Horne to Bloomberg: Stay Out Of Arizona

Arizona’s Attorney General, Tom Horne, has lashed out at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the undercover investigation that Bloomberg conducted recently at a Phoenix gun show.

Two Gun Sellers Violating Federal Law

As I wrote here two days ago, undercover detectives found at least two gun sellers who were apparently violating federal law.

As Attorney General for Arizona, Tom Horne might be expected to investigate such criminal activity, especially in light of the recent Tucson shootings.

Nothing More Than A Public Relations Stunt

Instead, here’s how Horne responded. From The New York Times:

Mr. Horne criticized Mr. Bloomberg for not notifying the Arizona State Police in advance of the investigation. “The fact that no such notification was made indicates this so-called sting is nothing less than a public relations stunt,” Mr. Horne said in a statement.

He said that the mayor ought to focus on what he called New York City’s “skyrocketing crime rate.”

“According to the most recent F.B.I. statistics, violent crime in New York City increased significantly in 2010 compared to data from 2009,” he said. “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.”

Aides to the mayor said that private detectives who were former law enforcement officers carried out the video investigations, not current police officers. Jason Post, a Bloomberg aide, also disputed the crime figures issued by Mr. Horne. He said that New York is the safest big city in the nation, safer than Phoenix, according to the per capita rate of major felonies tracked by the F.B.I.

Push To Toughen Federal Gun Laws

Well, yes, Mr. Horne, that was definitely intended as an exercise in public relations. Mayor Bloomberg is a leader in the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign, and has in fact authorized several such stings in other states, as part of the push to toughen federal gun laws.

A quick reminder: as state superintendent of schools, Tom Horne was responsible, among other divisive actions, for the banning of ethnic studies in Arizona’s classrooms. So his defensive response to Mayor Bloomberg’s investigation is not entirely surprising.

Undercover Stings Require Prior Notification?

And yet, when does any undercover sting require prior notification? If he knew about it, would Horne have warned the gun dealers not to break the law that day? Isn’t it the attorney general’s job to make sure people don’t break the law? Was Horne simply embarrassed by these findings?

Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg for standing up to the gun lobbyists and trying to prevent gun violence and deaths. The next step should be to fight for saner, more sensible gun laws and regulations.

What do you think of Tom Horne’s response?

Photo credit: mrbill via Creative Commons


Robby C.
Past Member 6 years ago

"Gary S. I think all people who want guns are rather pathetic & most people shot on their property in the USA are shot with their own guns!!"

- That's BS! And only a bunch of whiny, anti-gun-nut, pansies could come up w/that kind of s#!t. Do you have any idea how many bad situations are diverted (where someone would have been violently assaulted at best) by the mere site of a handgun, yet w/out any bullets being fired? Do you know how many of those are reported?

"There are less people shot in the whole of the UK in a year than in many large cities in the USA in a day the tighter gun control is the better"

- Couldn't care less. I've personally seen situations where guns saved lives! I've also known girls who've been raped & I've seen the trauma it causes. I've even known ex-cons who've told me what their view of the world was (at one time) & I know some of the horrible things they do. Sometimes, guns are our only salvation. Real Americans don't victimize the weak or the old, they stand up & defend them, or ensure that they can defend themselves. Maybe that's the dif b/t the UK & USA...?

I'm sorry you're scared of guns & that you're willing to buy into the BS propoganda Bloomberg & others are spreading. I like target shooting & many other intelligent people do too & we are far from pathetic. Being judgemental is pathetic! I like knowing that I can defend myself against multiple intruders who may try to hurt me or mine.

neil a.
Neil A6 years ago

Gary S. I think all people who want guns are rather pathetic & most people shot on their property in the USA are shot with their own guns!! There are less people shot in the whole of the UK in a year than in many large cities in the USA in a day, this probably goes for most of Europe where people do not have guns, the tighter gun control is the better, even the firearms officers in the UK should be more restricted to prevent them shooting(murdering) innocent Brazilian students.

Sharon Beth L.
Sharon Beth Long6 years ago

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Edward M.
Edward M6 years ago

I always thought, because you Americans have always stated it, that the United States was a free Country, to come and go between States as and when you liked.
Perhaps not.

Adam T.
Adam L6 years ago

Bloomberg should mind his own business and worry about his own backyard. It was less a publicity stunt, and more of a political move to further the anti gun agenda.

Gary S.
Gary S6 years ago

Steven Brewer "You beat a dead horse to death" ???? Really? I wish I was "beating a dead horse" but the Brady Bunch types won't go away. Many people on this blog who would ignorantly go along with taking away all guns in the same vain as all the other feel good laws that are pushed to placate the undereducated masses. Just because it has not happened yet don't say it can't. It could happen pretty much overnight. Remember prohibition? Several groups are trying to ban all guns via any method they can think of. Back door attacks by using "regulations" and 'bullet taxes" are just a way in.
Check on England's ban on ALL weapons. From what I have read you are not allowed to carry anything to defend yourself at all, ever. Seems ridiculous right. But, it is their law. Jabbing your attacker with a pencil or knitting needle can get the victim convicted of the use of a weapon.
If there is someone from England on the blog who can corroborate this, please do so.
I just believe I have the right to defend myself, my family and any other honest citizen in jeopardy. As an person of limited physical ability I need something to even my chance of survival from an attacker.
I have been a victim of crime myself. A man forced his way into my vehicle to rob me.
I do not need some rich, gun protected, politician telling me I have to be a victim again with no possibility to protect myself.
Let's use the laws in place and focus on the guy who sold illegally not a state which is following the

ruth a.
ruth a6 years ago

If you can't do your job properly, you can't get upset when someone else steps in.

Ronald N.
Ronald N6 years ago

As far as I am concerned Arizona has it's own history of the "wild, wild west". New York is the center of world society and competes with Paris, Rome, London and Tokyo, as major cities of the world in culture and civilization. Arizona is part of a different world, culture and different sensibilties. I care not to debate the issues so much of guns, but there's a lot going on in Arizona that's making waves. I personally don't like the attitudes of the extremism that reflect the direction of their state regarding much of what they do. They can have their guns and flaunt them, as well as many of their abberant laws. If the people of Arizona realize their ways may not work, then they can join the civilized world and change them. But you can hardly make people do what they don't want to do! It's their world, not mine or anybody else who lives outside of Arizona.

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS6 years ago

Even the least knowledge of human psychology indicates that the only reason a state's Attorney General would be so upset at someone else's (no matter how famous or not) discovery illegal activity would be because he didn't appreciate people finding out he himself was not doing his job properly.

Vince D.
Vince D6 years ago

Lee e,

Grow up! 99.99999 % of guns never harm anyone. Don’t tar the rest of us with your irrational fear. Your rudeness is uncalled for. Perhaps YOU are not mature enough to handle a gun, that’s your problem.


If that shooter had been “competent” and wanted to shoot more people, no one would have got near him. He could have fired 100 rounds with 10 shot clips if he bothered to practice. That guy was a nutcase and making guns illegal would not have stopped him from getting his name in the paper. McVeigh didn’t use a gun… Neither did the 9/11 terrorists. Where there is a will, there is a way.

If you want to stop violence, and yes that is the goal, go after the root causes. Our society has no good way to handle mentally ill people until it’s too late. We don’t offer our young folks any hope. Jobs are shipped overseas and people feel despondent. Fix the REAL problems! Guns are not the root cause, but just one tool that a nutcase can use to make their point.