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>Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 15:19:53 -0400
>From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: GUNS: Why here?
>Joe Dees wrote:
>> >Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 07:50:06 -0500
>> >To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> >From: Chuck Kuecker <email@example.com>
>> >At 09:57 PM 10/8/00 -0700, you wrote:
>> >> >
>> >Not to get the whole shouting match started again - but HCI has been known
>> >to present garbage numbers from time to time. Their avowed purpose is the
>> >removal of all privately held weapons, not "handgun control". I take all
>> >their figures with a large block of salt.
>> Which figures, particularly? I'd be more than happy to check them out and list the sources for you.
>Their rates of 'children killed every day by guns', where they claim 13
>children, which only works if you count anyone 25 or under to be a 'child'.
>Childhood ends at puberty (approx 12-13), at least with most people I know of. I
>am assuming that HCI is using a definition of 'child' tendered instead by the
Sorry to kill off this NRA myth, but HCI counts children as those under the age of 19, NOT all the way to 25. reference:
>They go on to insinuate that these are 'young children and infants'
>mostly, that 'our babies are being killed on the streets', which is countered by
>the fact that more infants and toddlers die in 5 gallon buckets than are killed
More infants and toddlers (under the age of 5), maybe. At that age, their heads are such a large percentage of their body weight that if they tip over in a five-gallon bucket, they tend to drown. However, the cynical how-to-lie-with-statistics semantic game playing by the NRA once again rears its propagandistic head. Are five and six year olds not children any more? We're supposed to read infants and toddlers and think children, but that is the smoke and mirrors bait and switch. Before the age of five, few babies can lift, aim and pull the trigger on most guns; when you get into the kids that can, and whose heads are no longer large enough, when compared to the rest of their bodies, to pin them into buckets, this piece of drowning propaganda gets blown away.
>> >At all the shows I have been to, the "unlicensed" dealers accounted for a
>> >small percentage of those present. They had small quantities of weapons, if
>> >any - most had accessories and parts, but not complete guns. Those who
>> >wanted to sell guns had to abide by all State of Illinois and federal laws.
>> >There are enough ATF agents provocateur and snitches out there to make life
>> >miserable for anyone cutting corners. Licensed dealers have too much
>> >invested to want to risk it all on a few bucks from illegal sales.
>> Actually, there are not nearly enough ATF'ers to cover the more than 4500 gun shows held every year. The statistics given are more substantial than anecdotal evidence from the preconception-bound.
>The stats given are weak and flawed, to say the least. They count more than
>actual gun shows, the count every firearms competition or other firearms
>sporting event open to the public. The fact is that it is unconstitutional for
>the federal government to interfere in private property transactions if both
>individuals reside in the same state. Federal gun laws covering gun sales are
>based on the interstate commerce clause, not the militia clause, and as such
>they cannot interfere in transactions within a state between private,
>unincorporated individuals who are both residents of that state.
But how many of the private citizen sales are between people from the same state? A lot of the so-called 'private dealers' follow gun show venues from state to state like a travelling amusement park, and many of their customers cross state lines to purchase. The only way to find out if the individuals in question are indeed from the same state as each other and the gun show venue is to perform the background check. BTW, even the Straight-Talk Express himself, Republican Senator John mcCain, has come out in favor of closing the gun show background check loopholes.
>> >All Illinois waiting periods are also strictly enforced. It's a quick ride
>> >to jail if you try to bypass them and get caught.
>> And does the same hold for, say, Florida and other states? Answer: it does NOT hold for Florida - I live here, have been to the shows, and know. The same for the number of 'private citizen' gun dealers with firearm-strewn tables. BTW, the Turner Diaries are a popular seller at such shows; I purchased a copy at one, from a 'private citizen' gun dealer, just to see what the fuss was about. It was indeed revolting.
>You can buy many books of various kinds with various content at gun shows. This
>shows that gun owners care more about freedom of speech than alleged liberals.
