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Gathering Some Thoughts About the Murders in Aurora

Over the weekend, it was hard to focus on news other than the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people were killed, 58 wounded, at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. With this in mind,
we’ve set aside other issues and have gathered some reports and stories that you might have missed.


Journalist and author Dave Cullen has first hand experience about the perils of jumping to conclusions about mass murder—and mass murderers. He is the author of the excellent book Columbine, which deconstructs in harrowing detail the myriad events that led to the Columbine school massacre, after which everyone reporting on the tragedy, including Cullen himself, seemed to get it wrong.

Here’s the opening of his essay about the Colorado shooting for Sunday’s NY Times.

YOU’VE had 48 hours to reflect on the ghastly shooting in Colorado at a movie theater. You’ve been bombarded with “facts” and opinions about James Holmes’s motives. You have probably expressed your opinion on why he did it. You are probably wrong.

I learned that the hard way. In 1999 I lived in Denver and was part of the first wave of reporters to descend on Columbine High School the afternoon it was attacked. I ran with the journalistic pack that created the myths we are still living with. We created those myths for one reason: we were trying to answer the burning question of why, and we were trying to answer it way too soon. I spent 10 years studying Columbine, and we all know what happened there, right? Two outcast loners exacted revenge against the jocks for relentlessly bullying them.

Not one bit of that turned out to be true.

But the news media jumped to all those conclusions in the first 24 hours, so they are accepted by many people today as fact. The real story is a lot more disturbing. And instructive.


It is nearly impossible not to talk about gun control after this shooting (pro and con). And yet the presidential candidates have managed it.
Here are some of the more articulate pleas for a real discussion on the matter.

In the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik writes about what the politicians—on the right and the left—won’t talk about.

The murders—it dignifies them to call them a “tragedy”—in Aurora, Colorado, have hit us all hard, though the grief of the friends and families of the victims is unimaginable. Still, it hits home, or someplace worse than home, for any parent who (as I did, as so many did) had a kid at one of the many midnight screenings of the new Batman movie last night, they having gone to see it the moment it opened. Once again, as so often before, the unthinkable news is disassembled, piece by piece, into its heartbreaking parts. After the Virginia Tech shooting, the horrifying detail, as I wrote at the time, was that the cell phones were still ringing in the pockets of the dead children as their parents tried to call them. In Colorado, you can’t expunge the knowledge of the sudden turn from pleasure to horror that those children experienced.


The truth is made worse by the reality that no one—really no one—anywhere on the political spectrum has the courage to speak out about the madness of unleashed guns and what they do to American life. That includes the President, whose consoling message managed to avoid the issue of why these killings take place. Of course, we don’t know, and perhaps never will, what exactly “made him” do what he did; but we know how he did it.


The reality is simple: every country struggles with madmen and ideologues with guns, and every country—Canada, Norway, Britain—has had a gun massacre once, or twice. Then people act to stop them, and they do—as over the past few years has happened in Australia. Only in America are gun massacres of this kind routine, expectable, and certain to continue. Does anyone even remember any longer last July’s gun massacre, those birthday-party killings in Texas, when an estranged husband murdered his wife and most of her family, leaving six dead?
But nothing changes: the blood lobby still blares out its certainties, including the pretense that the Second Amendment—despite the clear grammar of its first sentence—is designed not to protect citizen militias but to make sure that no lunatic goes unarmed

And then there is James Fallows’ Sunday night post at the Atlantic, after readers wrote him to say he was too pessimistic and furious in his earlier post about his certainty shootings like this would happen again.

Here’s a clip from the first post:

Like everyone, and I’d say especially like every parent, I am of course saddened and horrified by the latest mass shooting-murder. My sympathies to all.

And of course the additional sad, horrifying, and appalling point is the shared American knowledge that, beyond any doubt, this will happen again, and that it will happen in America many, many times before it occurs anywhere else…..

Now here’s a clip from the second post that went up Sunday night (in which he doesn’t back off in the least):

….I never mean to give in to jaded fatalism, so I will reflect on this again.

….Meanwhile, this sample of the insanity of today’s “security” thinking.

The latest Colorado shooter — like Jared Loughner of Tucson, Seung-Hui Cho of Virginia Tech, and the countless others whose names we forget after they have done their damage — could not legally have walked onto an airplane carrying a water bottle, or without taking off his shoes.

But he could walk down the street with a legally purchased assault rifle, body armor, and as much ammo as he could lift.

