Inky Reporter Sensationalizes Gun Show

I guess they were looking for an interesting story, but I don’t think they found it, so they tried to sensationalize as best they could, regardless:

They began arriving well before the 9 a.m. Sunday opening, cramming the parking lots and forcing latecomers onto snowy fields. At least half the vehicles were pickups, peppered with road salt and bearing such bumper stickers as “Don’t blame me, I voted for McCain” and “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

At least half the vehicles in that part of Pennsylvania, that time of year, in any given parking lot, are going to be pickups. I guess they missed the Honda CR-V, devoid of bumper stickers, that was driven by Bitter and I, because we were at this show looking for ammo for my Webley (found three boxes, old Canadian police surplus brand called “Dominion”, made by Canadian Industries Ltd.). My father moved recently about 15 minutes outside Lebanon, so we will probably attend this show somewhat regularly, as it’s a good show. Also funny, I maybe saw a handful of cars or trucks at most with bumper stickers on them.

Assault rifles were much in evidence. One table had an AR-15, originally made for the U.S. Army, for $875. A Russian-made AK-47, one of the most popular and widely used assault rifles in the world, was on sale for $495. There was a “Gun Show Special” on an SKS carbine for $165. An SKS was used in 2008 to kill a Philadelphia police officer.

Originally made for the US Army eh? Sorry, no. Russian made AK-47? Russian designed maybe. There are no Russian made AKs for sale the US. Importation of those has been banned since 1968.

Just across the aisle there was a $999 price tag on an FN Herstal Five-seveN tactical pistol. This weapon, also known as “the Cop Killer,” is believed to have been used is last year’s massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Off in a far corner, two long tables were arranged in an “L” shape to accommodate the show’s largest weapons. One was a Barrett 50, a .50-caliber sniper rifle with a five-foot barrel that is capable of taking out targets a mile away. It cost $8,995. Two subadolescent boys took turns aiming it at imaginary targets.

Sensationalize much? There’s no such thing as a “cop killer” gun. Armor piercing ability is a function of ammunition, not the gun its fired out of, and the ammunition that can pierce armor is unavailable to civilians. The barrel of the Barrett comes in 29 and 20 inches, last I checked that didn’t make 3 feet, let alone 5. The overall length of the rifle is not even five feet. But it’s not exactly the kind of rifle you pick up and aim if you’re a “subadolescent.” The thing weighs 30 pounds! But why bother with research when you can just describe the gun as being of such epic proportions. I’m surprised he didn’t mention its ability to take down satellites.

The biggest weapon, priced at $20,000, was a Bren MK 1, a light machine gun used by the British army in World War II and the Korean War. “It can fire up to 540 rounds per minute with an effective range of about 600 yards,” the sales clerk advised. “And it still works.”

This gun I did see. Still works, and not something you’re going to take home from the show. If you’re lucky, you might get through all the hoops you have to jump through in two months. I’m guessing the reporter either didn’t ask about that part, or chose to leave it out of the article. Describe the process one has to go through to get a machine gun, even after ponying up 20 large, it might not seem to scary to people.

The 4473 form is kept by the dealer for twenty years. ATF can request access to a 4473 from a dealer if a gun was used in a crime, or otherwise recovered by law enforcement. At least they reported you had to go through a background check, and didn’t mention the dreaded “gun show loophole” that lets you just waltz into a gun show and waltz out with any weapon imaginable, no questions asked.

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition made up of more than 340 mayors from across the nation, says Pennsylvania has more than 200 gun shows every year, a total exceeded only by Texas. Indeed, gun shows are a leading tourist attraction in the Lebanon Valley, which is hosting three this year. Tourist promotion officials estimate that each gun show will draw 6,000 visitors and generate between $2.5 million and $3 million for area businesses.

I went out to the show, then had dinner with my dad and step mother at a local restaurant, so I would believe it’s a significant boon to the local community. It’s a pretty rural area. Mostly dairy farms.

It was here in 2008 that a 30-year-old mother made national headlines by toting a gun to her daughter’s soccer game. Last year the woman was shot and killed by her husband, who then took his own life.

This has nothing to do with the topic at hand, and it’s offensive to even bring this up. Man, I really can’t wait for the Inquirer to finally quit circling the bowl and head down into the sewers where it belongs.

8 thoughts on “Inky Reporter Sensationalizes Gun Show”

  1. You may want to look into Saiga’s, they are Russian made AKs…..

    and they come in different calibers as well, everything from typical 7.62, 223, all the way to 12 gauge shotgun….

    made in the Izhmash plant, they’re imported ‘neutered’ without pistol grip in ‘sporter’ configuration, but can legally be converted and they’re a BLAST to shoot…..

  2. Wow… An $165 SKS…. I’ve got to start hitting gun shows there. Haven’t been able to find one for less than $250 around here…

  3. They are Russian made semi-automatic rifles based on the Kalashnikov design. They might be colloquially referred to as AK-47s, but they aren’t. Either way, they have to be imported in a sporterized configuration to get around the GCA ’68 importation ban. All the Kalashnikovs you see on the domestic market today are, technically, US made.

    Also, you have to be exceedingly careful with your part count if you’re going to convert a sporterized Saiga to a more original pattern, since if you add too many foreign parts you run afoul of 922(r).

  4. I dont see how they aren’t technically AK’s, they are made on the same factory lines as the fully automatics, Mr Kalashnikov worked at the factory for awhile (damnit I wish I could find that link…..)

    but yes, you are correct, you have to be careful not to run afoul of 922R and they are all imported as semi-auto sporterized guns.

    tomAto – tomoto….. they’re fun guns none-the-less

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