Newspapers Facilitate Gun Sales without Background Checks

September 5th, 2009 3:15 AM

Coming out of the Contra Costa Times is an article titled "Researchers: Gun shows selling weapons illegally". It begins

"From pocket-size assault weapons and sniper rifles that can kill a man a mile-and-a-half away to incendiary armor-piercing bullets, you can find what you're looking for at gun shows across the United States."

Aren't journalists the ones that accuse gun owners of "fear-mongering"? Here are the facts, the only true "pocket-size assault weapon" I've seen at a gun show is the Magpul FMG9 and it's not for sale to civilians. Then again, since journalists define "assault weapons" as any gun that looks frightening, they could be talking about anything. Also, the longest sniper kill ever made was 1.51 miles using a rifle I've never seen at a gun show and a ballistics calculator that no newspaper  journalist I've ever met would understand.

And Mexican drug cartels buy most of their guns in the United States, because it's easier than buying in Mexico

But guns are illegal in Mexico, I thought that made guns disappear? Shouldn't we secure the borders to stop this? The Mexican drug cartel "fact" is a media falsehood, nobody knows where the guns are really coming from because Mexico won't provide the information to the U.S. We're supposed to just believe Obama and Hillary when they say "90% come from the U.S." rather than from Chavez and disarm Americans to help Mexico out. The weapons Mexico is concerned with did not come from gun shows anyway. They don't sell grenades at gun shows. Still, the borders should be protected immediately to stop Mexicans with illegal guns, rockets and grenades -- wherever the origins -- from using them on Americans.

In hidden-camera photos and videos captured by researchers at the University of California, Davis, men roamed gun shows with assault rifles slung over their shoulders and pistols tucked in their belts, available for sale with no waiting period, background check or paper trail.

You didn't have to hide the camera, individual sales between private citizens is completely legal everywhere but California. If you go to a gun show with a rifle on your shoulder you're going to get offers because you can often buy it for what the dealer they are planning to sell it to would pay for it, saving hundreds of dollars.

And even at licensed dealers, some with more than 1,000 pistols and rifles at a single booth, there were illegal "straw buys" in which real gun buyers concealed their identities by getting other people to put down their names for the paperwork and background checks. In some cases, the dealer obviously recognized the straw buy but sold the firearm anyway.

"Obviously recognized"? How? Did they tell them they were buying the gun for someone who couldn't legally buy it? If not, that's not illegal either and it assumes much from a group out of UC Davis I don't trust on the subject. If there are hidden videos of "obvious" illegal gun deals, where are they? I don't see any online. Are newspapers actually suggesting that gun sellers "profile" buyers? Will they be protected if they refuse to sell a weapon to a minority suspected of making a straw purchase? Thinking through proposed laws is not journalisms strong suit.

To keep guns out of the hands of criminals, ATF should step up its presence at shows -- officers only go to about 3 percent of shows now, and only respond to complaints. And sales between individuals should also be subject to background checks...

Let's take a look at that. The Contra Costa Times is owned by MediaNews, which owns a number of newspapers, and most newspapers have a classifieds section that - wait for it - helps private gun sellers sell arms to private buyers without a background check. See for yourself.

If newspapers really believe that this practice should stop, shouldn't they start by refusing all gun classifieds?

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