At some point the madness of this disproportion may sink in. To be clear on my own views: I see no reason why a civilian should be allowed to possess an assault rifle like this shooter’s AR-15, a civilian version of the military M16, or similar high-capacity weapons. These are for soldiers and others formally authorized to administer deadly force.

And while we’re on the “madness” topic, please consider:

The lasting distortion in our airport operations and travel “security” rules if these same 12 people had been killed and dozens injured on an airplane. We’d have Congressional hearings, sackings of TSA officials, new inspections and screening machines “to keep us safe,” and so on.
The military, diplomatic, and cultural consequences if the Batman murderer had happened to yell “Allahu Akbar!” or “Death to America!” before dispatching his victims….


This weekend Doug Berman, the attorney/law professor/sentencing expert who blogs at Sentencing Law and Policy, generated a LOT of heated discussion in response to this post on the shooting rampage in which he said how relieved he was that Colorado is a death penalty state.

(A little later, he revisited his thoughts on the matter with a cooler head here in his Sunday post, but he didn’t dial back his point.)

Here’s a small clip from the post that stirred everyone up:

….In the immediate aftermath of these sorts of horrific mass killings, I find it so very hard to react with my head without also listening to my heart. And in these kind of awful cases, my heart (or is it my gut) often suggests to me that ultimate punishment of death is the only one which feels fitting. I suspect Colorado prosecutors (and perhaps also federal prosecutors) will have similar feelings…..

(Readers here know that we at WLA are big fans of Doug Berman,which doesn’t mean we agree with him on absolutely everything).


In the midst of much nattering by TV talking heads on the issue, former LAPD chief Bill Bratton was refreshingly sane and specific on Meet the Press as he responded to the argument that, if only theater goers had been carrying their own guns, much of the theater shooting tragedy could have been averted.

(NOTE: You have to listen to quite a bit of blather before you get to Bratton’s comments at about minute 2:03.)

Earlier in the weekend, Bratton told FOX News that “What we need is “some sanity in our gun control laws.”

Photo by Alan Mittelstaedt


  • During a crisis (never let one go to waste), the Left demands that the government regulate everyone rather than deal with the isolated issue. If some don’t have health care…force everyone to a government mandated plan. A madman kills people…force the entire nation to disarm. Such ideas of one-size fits all and blanket restrictions on individuals is maddening.

  • Who is talking about forcing the entire nation to disarm. This is just a foolish charge. Typical of the nonsensical rhetoric emanating from what passes for “conservatism” these days.

    The facts are that there are calls for banning crackpot weaponry like 100 round clips, armor-piercing bullets, internet sales of unlimited amounts of ammunition and some similiar common-sense proposals supported by most Americans and most public safety officers according to polling data. There is nothing being proposed that comes even close to “disarming the entire nation.” That’s just a crazy bit of paranoia on steroids – or something.

    But instead of rational discussion, we get obstruction from the obscene NRA lobby that is controlled by gun-nuts and financed by rightwing fanatics, we get insane bluster from the likes of the Limbaughs charging that Obama is about to take everyone’s guns (spiking gun sales, of course, so someone is making a buck from spreading false rumors to the mentally challenged wingnuts), demagogy steeped in sanctimony from right-wing politicians and utter timidity from Democrats spooked by the gun nut lobby. The NRA is scamming it’s membership with bogus fearmongering. They raise money for their political machine by scaring their members. It’s time tested – like televangelism. That’s all the Right has these days – demagogy. Not surprising we see it played over and over. Like the above comment that is based on absolutely nothing empirical – just random ravings that are, frankly, founded on a mentality that is prone to simply make things up rather than engage in rational dialog.

  • Ooops – sorry. I did find this statement calling for limitations on the 2nd amendment on one of those Sunday talk shows. Maybe the first commenter has a point…

    “People have a right to handguns and hunting rifles … I don’t think they have a right to semiautomatic, quasi–machine guns that can shoot hundred of bullets at a time.”

    That notorious left-winger William Kristol calls for “disarming the entire nation.” Somebody alert Michelle Bachmann and Wayne LaPierre. America is in danger of being over-run by enemies of freedom.

  • The viewpoint in the first comment, not the strawman of the second, is so generally accepted that support wasn’t necessary. It was written by someone who has a post-graduate degree — not a dropout, so if anything, intellectual superiority of the second party is far from established.

    The comment in the response of the second comment is the equivalent of saying that anyone who supports Obama is stupid. It ignores the discussion and dwells on smearing the other side. It presents a false argument and should be ignored.

  • I’m glad that a victim’s relative called out the left-wing media on its attempt to “never let a crisis go to waste.”

    Victim’s Brother To MSNBC: Families Not Here To Talk About Gun Control

    Jordan Ghawi, brother of victim Jessica Ghawi: Here’s the thing, we can try to politicize this and make some sort of polarizing debate and make this a tenet of the election, but that’s not what we’re here to do right now. We’re here to celebrate the lives of the victims that have been lost. ….

  • I forgot to note the incredibly disingenuous statement that it was the strategy of “the left” to mandate private health insurance coverage, when in fact that was a Republican plan, hatched in the Right Wing Heritage Foundation think tank. “The Left” has generally supported a version of single payer, i.e. “Medicare for all” – an expansion of the same Medicare system that the Tea Party “wants government to keep their hands off of.”

    More proof that you can have “graduate degrees” and still be challenged in both the intellectual competence and honesty/integrity departments. This garbage that deliberately avoids talking about actual common sense proposals – like banning 100 round magazines – for controlling gun-nuts-uber-alles – which the “intellectual” George Will echoed on one of the dumb Sunday talk shows – is beneath contempt and beyond stupid.

  • Incidentally, that first comment about “disarming the nation” could serve as the dictionary definition of a straw man. And, no, some yahoo typing it doesn’t mean “it’s so generally accepted that support wasn’t necessary.”

    This was amusing. Old times! But don’t expect additional attention. Now I’m bored.

  • Bruce, for a quick diversion on your healthcare comment, it’s one thing to explore an idea and it’s another thing to jam something much worse down people’s throats (a Christmas present!), when the polls are solidly against it and it contains a big tax, while lying and saying that it’s not a tax for the voters but it is a tax for the courts.

    Republicans tried to handle healthcare by giving individual incentives, while Democrats blocked every one of those proposals in favor of a even bigger federal government taking over everything, which it will achieve when it drives private insurance companies out of business.

    Although a small minority of people had issues with health coverage and rather than dealing with just their problems, the Democrats forced *everyone* to change.

    That is just one example supporting the statement in comment one: “During a crisis (never let one go to waste), the Left demands that the government regulate everyone rather than deal with the isolated issue.”

    On gun control, Breguce, you know full well that the Left would love to follow the examples of Australia and many European nations by disarming everyone. However, as with every attack on the individual and personal freedoms, the Left moves the nation in small increments — like boiling a frog by turning up the heat slowly so that he gets cooked without raising objections to the end result.

    If you know the history of the banning of “assault rifles (which I doubt), then you’ll know that the way that those “evil” rifles were picked out for legislating was *from pictures and which ones looked the meanest,* with no understanding of the capabilities of what they selected or did not select. The objective was to start the ban and then expand it.

    Our founding documents say that it is the right of people to carry arms for defense and that people have the right to replace a government that is destructive to defending human rights. It’s not about hunting and sports. As the bumper sticker says, “Criminals, dictators, and Democrats fear armed citizens.”

    Perhaps it takes someone with a graduate degree to be smart enough and honest enough to understand this, while difficult for a dropout.

    To respect Celeste, I’m through discussing this with you.

  • Remember Jared Lee Loughner, anybody?

    He’s the guy who shot & killed six people in Tucson, Arizona, and wounded fourteen others, including U.S. representative Gabrielle Giffords.

    He was rejected for enlistment into the U.s. Army because he failed a drug test. Then he went and purchased the firearms & ammo for the Tucson shootings.

    More and more the Aurora shooter is exhibiting signs of being under the influence of drugs–appearing in court stupefied, etc.–giving rise to this thought: why not make passing a drug test a prerequisite to purchasing a firearm?

    Why not?

  • “you know full well that the Left would love to follow the examples of Australia and many European nations by disarming everyone”

    Again, reality beckons – some hysteric typing something that reflects their own prejudices and paranoias doesn’t make it true. You’re beyond any rational discourse. Enjoy!

  • Oh god – one more, because this response was so pathetic. If, as suggested, you are a 2nd Amendment absolutist who actually fantasizes that personal weaponry is the key to making sure that Obama’s tyranny – or something – is held in check, you have to make a full-throated defense of personal ownership of automatic weapons, anti-tank bazookas, surface-to-air missles and probably more, because this is the 21st Century and the US government, which apparently you think you’re going to have to keep in check with your guns, has all of this and much, much more. These are the ravings of a 14-year old mind, and not a very analytically competent one at that. Nutty stuff. I made a couple of common-sense proposals – keeping large ammunition sales in check, extending registration to gun shows, banning ammunution clips that held more than ten rounds and – yea – perhaps extending the licensing requirements to include a things like drug tests as mentioned above. These are the kinds of steps that normal folks are very open to. 2nd Amendment absolutists are incoherent at best in defending the rights of crazed gunmen against the rights of our citizens to safe environments. We learn from the above ravings that it’s really about protecting wing-nuts against “Democrats”, who are in the same category as criminals and dictators. Thanks for sharing. This is, at least, honest expression of intent. But, of course, also evidence that you’re more than a bit crazy and juvenile.

