him look bad! Arizona Governor Jan Brewer also dismissed the investigation, telling reporters, "We believe our laws are fair and just in the state of Arizona."
And Bloomberg appeared on Rachel Maddow's show last night to talk about how he has, in her words, "shown some political leadership" on the issue—unlike a certain someone who might not win a second term if Bloomberg has anything to say about it: