The NY Times has this article entitled Gun Industry Ex-Official Describes Bond of Silence.
This is a big blow to attempts to slow down gun control. Not because it's true. Not because it reveals new & credible information. Simply because it's a catchy headline with a story underneath that can be fluffed up to no end.
This ex-official was fired after trying to broker a deal with Bill Clinton. Considering Mr. Clintons' anti gun leanings & the alledgedly moderate positions of Mr. Ricker I can see several legitimate circumstances that may have called for his dismissal.
Mr. Ricker is actually providing no new factual information. His value is that he is attempting to place blame on the manufacturers. He seems credible because of his resume as an industry insider.
But consider this: he was privy to the information he claims to have that incriminates the major manufacturers for some time, but he only speaks up when asked to by a lawyer for an anti gun organization on behalf of cities who have multi-million dollar lawsuits pending & legislation to stop these kinds of lawsuits is being discussed in congress. So why would you believe someone who tells you the gun industry is covering up information that implicates them in criminal wrongdoing when if that proves to be factual that person is as guilty as the rest. If he's telling the truth, then he's admitting to covering this information up for a number of years & has no credibility.
I would assume though that he is lying for political or monetary gain. Actually most of what he said is more akin to an opinion than fact. Some of the statements he made, concerning straw purchases & the BATF being underpowered are misrepresentations.
In fact, there are about 1/3 the licensed gun dealers there were 10 years ago, thanks to Mr. Clinton & a cooperative congress. the BATF's budget has not, to my knowledge decreased in those ten years. In fact I would assume it has grown every year since about 1990. So why wouldn't the BATF have enough manpower to administer 33% of the dealers it was administering 13 years ago?
& the only way for a dealer to catch someone making a straw purchase is to read their mind. Ocassionally someone will act extremely nervous or admit they're buying the gun for someone else. Barring that however there is simply no way to tell that a person is buying guns for another. Want an example? Ask someone who can legally purchase a firearm to purchase a firearm for you. Explain to them it's a violation of law, but there's no way to catch them if they don't admit it. If they have any compsure, they go to the store, fill out the paperwork, lay down their cash, & when the background check clears they walk out of the store, drive to your house & give you the gun. There is simply no way the dealers can be faulted for someone making a straw purchase under most circumstances. To say they are aware of this is something very difficult to prove.
But he is right - left on their own most manufacturers would negotiate a settlement: they simply do not have the resources to fight a legal battle with a city which has unlimited resources. Most people who don't have lawyers will accept a plea bargain. Most soldiers who are seperated from their unit will surrender when surrounded by a platoon of enemy troops. That does not mean any of the above want to work out deals or give up, it means they have to work out deals or give up in order to survive.
& I have been a critic of the NRA's for sometime. I think they compromise too easily with our rights for the sake of their political esteem. I often joke that they're almost as anti-gun as the VPC. So from where I sit, the only way the NRA could be viewed as being run by "right wing wackos' is if you are sitting far to the left of Barbara Boxer. Actually most would call them center right, but I see them as much closer to being on the right side of left.
Regardless of the particulars, this I'm afraid has done serious damage to the gun industry as well as the movement for the right to self defense. It's put us back on the defensive & the media is going to be all over this one for as long as they can.
I would like to see the affidavit for myself, but I'm afraid the truth would not make as good a headline as the lies that the media prefers to cover.