  • The NRA has fought against restrictions that would keep guns out of the hands of people on the terrorist watch lists. The commenter above has pretty much said the unspoken – the thought that with “Democrats” in power, wing-nuts might feel the need to resort to terrorism. Meanwhile, what about restricting stuff like 100 round clips that only a crazed gunman would feel the need to arm himself with? The answer – of course – is “Democrats want to disarm the nation”, which isn’t an answer but a mantra of someone who can’t handle discourse with normal people.

  • Bruce S says
    “a full-throated defense of personal ownership of automatic weapons, anti-tank bazookas, surface-to-air missles and probably more,”

    Thank God the nut in Aurora only had an assault rifle. If he had an anti-tank bazooka like the guy in……oh wait. There’s never been a massacre in this country where an anti-tank weapon was used.
    Ok Ok, nevermind that. If the nut had a surface to air missile like the guy in……oh wait. Never had a massacre in this country where one of those was used either.

    Ok ok, nevermind. If he had used an automatic weapon like the guy in….oh wait….thinking, thinking, nope. Can’t think of a mass killing in this country where even a fully automatic weapon was used.

    I challenge Bruce S to name one. The North Hollywood BofA robbers had fully auto weapons, but they had ILLEGALLY modified them.

    Note to Bruce. You’re an upstanding citizen, right? Try to buy one of these weapons you mention in any state in the country. Get back to me when you own a fully-auto weapon, a “bazooka” or a surface to air missile.

    Bruce S just can’t keep from making uninformed, sensationalistic statements based on emotion.

    If he had ANY clue what the laws concerning the weapons he mentions are, he might not make himself look silly by spouting that bullshit.

    And trhen he wants to chastize others for not having adult conversations.

    Is this what passes for intellectualism from the left these days? Sad. So sad.

  • Oh my. “Answering the Question” demonstrates a lack of even basic reading comprehension skills and goes on a long-winded rant to prove mastery of nothing so much as intellectual incoherence.

    “Sad. So sad.”

  • lol. Get back to me when you can buy an anti-tank bazooka, automatic weapons, or surface to air missiles. In fact I’ll make it really easy for you.
    Get back to me when you find one member of the board of directors of the NRA advocating the legalization of any of the weapons YOU mentioned.
    You have no factual evidence of what the laws pertaining to weapons are. You also have no factual evidence of what the NRA does or does not advocate.
    You simply regurgitate the talking points of a political class that hates the NRA due to their support of mostly conservative politicians.
    You make incredibly misinformed and false statements based on an incomprehensible lack of knowledge concerning the subject matter you are talking about.

    Just EMOTIONAL rantings and ravings like a junior high kid.

    Yet you try to come off as intellectual. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  • Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of mostly northern elected officials, released the results of a survey conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz on Tuesday. The survey found that a majority of National Rifle Association members believe in laws intended to keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands.

    On some issues, there is little dissent: 87 percent of NRA members say they believe enforcing Second Amendment rights coincides with keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals.

    The majority of NRA rank-and-file members (71 percent) say they support the barring of people on terror watch lists from purchasing firearms, and a slightly smaller majority (65 percent) believe gun owners should be required by law to alert the police in the event their gun is lost or stolen

  • Bruce S, let me know where I can put my order in for my M1 Abrams tank, and where I can pick it up? Oh, and which Big 5 can I go to and get ammunition for the main gun? By the way, do you know where I can pick up a 105 howitzer, slightly used, and cheap? Since you seem to know all the answers, you seemed like a good “go to” guy to find this stuff.

  • The jails are full of NRA members. Everybody knows that. They support crime and murder. Everybody knows that.
    They are nothing more than bloodthirtsty killers with blood dripping from their fangs. They are a bunch of redneck hillbilly inbred uneducated simpletons.
    Bruce S is the only one posting on this blog who has any intelligence. Everybody knows that. Bruce S is the only guy posting on this blog who has any compassion for his fellow human being. Everybody knows that.

    Bruce S is an absolute genius while the rest of you are idiots.
    <<<< If you know nothing else, know that!!!!!