>According to the Supreme Court, if speech that offends is not protected, then
>there is no freedom of speech. By the same logic, if guns that offend people are
>not protected, is this not a violation of the right to keep and bear?
Next you'll be preaching the virtues of the right to keep and bear nukes, ricin, zyklon-b and anthrax bacilli. These things are not allowed to be privately owned (with few exceptions for some of them) for the same reason that free speech does not include the right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater; the danger such possession poses to the public at large, even from their panic should they find out it is being held in their midst. Fully automatic weapons, since 1934, fall into the same category (and I know you jumped through all kinds of paperwork hoops so that you could keep and bear a full auto of your very own). As to semiautomatic assault weapons, I'll quote you a few facts and figures on them from your archnemesis, HCI:
In 1994, a leading law enforcement executive characterized semi-automatic assault weapons as nothing more than “cop-killer guns,” and at that time assault weapons accounted for more than 17% of fatal shootings of police.)
Assault weapon bans work. In 1989, when President Bush stopped the import of certain assault rifles, the number of imported assault rifles traced to crime dropped by 45 percent in one year. After the 1994 ban, there were 18% fewer assault weapons traced to crime in the first eight months of 1995 than were traced in the same period in 1994, and the wholesale price of “grandfathered” assault rifles nearly tripled in the first post-ban year. Assault weapons are not just “ugly guns.” Semi-automatic hunting rifles are designed to be fired from the shoulder and depend on the accurate shooting of one bullet at a time. Semi-automatic assault weapons are designed to be spray-fired from the hip and are designed to maximize death and injury from a very rapid rate of fire. Assault weapons are designed with military features such as silencers, folding stocks, flash suppressors, barrel shrouds and bayonets which are ludicrously unsuited for civilian use.
>> >Illegal guns sales are rare at gun shows. They are much more likely to
>> >happen out of the trunk of a car in an alley somewhere in Chicago - with an
>> >off-duty Chicago narc selling. Cops here have been caught selling stuff
>> >right out of the evidence lockers.
>> Actually, it is not at all illegal for 'private citizen' gun dealers to sell their mass-purchased weapons at gun shows without benefit of background checks; that's part of the problem.
>Selling to a person you know is a felon IS a crime, as a matter of fact, and the
>rest of us have the right to be presumed innocent, thank you very much.
Burglary is a crime, but that doesn't mean that everyone should leave their doors unlocked because everyone is proactively presumed innocent. People both knowingly and unknowingly commit crimes. Closing the gun show background check loophole would make it harder for them to do so, and thus harder for kids, psychos and violent criminals to obtain the quick and easy means to commit long-range mass murder, while not interfering in the slightest with the rights of sane and law-abiding adults to purchase, keep and bear.
>> >Right off HCI's website that you posted:
>> >"In the deadliest school shooting in United States history, two 17-year-old
>> >boys in Littleton, Colorado, procured two shotguns, an assault rifle and a
>> >TEC-9 assault pistol and
>> >shot 26 students, killing 13 of them before turning the guns on themselves.
>> >Subsequent investigation by the ATF found that all four of the weapons had
>> >passed through the
>> >hands of unlicensed dealers at gun shows. The Columbine high school
>> >shooting is considered to be the "turning point" in mobilizing citizen
>> >action against the loopholes in
>> >current gun laws."
>> >This is just a typical distortion. The guns were not "procured" by the two
>> >17-year olds - they were bought by a "straw buyer". The TEC-9, I believe,
>> >was sold directly to the boys, and the seller is now in jail for the
>> >illegal sale. The fact that the guns "passed through the hands of
>> >unlicensed dealers" is irrelevant. Private citizens have a right to buy and
>> >sell legal items without being forced to do so through a dealer. Perhaps
>> >they SHOULD be required to call the instant check system with the buyer's
>> >name - but this would be worthless unless the feds actually start arresting
>> >anyone who fails the background check. A true failure means the buyer is
>> >prohibited from even ASKING to buy a weapon, and should see the inside of a
>> >federal jail cell.
