Bonneville's KSL.com in Salt Lake City - the same fine, moral, LDS-owned folks who yanked Sean Hannity because he didn't meet the upstanding corporate code of the company (which also owns Seattle's KIRO-FM and KTTH) - is in trouble for, well, not being very moral. At least, not according to the New York Daily News.
The Mormon Church in Salt Lake City owns one of the most active and unregulated gun sale portals on the web, according to a new report.
An undercover investigation released in December by Mayor Bloomberg's office named KSL.com the third most active gun listings site on the Internet.
The online hub came under scrutiny Monday when the news website Buzzfeed revealed Deseret Media Companies, the for-profit arm of the Mormon Church, operates it.
The mayor's report said the site where 1,327 handguns and 1,003 rifles were listed for sale Monday allows buyers and sellers to complete a gun sale without identifying themselves.
What's the problem with this? Well, legally speaking, nothing: Internet gun sales, along with gun shows, are one of the many NRA-inspired loopholes through which drug dealers, felons, mental cases, and other ne'er-do-wells who couldn't pass a background check can get still their firearms - whether cheap handguns or semi-automatics - without needing to bother with one.
If a law enforcement agency wanted to try starting to trace the firearms sold through KSL.com, undoubtedly they'd find that some of those guns were bought by people not legally permitted to have them. Agents from Bloomberg's office showed how easy it would be: "Undercover agents performed integrity checks on [KSL.com], trying to buy guns while declaring openly that they could not pass a legit background check."
In eight of 12 attempts, the seller happily sold the gun to the shady buyer.
Of course, there are plenty of companies out there that make perfectly legal money doing morally dubious things. Most of the Fortune 500, for example. But Bonneville - the parent company of Deseret Media - has a couple of very particular questions to answer about this debacle:
1) What the hell is a TV/radio web site (the Bonneville equivalent in Seattle is mynorthwest.com) doing operating one of the nation's biggest, and apparently shadiest, online gun bazaars? (Though to be sure, if advertising guns directly on air were legal, the potential for personal testimonials by the air talent is nearly unlimited.)
2) What the hell happened to Deseret Media Company's mission- the one that got Hannity dumped - to "be trusted voices of light and knowledge reaching hundreds of millions of people worldwide"? Which of its corresponding "values" are being upheld by selling truckloads of guns to thugs?
Is it the part about promoting "integrity, civility, morality, and respect for all people"?
Or maybe it's seeking "to instill light and knowledge (or at least a muzzle flash, and powder burns) in my work"?
Ah! Found it! It's covered in Deseret's statement under "Improve Lives," the bit about "to lift, inspire, and help others find enduring happiness." Happiness, after all, is a warm gun.
Whoops. My bad. The real Bonneville value reflected by running guns - and, for that matter, broadcasting Glenn Beck and Dori Monson - is right at the top of its values statements: "I honor principles espoused by our owner in the products and services I provide."
Principles like, for example, "anything for a warm buck."