  • You folks are too stupid to understand what I wrote. The point was that if one asserts, as Woody did, that the main point of owning “arms” was to fend off a potentially dictatorial government (and a lot of these idiots claim Obama qualifies as such), one would need to advocate for ownership of automatic and heavy weaponry, since the government is armed with such. It’s the only logical extension of that position. Your responses indicate an absolute incomprehension of my pointing out the fallacy of claiming that currently legal guns are somehow the ultimate defense against a modern state imposing dictatorship. It’s a foolish fantasy. Nowhere did I state that you could get your hands on this weaponry – so your response is pure idiocy and/or a clumsy attempt to evade my point, which if you can read English with average literacy levels, was clear.

  • Not a single one of you numbskulls have addressed my initial suggestion – which was common sense controls on 100 round clips, purchase of 1000s of rounds of ammunition online and gun show evasions of registration. It’s also a fact that military style weapons are useless for legal activities, like hunting or personal safety. So folks who own them are a little screwy. I’d ban assault-style rifles as well.

    If you want to discuss what I’ve raised, go ahead. Otherwise, you’re just proving you’re a hysteric with your head up your ass, terminally stupid or driven by pure resentment and BS. Typical of contemporary “conservatism” – an embarrassing aggregation of the weird, angry and low-information/marginal, not to put too fine a point on it.

  • ^^^^^^ You see. I told you idiots. Bruce is the only guy who isn’t an idiot that posts here. Everybody knows that.
    Bruce S is da bomb. Everybody knows that.
    But nobody knows that moreso than he!!!!

  • “military style weapons are useless for legal activities, like hunting or personal safety.”

    Yeah you fucking knumbskulls. An AR-15/M4 style weapon is completely useless in the perfectly legal smallbore service rifle competitions that go on around the country. It’s also useless in the perfectly legal 3 gun competitions that go on around the country.

    And as for hunting you knumbskulls, nobody hunts with an AR-15/M4 style weapon. Sales of those style weapons for varmint hunting/deer hunting are so slow that the companies who make them in hunting calibers are going broke.

    Bruce S has soooo much knowledge of the subject matter on which he speaks it’s breathtaking.

    Peronal safety? Once again he’s right, and you idiots are left in his intellectual dust.
    Who the hell needs a semi-auto handgun for concealed carry? Nobody is buying them. The firearms companies that make them are going broke. And as more proof to you knumbskulls that Bruce knows what’s up, try to find a tactical shooting instructor who advocates the use of semi-autos. They’re so poor they can’t even make a living because their class is empty.

    An old west style single action six-gun and a single shot bolt action rifle or shotgun is all anyone needs to hunt, compete in all the perfectly legal shooting competitions around the country, or defend one’s self or his loved ones, in public or at home.

    I wish Bruce S would open a tactical defensive shooting academy. He at least should offer his services and expertise to the ones that are already in business around the country. He’s a true expert on the subject matter and he needs to enlighten us all with his profound knowledge and experience in the realm of firearms usage and personal defense strategies.

    Bruce S is simply the go-to-guy when it comes to firearms laws, usage and tactics.

  • And Bruce, for the sake of all of us knumbskulls, could you please explain what the “gun show loop hole” is? You referred to “extending registration to gun shows”. Can you tell me what states allow firearms sales at gun shows without the pre-requisite BATFE paperwork/registration required by law?
    I keep hearing about this gun show loophole but I don’t know what it is. Please explain that to us. You da man about guns and gun laws. You should know if anyone does.

  • I normally lurk thees days, but Wikipedia is your friend:

    Presently, 17 states regulate private firearm sales at gun shows. Seven states require background checks on all gun sales at gun shows (California, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Oregon, New York, Illinois and Colorado). Four states (Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) require background checks on all handgun, but not long gun, purchasers at gun shows. Six states require individuals to obtain a permit to purchase handguns that involves a background check (Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Iowa, Nebraska). Certain counties in Florida require background checks on all private sales of handguns at gun shows. The remaining 33 states do not restrict private, intrastate sales of firearms at gun shows in any manner.


    Under the terms of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, however, individuals “not engaged in the business” of dealing firearms, or who only make “occasional” sales within their state of residence, are under no requirement to conduct background checks on purchasers or maintain records of sale (although even private sellers are forbidden under federal law from selling firearms to persons they have reason to believe are felons or otherwise prohibited from purchasing firearms).

    It’s all here.

  • I didn’t mention handguns. And if your response is “competition shooting AR-15s” it proves you’ve got nothing regarding the actual utility of the weapon. That’s almost unbelievably lame.

