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>Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 07:50:06 -0500
>From: Chuck Kuecker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: GUNS: Why here?
>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.
>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.
>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.
>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.
>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.
>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.
>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.
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