Anatomy of an incestuous gun controller smear

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

A long time ago, I thought that the gun control movement was honest, well-intentioned but misguided. It took me a while to realize and accept the bitter truth:

Gun controllers lie, they lie a lot, they constantly repeat their lies, they continue lying when called out, and they will call you a liar when you point out their lies.


In a normal world, you can confront a lie with the truth and that’s it. Two plus two equals four, you can prove it to the world, and anyone who claims that two plus two equals five is exposed as a fraud. End of story.

Unfortunately, in our messy world, the media either unwittingly or willfully works hand-in-glove with gun controllers to spread their lies, use their jargon, use their deceptive statistics and false comparisons, which the gun controllers point back to as a source of authoritative truth.

We all like to make fun of the media and use the adjective “legacy” to imply that they’re past their prime, but in reality, they still wield a lot of power and can push lies long enough that debates are ended and decisions are made before the truth can emerge. The political mission is accomplished and they continue on to their next job. USA Today reports (archived link):

Police tied a decades-old gun shop in Indiana to hundreds of Chicago crimes. It’s shutting down.

CHICAGO — A northern Indiana gun shop police have called a key supplier of Chicago’s criminal firearms market announced this week it is closing its doors in what gun violence prevention advocates say is a win for public safety in a city that grapples with thousands of shootings a year.

Westforth Sports Inc. in Gary, Indiana, located 10 miles from the Illinois border, is liquidating its assets and has not finalized a timeline for closure, attorney Timothy Rudd said Friday. Store owner Earl Westforth, who has been in business for more than 50 years, is retiring, Rudd said.

“For years, Westforth was the No. 1 supplier of out-of-state crime guns recovered by Chicago police, fueling our city’s gun violence crisis,” Chicago city attorney Mary Richardson-Lowry said in a statement Friday, calling the store’s closing a “significant victory.”

The development comes after Chicago sued Westforth Sports in 2021, claiming the gun store “engaged in a pattern of illegal sales that has resulted in the flow of hundreds, if not thousands, of illegal firearms” into Chicago, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County.

Attorneys for the gun store moved to dismiss the case last year, arguing the city’s suit concerned dealings between the gun shop and Indiana residents. A Cook County judge dismissed the suit in May, finding Westforth’s contacts with Illinois were not sufficient for the court to exercise jurisdiction in the case.


The headline implies causality, intentionally or otherwise, while the body says a lawsuit was dismissed. Calling gun control groups “gun violence prevention advocates” is a red flag.

Rudd said he could not comment on why the store is not staying in business in the wake of Westforth’s retirement. He said the store’s closure is unrelated to the litigation.

“The truth is, Westforth Sports could continue to stay in business as long as it wants to, and Earl is choosing to go out on his own terms and his own time,” Rudd said.

The store owner is retiring and shutting down his business. Retirement-driven store closures happen all the time, not just in the firearms retail business but various small businesses.

Firearms purchased at Westforth Sports have been associated with homicides, assaults, domestic violence and more, according to Everytown. The advocacy group says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives inspected Westforth Sports at least six times between 2010 and 2021, and each inspection resulted in violations — many of which were repeats.

Six violations in eleven years. What were those violations? Misspelling a county name? Incorrect zip code? We aren’t given any details because the details might reveal the truth.

In court filings, attorneys for Westforth have argued the company sells firearms in Indiana to Indiana residents, in compliance with state and federal law.

It’s unreasonable to expect FFLs to divine who is or isn’t a straw purchaser. If they suspect something, they call the ATF and let them know. But if the FFLs themselves are deceived, they’re the victims. But that doesn’t deter gun controllers from smearing FFLs.


With a mainstream media article in hand, the gun controllers then went on to broadcast their smears on social media

The gun control movement has its share of astroturfed nonprofits funded mostly by the wealthy, as compared to the low-dollar grassroots funding that supports Second Amendment advocacy groups. Gun control nonprofits have an incestuous relationship and you can see that in the repetition of the smears by the VPC and Brady:

The silver lining is that Everytown’s tweet was tagged with a Twitter Community Note (but not the VPC or Brady repetitions). The anatomy of this smear shows the inexorable force we’re up against. It’s a David versus Goliath fight and I hope we’re all prepared for it.


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