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>Date: Sun, 08 Oct 2000 21:03:21 -0700
>From: Samantha Atkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: GUNS: Why here?
>Joe Dees wrote:
>> We were specifically addressing guns, not straw herring substitutes. I would strengthen the law's already present denial of legal purchase of firearms to kids, criminals and psychos by closing the gun show loophole (mandating background checks for all purchases at gun shows) and by closing the fake collector loophole, where a so-called 'private collector' buys a hundred of the same street-popular model each week.
>A couple of problems with the above. First, the government gets to
>define who the "criminals" and "psychos" are. Defining people as having
>"mental problems" has been a favorite way of silencing here and in other
Actually, umm, no. The type of mental problem that would prevent someone from owning a weapon, and which in fact does, according to current US law, is not neurosis, but psychosis, wherein a panel of degreed psychotherapists agree that someone is of such diminished or deranged capacity that they constitute a danger to themselves and/or others. I know about this (in Florida, it's called the Baker Act law) because my ex-wife is a counseling psychologist. John Hinckley and Mark David Chapman are two good examples of the sort of people covered by such laws. If background checks had been in place when Hinckley bought his gun (at a pawn shop) with a fake ID, he likely would have been detected and refused, and perhaps subsequently prosecuted.
> A cursory glance at our drug laws and some of the
>utterly irrational "felonies" on the book will give some idea of how
>objective and reasonable the category "criminal" is.
I am quite amenable to having the category of criminal amended to specifically state 'violent criminal'.
>Another problem is
>that the true violent criminal has no trouble at all finding and
>purchasing much more firepower that we law-abiding folks can legally
>purchase. They simply go to black market sources.
Two of the reasons for this are the gun show background check loophole and the massive purchase by 'private collector' loophole, which are the two main ways in which firearms get diverted into the black market. Nothing would make illegal purchases impossible, but I think that they should be made as hard as possible, while not interfering with the rights of sane and law-abiding adults to purchase, keep and bear. Reducing the quantity of firearms flowing into the black market will make them scarcer and more expensive, and reduce the number of black market profiteers, so they, too, become scarcer and harder to find, for they could no longer regularly buy street-desired firearms in quantity in order to resell them on the black market, and thus they could not make the kind of living doing it which they presently can.
>Lastly, I don't know
>of any private collectors who engage in the behavior described.
25-50 percent of the vendors at most gun shows are unlicensed dealers.
Felons buying or selling firearms were involved in more than 46 percent of the ATF investigations involving gun shows. In
more than a third of the investigations, the firearms were known to have been involved in subsequent crimes, including assault,
robbery, burglary and homicide.
More than a third of the ATF investigations involved sales of more than 50 firearms, and nearly a tenth of the investigations
involved more than 250. The two largest investigations were reported to have involved up to 7,000 and 10,000 firearms,
While the NRA likes to argue that the “bad guys” only get their guns on the streets in the criminal market, the Brady Law has proven
that criminals do try to buy handguns in gun stores. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, since the Brady Law went into
effect, background checks nationwide have stopped approximately 400,000 felons and other prohibited purchasers from buying
handguns over-the-counter from federally licensed firearm dealers. What does this mean? Thousands of murders, spousal abusers,
gun traffickers and fugitives from justice have been denied purchase of handguns and apprehended because of the background
check required by the Brady Law.
If you are interested in more, it might behoove you to go to:
And read the issue briefs contained there.
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