Gun Salesman Turned Gun Control Activist Misleads Readers In New Book

Gun Salesman Turned Gun Control Activist Misleads Readers In New Book
(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

Ryan Busse used to sell guns for Kimber. In fact, according to Busse, he kept selling guns for Kimber long after he’d embraced the idea of more gun control laws. Way back in 1999, after the Columbine shooting, Busse says his wife implanted the thought in his head, and it grew ever larger until Busse finally walked away from Kimber last summer… right about the time he joined the Biden campaign as an advisor. I’m not sure Busse even had to miss a paycheck he timed his exit so well.

Busse’s move from the firearms industry to the gun control lobby has kept him fully employed; first with the Biden campaign and then as a senior advisor to Giffords (his current role). He also found the time to write a book called Gunfight (what I wouldn’t give for his creativity!) about his long and plodding path towards “commonsense gun reforms.” I haven’t read the whole thing, and won’t if I have to pay to do so, but the Montana Free Press recently published an excerpt, and it’s clear that Busse’s already learned a lot from his duplicitous new friends in the gun control movement.

Unfortunately, I can’t excerpt the book here myself, but I’ll give you the SparkNotes version, or at least the part that really stood out to me (other than Busse, a former top executive at Kimber who should have been rolling in cash according to the gun control lobby, snarking about the “tailored suits” of NRA executives).

Busse’s writing about the political fight over gun control after the Sandy Hook murders, which eventually took the form of a bill to expand background checks; a bill that Busse says he vocally supported within the industry, but was ultimately opposed by the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Busse describes himself stumping for the bill among “other executives”, and claims that many of them were in agreement. As Busse puts it, “Of course, they all knew how bad it looked to allow mentally deranged people like Adam Lanza to legally buy guns without a check...”

Now, my guess is that more than 90% of Busse’s readers will read that sentence without pause. They may even nod their head in agreement. But they won’t pick up on Busse’s mileading and deceptive writing here.

The man responsible for killing 26 people, including 20 children, didn’t buy the guns that he used in his mass murder. He stole the guns from his mother after murdering her too. A background check bill, even one that went much further than Manchin-Toomey (which, Busse neglects to mention, was never going to be enough to satisfy the gun control lobby) would have had zero impact on this horrific crime.

Note that Busse doesn’t say that the man responsible for the Sandy Hook murders legally bought a gun without a background check. That would be an outright lie. Instead, he ignores how that individual acquired his guns in order to insinuate that, if only we had universal background check laws, these murders wouldn’t have happened. It’s intentionally misleading, it’s emotionally manipulative, and it’s straight out of the gun control lobby’s playbook.

As I said, I have no plans on buying Busse’s book, and based on its current Amazon sales ranking somewhere in the range of 120,000th place (on the Kindle Store, anyway), it would appear that the vast majority of my fellow Americans will be joining me in not going to the bookstore or downloading his tale on our e-readers. I’m actually surprised that Giffords didn’t buy several thousand copies in bulk to give away to donors and help goose the sales numbers. Maybe if Busse had signed on with Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety instead of Giffords his billionaire boss would have coughed up enough cash for him to astroturf his way onto the New York Times bestseller list.

Ironically, it appears that Busse was much better at selling guns than he is at selling gun control. I suppose he can take comfort in the fact that Giffords seems to be good at keeping employees around even when they’ve flamed out in the most spectacular fashion. Poor book sales and mass uninterest on the part of the public may scuttle Busse’s literary career, but as long as he’s still useful to the gun control lobby as the “gun industry insider turned gun safety activist” he’ll be able to keep collecting a check.