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The Sting Video You Haven’t Seen This Week

Posted in Editorials on February 7th, 2011

While I’m waiting patiently for a time when we can have a discussion about reproductive justice and human trafficking without Young Republicans dressed up like pimps, I want to call attention to another video sting operation going on in the United States. Since 2009, the city of New York under Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been collecting evidence that people can buy guns illegally at gun shows around the United States. I learned about this project on The Rachel Maddow Show.

I had known that the mayor was working with other city and state governments on reducing the amount of illegal guns brought into NYC but I did not know that sting videos were being made.

I think that this project is a good idea and it’s different and from what Lila Rose and Live Action Films are doing for several reasons.

First, Mayor Bloomberg has solid evidence that these illegal guns kill people in New York City every year. Live Action Films has no such evidence that Planned Parenthood has ever aided or abetted sex traffickers. The issue of trafficking is being used to stir up outrage for the purpose of making abortion illegal and impossible to do safely.

Secondly, saying “I probably/don’t think I couldn’t pass a background check.” is deliberately vague enough that the sellers are breaking the law in not asking for a background check and yet this is not the same lying that went on in the Planned Parenthood sting videos. These actors are not saying “I am an ex-convict” for example, they are stating an opinion about their own ability to meet a standard.

Finally, Mayor Bloomberg has not named the dealers who sold the illegal guns to the public. Yes, their images and voices have been made public but there is no demonizing of them personally they are not called “murderers” or “gun runners” or “merchants of death” which they quite easily could be. They are simply part of a larger systemic problem of ignored gun laws in the Unites States. Bloomberg’s plan is to work within his network of mayors and governors to try and convince the Federal government enforce the law. Lila Rose’s goal is not for mandated reporting laws to be enforced – which in the firing of an employee, and reports to the police, FBI and US Attorney General they were. She has stated she wants to “bring down Planned Parenthood” and has no intentions to help trafficked women and children. Rose and her ilk want personal ruin for Planned Parenthood employees, and has proposed no alternative for the people who get contraceptives, care and testing for STIs and prenatal care from Planned Parenthood clinics.

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