    You’re pathetic.

    And if you don’t know that “private parties” selling at gun shows aren’t required by federal law to conduct background checks or keep records of sales, it’s more proof of idiocy.

    Not a single one of you creeps has responded to my comments about 100 round clips or obtaining 1000s of rounds of ammo online, which were my original primary points. Just a bunch of BS and straw men to avoid the issues. “Conservatism” really has fallen on hard times with clowns like you running your mouths.

    What utility is there in a 100 round ammo clip, used by these maniac killers? Oh yeah – perhaps the 100 round ammo clip competition?

  • “I’d ban assault-style rifles as well”

    “And if your response is “competition shooting AR-15s” it proves you’ve got nothing regarding the actual utility of the weapon.”

    lol….when is Bruce going to provide his expertise, experience and knowledge to the shooting sports world and defensive shooting instructors?

  • Randy, re: the “Gun Show Loophole”….you are aware that as a private citizen in the state of CA I can sell any weapon legal in the state to my nextdoor neighbor, a buddy of my cousin or any other private party without any background check or registration, right? You know that, right?

    GUN SHOWS have nothing to do with it. Pro gun control folks like Bruce throw out the “gun show loophole” like you can get around laws at gun shows that you otherwise couldn’t were it not for the gun show. There IS NO LOOPHOLE. The laws at gun shows are the same as they are (or aren’t) anywhere else in the state. Once again, explain to me where the gun show creates a loophole. Can’t be done. Doesn’t exist.
    We’ll talk about 100 clips as soon as Bruce admits there’s no such thing as a gun show loophole. He might be surprised at my opinion on 100 rd. clips.

    And as soon as Bruce admits that he doesn’t believe citizens (upstanding and sane) have the right to carry concealed weapons OF ANY KIND we’ll continue this conversation.

    Until then, we’ll never see eye to eye on the very basic premises of the 2nd Amendment.

    I will say this. Oh how I wish a property trained concealed carry holder, or off-duty cop (a properly trained concealed carry holder) had been in the theatre that night.
    Perhaps the victims lives would have been saved.

  • Of course gun shows have something to do with it: they link buyers and sellers who would otherwise not know each other. You asked two questions and I answered both of them.

  • Let me be succinct: my dad died ten years ago and left us with the following: 6 single shot 22 rifles, a 22 carbine rifle, two Remington Centennial 30-30 rifles with gold-plated receivers and forend caps, a Sako deer rifle, a Czech army pistol, Colt 45, two 20 gauge shotguns, and two double-barreled 12 gauges (one over and under and one side-by-side).

    Depending on the state, if I took them to a gun show to sell them, I could sell them to complete strangers without any background checks as I’m not in the business of selling guns. That’s the loophole.

  • Correct. And in the states where you could sell them to a complete stranger at a gun show with no registration, you could have sold them to a complete stranger without a background check anywhere else in the state. I suppose you are unaware that there are small local radio stations that have by/sell airtime where people can advertise their weapons. I suppose you’re unaware that there are adds in newspapers for guns. I suppose you’re unaware of
    Once again Randy, the same state and federal laws apply at gun shows that apply outside them. That is not a loophole.

    The Free On-Line Dictionary gives us the definiton of loop-hole:
    1. A way of escaping a difficulty, especially an omission or ambiguity in the wording of a contract or law that provides a means of evading compliance.

    Well, there you have it. You can’t evade a single law at any gun show in the nation that applies outside of a gun show in the same state.

    You have failed to provide us a single example of a law that applies to the buying/selling/background check/registration of firearms in any state in the union…that DOES NOT APPLY at a gun show in the same state.

    Doesn’t exist. Why? Simple. All state and federal laws apply whetehr you’re selling a weapon at a gun show or from your home.

    What gun shows DO is bring buyers and sellers together. ALL LAWS APPLY….you can’t circumvent any law at a gun show.

    Perhaps your definition of loop-hole is different than that given by the dictionary.

  • Bottom line is this…there is nothing legal at any gun show in any state pertaining to sales of weapons…that is not legal off the premises of said gun show. Therefore it is factualyy untue that gun shows provide “loopholes” to prospective buyers of firearms by circumventing existing law.

    What is it that you guys fail to comprehend about this?
    What is it that you guys fail to comprehend about the definition of loophole?

    And Bruce criticizes my reading comprehension. Yeah, I know, I’m the stupid one according to you guys.

    Unfortunately for you guys, your opinions don’t chage the facts, the law, or the definition of loophole.

