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Student Newspaper Cluelessness

It seems that the UMass Daily Collegian know about as much about running a web site as they do about our gun laws.  Here’s a comment I tried to leave for Nick Milano, but was unable to because of server errors.   Maybe they have “not a commie” detectors to weed out the crazy folks like me.

Interesting… so you learned about our countries gun laws from West Wing eh?  Great.  Please tell me you’re not a law student.

What is this “illegal gun industry?”  All firearms manufacturers in this country are required to be federally licensed.  They sell their firearms to distributors, who are also federally licensed.  That transaction is logged and recorded, according to federal regulations.  Distributors sell firearms to dealers who, you might guess, are also federally licensed.  These dealers sell firearms to gun owners like myself, after presenting photo ID, filling out ATF Form 4473, swearing under penalty of felony I am the actual purchaser of the firearm, a US citizen or permanent resident, not a drug user, never been convicted of a felony, am not a fugitive from justice… you get the idea.  After that the dealer conducts a background check to verify the information on the form is correct.  This happens over the phone and takes a few minutes.  After that, the transaction is similar to any other consumer product.  Of course, there are laws about where you can and can’t buy a firearm.  Different states have extra restrictions, and you can’t go out of state to evade them.  You and the dealer can go to jail for that.  Massachusetts requires a license to buy firearms, which, for handguns, the police can decide not to issue to you because they don’t like that awful garlic breath you have from the  linguine you had for lunch.

Now of course, that’s the one option.  The other option is to buy one out of the back of a van in Dorchester.  Criminals obtain firearms from a variety of sources, none of them legal, which is why we call those guns “illegal guns”.  This is the black market.  If you believe we should be enforcing those gun laws, and locking illegal gun runners up, I would agree with you.  But you’ll have about as much luck stopping the illegal gun trade as stopping the illegal drug trade.  There’s a reason they are called “criminals” it means they break laws, and gun laws are just another law to break.

Nothing you guys didn’t already know, but I didn’t want it to go to waste.

5 Responses to “Student Newspaper Cluelessness”

  1. Mike says:

    I left one as well and it didn’t post.

  2. Peter says:

    As of this writing, there are 18 comments, one of which (hopefully) is mine.
    Only the first ten are visible; when I click to see the other 8, I get an ‘internal server error’.

    It probably choked on ‘you’re’ instead of the more usual ‘your’ or ‘ur’.

    Snark intended.

  3. Windy Wilson says:

    The quoted West Wing dialogue is wrong even if the perpetrators had used knives or bow and arrow.
    From the moment they made the purchase they wer guilty of the crime of conspiracy which requires an agreement to commit a crime, and an overt act.
    Why do we allow these empty bottles called actors pontificate about anything except their hair and who they are schtupping?

  4. Bitter says:

    You typed it wrong, it’s UM-Ass.

    You’re expecting way too much from them…

  5. ravenshrike says:

    Dammit, I had an appropriate bit of snark giving a backhanded compliment to Harvard while stating that the people at UMass were even stupider. Unfortunately it won’t post : (

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