>> Purchase-prohibited individuals should indeed be prosecuted for illegally attempting to obtain firearms, bnut as long as so-called 'private citizen' dealers are not required to do so when they frequent gun shows to peddle their wares (as you yourself pointed out), it ain't gonna happen with the deterring frequency that it should. The guns DID pass through 'private citizen' dealers at gun shows. You're right; such background checks SHOULD be required at gun shows, whether the seller is an official or unofficial gun dealer.
>Selling a privately owned gun does not make one an 'unlicensed dealer'. This
>term is as much of a misnomer as 'assault weapon'.
The definition of 'assault waepon', according to californial law, can also be found on:
High-volume selling of a lot of mass-purchased privately owned copies of the same few highly street-demanded models should not be consideered 'private citizen' commerce; it is indeed de facto dealership, and should be de jure, as well.
>> >It still stands that if Colorado allowed concealed carry inside their
>> >schools, and if the students had been trained in gun safety, that the
>> >tragedy could have been prevented or stopped before the perps finally shot
>> Yeah, let's arm ALL the teachers, and if a metal detector shows that they DON'T have weapons, they should be issued at the schoolhouse door - NOT. Let's keep the guns out of the hands of the kids, instead, through gun show background checks.
>That doesn't keep them out of kids' hands, Joe and you know that. In Boston
>they've found an interesting phenomenon with their rabid gun control laws: kids
>are sharing guns, hiding them in abandoned buildings or burying them in boxes,
>lending them out to others to use once, then re-hiding them, so that a handful
>of illegally obtained guns is responsible for a huge percentage of the shootings
>in Boston this year. They have also found that the incidence of kids
>manufacturing 'zip guns' is on the rise again.
You can never make it impossible for kids, psychos and violent criminals to illegally obtain firearms, but that is no reason not to make it harder for them to do so, if it does not interfere with the ability of sane and law-abiding adulyts to purchase, keep and bear.
>> >Interesting aside - a local (Colorado) reporter supposedly has information
>> >that someone called the local hospital on an official emergency line over
>> >an hour before the shooting started - warning them to be ready for "bomb
>> >and gunshot" victims. Government conspiracy, anyone?
>> Most likely it is an NRA disinformation urban legend, or it was the kids themselves hyping their impending spree - that is, unless you believed that government operatives showed them 52 Red Queens.
>Considering the prevalence of use of Ritalin among these school shooters, it is
>interesting. Also interesting is how the local police had repeatedly ignored
>warnings in the days, weeks, and months prior to the incident, which included
>the boys' own website that posted their 'enemies list' and what they were going
>to do to them. There must be something there, otherwise the wrongful death
>lawsuits against the local police would not be surviving in court...
I guess you're in favor of Carnivore, then, or perhaps prosecuting police for failing to harass kids practicing their free speech rights (just kidding). Something SHOULD have been done, once the website threats came to light, such as mandated counseling, or even juvenile detention, but hindsight is 20-20. The world learns fast; now there are profiles circulated among both teachers and students of what to look for as far as identifying potential (and preventable) postalkids, and a kid was sentenced to hard time here in Florida for telling a survivor of one such shooting that he was "gonna finish what the others started." Kids' cyberthreats, and other threats, are definitely getting attention now. As far as the avalanche of kids being prescribed Ritalin, it's just a pharmaceutical manufacturer push to sell their product; that sort of thing has happened mant times before, from Valium to Viagra to Prozac. I doubt if doctors and pharmacists believe that it is going to cause th!
e kids they give it to to shoot up the schools their OWN kids attend; more likely is that the reason a disproportionate number of the postalkids are prescribed Ritalin is because they indeed do have problems, which have been recognized, and an attempt at treatment is being made.
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