    You’ll have to live with that.

    I know it’s much too painful and ego bruising for you to admit that the talking point “gun show loophole” you’ve learned to parrot from anti-informed, anti-2nd Amendment types is factually incorrect. Then what happens when you get in a debate on the issue with an informed knowledgeable person concerning firearms laws, you end up looking silly for buying the anti-2nd Amendment types narrative and repeating it.

    But it’s ok. We know.

    Linking buyers and sellers together is not the definition of loophole. Sorry. No go. Sell that shit to the youngsters in the coffee house or the people who don’t even know the DROS laws pertaining to the sales of firearms.

    Yeah, go ahead, google “firearms DROS”….lol

    You guys are way over your head in this discussion and have absolutely no expertise or even basic knowledge of the laws pertaining to firearms sales.

    Probably neither one of you have bought, sold, or done a DROS/Transfer in the last 20 years, if not your life.

    Yet you’re going to try and sound like you’re informed and have all the answers. Sorry boys. You stepped in it this time!!!!!!

    By the way Bruce, I’m totally against the posession, sale or manufacture of 100 rd. magazines. Or what you refer to (as do most of the uninformed) as “clips”.

  • By the way Randy, what state do you live in?
    I puposely made a factually incorrect statement in post 29 and you bought it hook, line and sinker. Well, either that or you missed a perfectly good oppurtunity to point out I was wrong. Which I doubt you would do had you had the knowledge of the CA firearms laws…lol
    No mention by you that in CA you can’t buy or sell weapons at a gun show without them being registered and the DROS being filled out (background check).

    I was making that false statement in order to try and get you to call me a liar, therein PROVING MY POINT that you can’t legally buy weapons at gun shows in CA that you otherwise couldn’t from a private party. All firearms sales in CA must go thru an FFL and have DROS completed for the BATFE, be they a private person sale or at a gun show.

    So let me be succinct. You don’t even have enough basic knowledge of firearms laws in CA, or anywhere else, to know when somebody you’re debating the issue with is making factually incorrect statements. Ergo, it’s no wonder that you not only believe in, but parrot about the “gun show loophole” when it doesn’t exist…

    Wanna go Sasquatch hunting this fall?

  • What gun shows DO is bring buyers and sellers together

    Resulting in making it easier to sell guns if you’re a casual seller. In other words, I could rent a booth at a gun show, sell my dad’s entire collection and not have to do background checks because I’m not in the business of selling guns, while the guy next to me who is in that business would be required to conduct background checks. That’s the very definition of a loophole. Anyone who sells a gun to someone should be required to obtain a background check.

    If I have a cold and want to get pseudoephedrine for the congestion, I have to submit my driver’s license and my name is entered into a database. It’s a sad state of affairs when the casual obtaining of a lethal weapon is easier than getting cold medicine.

  • lol….still rolling with that eh? Speaking of your dad’s collection. Those Remington Centennial .30-.30’s are worth some serious serious bucks, since they were the only two ever made!!!
    Speaking of needing a drivers license (picture I.D.) to get cold medicine…isn’t that a crock of shit that some people believe that’s justifiable, while they don’t even believe you should have to show a drivers license or any other picture form of I.D. to vote.
    You’re right man, that’s bullshit.

  • In the spirit of trying to help out my fellow human being (even those with whom I might disagree on some topics)

    Randy, if you live in CA I hope you reported those handguns your dad left you to the DOJ, and I hope you have obtained your Handgun Safety Certificate, or you are in violation of CA Penal Code 12078 (i) (1) (B).
    Take them to an FFL ( gun shop) and they can help you out. There are fees involved. It should be $35 per weapon.
    Then you need to take the class in order to obtain your Handgun Safety Certificate. The fee for the class varies, but be advised that it’s not cheap.
    You must do this in order to be in compliance with the law.
    Not quite as easy as they make it sound for a person to legally obtain a handgun in CA, even if it’s inherited by a son from his father.
    You could place these weapons in a locked box in a safe and never take them out, you just wanting to keep them because they were your dad’s……and you still must do all of the above and pay the fees to be in compliance with the law.

  • ^^^^^^if that’s not control^^^^^^ Nothing is.

    I know I know. Only a wing-nut would believe that the state of CA (and many others) is trying to eliminate gun ownership through regulations and fees. Not a chance in hell that the average guy will eventually, if enough restrictions and fees are involved, say “the hell with it” and just turn those weapons in to the police instead of taking the chance that they will get arrested and go to jail for possessing them.

