Daily Caller "reporter" Matthew Boyle's emerging second career as a gun lobby lackey is clearly on the fast track, judging from his recent coverage of Attorney General Eric Holder's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. Having used his platform to amplify seemingly every Republican line of questioning asked to Holder about the failed ATF operation Fast and Furious, Boyle found time on NRA Radio to attack Rep. Hank Johnson's (D-GA) questioning at the hearing.
Not surprisingly given his embarrassing disregard for the facts, Boyle completely ignored the well-established factual basis of Rep. Johnson's questioning and even went so far as to smear Rep. Johnson with the false suggestion that he "played the race card".
Before asking about the gun lobby's role in blocking a permanent director of the ATF, Rep. Johnson asked Holder about the 'gun show loophole' and how many guns from gun shows had fallen into the hands of dangerous people (from Nexis):
JOHNSON: It's about 2,000 [guns trafficked through Fast and Furious]? Now, how many firearms are sold to Al Qaida terrorists, to other convicted felons, to domestic violence perpetrators, to convicted felons, to white supremacists?
Do you think the NRA and other Second Amendment rights radicals have -- have confidence that the U.S. will not have a competent ATF head if the Senate continues to deny a leader for that organization, thus rendering it rudderless? Is that -- is politics causing that, do you think?
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) later seized on the Johnson's use of the term "radicals" to suggest he was attacking the NRA's entire membership. Boyle dutifully wrote up an article uncritically echoing Issa's complaints. Speaking during the latest of what appear to be daily appearances with NRA News, Boyle bizarrely threw out the suggestion that Johnson's comments represented playing the "race card":
BOYLE: And by the way Hank Johnson also played the race card in that little rant he had.
NRA Radio Host GINNIE SIMONE: Yup.
BOYLE: He said that it's white supremacists that are pushing this stuff and gun show laws and all sorts-- and not much of it made sense.
This is utterly ridiculous. Simply mentioning the existence of white supremacists isn't playing "the race card" and there isn't any other reference to race in Johnson's comments during the hearing or in the interview The Daily Caller conducted with Johnson featured in Boyle's article.
Boyle's assertion that Johnson doesn't make sense shows how little Boyle knows about gun trafficking outside of Fast and Furious. Asking how many prohibited buyers or those seeking to quietly acquire guns for prohibited people are able to get guns at gun shows is a perfectly logical question given that gun shows are the location of many private sells that require no background checks under federal law. Both Al Qaida supporters and white supremacists have well-established connections to gun shows.
Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh used gun shows to sell copies of the race war fantasy novel The Turner Diaries. Media Matters has reported on the Neo-Nazi presence at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Festival and last month Media Matters reported on white supremacists stocking up at guns shows in Montana. Cases of both white supremacists and Al Qaida terrorists seeking weapons at guns shows have been documented. Earlier this year an Al Qaida spokesman encouraged would be terrorists to exploit the 'gun show loophole' to arm themselves for terrorist attacks. The presence of white supremacist paraphernalia at gun shows is also well known.
As Johnson suggested gun trafficking related to gun shows is very large scale problem. An ATF report found that gun shows were a "major trafficking channel" and that during the 18 month period examined nearly 23,000 illegally diverted firearms were associated with gun show investigations involving unlicensed dealers.