    Only a wing-nut would belive that. Of course, law abiding citizens turn in tens of thousands of weapons every year in CA for precisely those reasons.
    Of course some low life crook doesn’t give a shit about any of these laws and won’t comply.
    But an upstanding citizens like Randy and Bruce, who have never been convicted of any crime, are totally sane and just a plain good persons have to go through all that hassle and pay all those fees (they are in fact taxes, as the money goes to the government)just because his dad left him a couple of handguns.
    And some people are crazy enough to believe that it’s actually an attempt to regulate handguns in CA out of existence. Can you believe those crazy bastards?

    BTW Randy, after you’ve taken the class and obtained your Handgun Safety Certificate, try and get a CCW permit in CA.
    You’ll have a better chance of finding sasquatch, lol.
    And of course, since you can’t legally carry a concealed weapon, you won’t carry one. But the crook near you will have one, because he doesn’t comply with the law.
    That’s the reality in CA. Only the crooks are armed, because it’s too restrictive for law abiding good Americans like Randy and Bruce to carry a weapon.
    So if, God forbid, you or your loved ones are ever in a public place and one of those crooks ever chooses to make you a victim of violent crime and they are armed, you or your loved ones are completely at their mercy. You don’t have the option of defending yourself with a firearm.

    And those wing-nuts from the NRA are so insane that they believe Bruce and Randy should be able to defend themselves with a firearm if their life is in danger. Can you believe the insanity in that line of thinking?

  • Actually, they’re in my brother’s possession in Alabama; I live in New York where CCW laws are also strict and where the murder rate has steadily declined.

    I stand by what I said before. The rest of your comments are a stream of non-sequiturs.

  • Of course you stand by your statement. As far as non-sequiturs…

    Non sequitur ( /nɒnˈsɛkwɪtər/) is Latin for “it does not follow.” It is most often used as a noun to describe illogical statements.

    We were previously talking about gun laws no? Illogical? I stated facts and presented the actual laws to back up my statements.

    I notice you’re not debating any of the laws I cited as non-applicable or incorrect in their application.
    You can’t. They’re facts. And they pertain to the precise topic we were discussing.

    lol…so go ahead and label my statements however you wish. Not surprising that you don’t understand the definition of non-sequitur as defined by the dictionary, as you don’t understand the definition of loop-hole either.

    Perhaps you do understand them. Perhaps because you don’t agree with certain laws, opinions or philosophies, you simply try to change the definiton of ceratin words to fit your opinions and/or previous statements.

    For instance, it’s the LAW that says a FFL dealer at a gun show must do background checks, while private citizens are not required to. It’s not a loop-hole in the law. It’s THE LAW. A “gun show loop-hole” would be that private citizens have to do background checks whenever they sell weapons, unless they sell them at a gun show.

    FFL dealers are required to background checks whenever they sell a weapon at any time, at any place.
    Private citizens are not required to background checks whenever they sell a weapon at any time, at any place.

    You and people like you who are anti-2nd Amendment don’t like the current laws in place, so you attach false labels and try to control the narrative because you do not want honest discussion/debate on the matter.

    You don’t understand why the laws are different for FFL’s than they are for private citizens. All you know is that in your opinion they SHOULD BE THE SAME, so you make factually incorrect statements concerning the law trying to validate your opinion.

    You could do some homework and educate yourself on why the laws for FFL’s are different than they are for private citizens, but instead you just cling to your opinion that is not knowledge based. It’s simply easier to cite the incorrect rhetoric that you have learned from those whom you agree with politically.

  • Once again, in the spirit of trying to help, and educate, I’ll provide you a real world example of why firearms laws are different for FFL’s than they are for private citizens.

    FFL….The guy who owns/operates a Jamba Juice for a living.
    He’s a dealer. It’s what he does for a living, or at least makes enough money at it that the BATFE and the IRS considers it “more than a hobby”.

    Private citizen…is like the guy who sets up a lemonade stand in his front yard a couple of times a year.
    This guy isn’t trying to make a living at it, nor does he make enough money at it to even support himself.

    The firearms LAWS in most states don’t require the private citizen to “jump thru the hoops” to become a “dealer” for precisely the same reasons they don’t require a guy with a lemonade stand a couple of times a year to get a business license, obtain a storefront, etc. etc.

    That being said, you can’t operate a Jamba Juice out of your house, and you can’t ooperate as a “kitchen table” FFL dealer either.

    I understand that you believe the firearms law should be changed. Because you believe it should be changed, that doesn’t in fact create by definition a “loop-hole”.

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